When you see someone wearing headphones, do you ever wonder what they’re listening to? One of my favorite pastimes is to put my headphones on and wonder what my co-workers (and other people) think I’m listening to. Occasionally, I find out, when they ask me random questions, during the day. It may start off with them asking if I listen to rap or hip-hop, but inevitably, they’ll ask if I listen to opera. This makes me laugh, because I listen to a bit of all three, though not as much as they think.
It works the same way with other interests of the people surrounding us. Don’t you judge what they like to read or what they like to watch, completely based on their age, how they dress, and their manner of speaking? Oh, come on, you know if you hear a serious southern accent, you assume that they probably listen to country. Though I don’t know for what reason my co-worker is always surprised by my reading material, except that maybe it’s because I’m a girl. He usually catches me reading history or politics, but thinks I should be reading “normal” stuff… like a romance with Fabio on the cover, perhaps. You couldn’t pay me to read one of those, by the way.
My music playlists are always extremely random. I even have CDs that I’ve burned for car trips (previous to mp3 players) where I would visibly startle my brothers when the song changed. Well, I guess going from Lifehouse to The Kingston Trio (singing “Reuben James”) would do that. Going back and forth keeps things interesting.
Nowadays, I have two types of mixes. The one that I listen to when I’m on the computer, which helps to block out the sound of the television, usually has something lively that doesn’t prevent me from writing. I don’t write very well when there are words to songs, unless I’ve listened to them so often, I can ignore them. They become white noise that isn’t dull. But if I really need to concentrate, then I crank up the scores to all three Transformers movies or Pirates of the Caribbean 3. You’ll notice I said the scores, not the soundtracks. I have those, too, but the power and beauty of the music of Steve Jablonsky and Hans Zimmer…. love it.
So, while I’m blogging, right at this very moment, my music playlist includes “Mad World” (from Donnie Darko), “Primadonna” (Marina and the Diamonds), “Girl on Fire” (Alicia Keys), “My Tears are Becoming a Sea” (M83), “The Fields of Athenry” (The Dubliners), “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” (John McDermott), and a number of songs by Birdy, One Direction, Brandi Carlile, The Civil Wars, Imagine Dragons, Bryn Terfel, Adele, and Apocalyptica.
Any surprises for you there? I may have been an 80’s baby, but my music interests cover quite a range. When I was a teenager, I was borrowing my brother’s Aerosmith, Michael Jackson (just for the Free Willy song), and The Beatles CDs, as well as stealing his soundtracks to Top Gun and The Bodyguard. When he drove me to school, we always seemed to be listening to Kenny G, Aerosmith, and Boys II Men. When I got older, I had some memories of “oldies” that I’d heard as a child, so I started looking up Peter, Paul, & Mary, as well as Judy Collins, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, and The Kingston Trio.
As I mentioned, I’ve always loved soundtracks. The songs tie you to the storyline in the movie, and sometimes, you like the music better than the movie. But then you become attached to certain songs and love how the meaning of the words resonate within you. I only ever saw How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days once, but how many times have I listened to the soundtrack, since then? The song “Feels Like Home” introduced me to Chantal Kreviazuk, and my cousin and I can still sing all the words together, thinking about how it feels to be with someone that is like home. You don’t need a place to be home, you need people.
My co-workers would probably be unsurprised to find that I love musicals, was raised on them, and can sing the words to most of them. I was raised right, and have no problem with singing my lungs out when I’m in the car, on a road trip. Or while cleaning a Bible Camp from top to bottom, before the campers arrive. I’ve always wonder what happens if the walls soak up enough songs… will they spill back out, startling people, a hundred years from now?
I even love an opera or two, because my grandpa loved them, and my favorite is La Boheme. But most of the time, I have no idea what they’re singing, nor am I interested (too much sap, you know). La Boheme makes me laugh because it sounds so beautiful, but the singers are yelling at each other that they’re cold, and why won’t they burn their manuscript already, so no one freezes to death?
My Fike playlist, which I also listen to when I’m walking to work, contains Smashmouth, Cowboy Troy, Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park, Train, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Nickelback, Journey, Leann Rimes, Pitbull, the Glee Cast, Marina and the Diamonds, Katy Perry, Good Charlotte, and Christian Contemporary Smash-ups. Of course, that doesn’t cover the number of artists that Glee covers, such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and many more.
So, yes, occasionally, I play that game where you imagine the looks you would receive if you blasted your playlist through the nearest stereo. Would their assumptions about you be shattered if they find you listen to the same stuff they do… or if they even like your playlist better than theirs? Find out what a person listens to (or reads), and you’ll find a lot about them.
P.S. A song by One Direction just came onto my headphones. In my defense, the first I ever heard of them were several hilarious parodies on YouTube, while I was in Australia. And then, on the plane home, their album was one of those offered for free listening on the headsets. My recollection is that I had a really bad headache, so I picked them for the familiarity of the first few songs. I basically slept through the album, two or three times.
When I arrived stateside, I picked up the album, and still enjoy it, though some of the lyrics are pretty silly. I have great fun listening to “I Want” and “Up All Night”, but what’s even funnier is watching the Beatlemania that is occurring over them. Then again, they’re actually cute kids (and can sing), while Justin Bieber is a dweeb that thinks he’s cool, so he gets tattoos in order to help convince people he’s cool. Ok, there’s a rabbit trail…