I am just about to start packing the car for our weekend way… One thing very near the top of the list is music selections for our lengthy journey… I get to plug my iPhone in to the car and Katie brings some CD’s… I laugh out loud at some of my old music choices…

I can remember being a teenager and listening to Smiths records in a darkened room with lyrics like “heaven knows I’m miserable now” ringing around in my brain… I also find myself wanting to raise my arms in the air every time an old school rave tune comes on and imagine myself back in the early 90s jumping up and down… Is that a hypnotic effect? Why am I mentioning this today…?

I used to find myself, as an impressionable teenager in particular, even being influenced by the lifestyle (and life) of the people singing certain depressing lyrics… Regardless of the tune.  
I am a huge fan of the beatnik poets and loved to read Jack Kerouac whilst listening to The Velvet Underground — man oh man — a double whammy!  
Lou Reed is not the most pleasant individual on the earth according to every single account I have ever read from his peers, friends and family, yet he made stunningly beautiful ‘sounding’ music… However, with the years of reflection, I have found much of his message in those extremely beautiful melodies to be verging on poison.  
Sounds crazy I know.  
I still listen to my old Velvet Underground LPs… Yet I am very wary of humming the sentiments along to myself all day and lodging it in my mind constantly.  
Be sure to recognise malaffected youth reaching out for music that reinforces their disillusionment with life throughout the generations and you see this well articulated in real terms.

It is interesting that music has been mentioned at the Guardian’s podcast recently, because when listened to repeatedly, certain songs, their tunes and their embedded themes rattle around in our minds… and the minds of the younger generation… How many times have you heard a song in the morning and ended up humming it all day long… Maybe even sometimes to your own annoyance as it may not even be a song you like!   
How many kids are humming sentiments to themselves about being dissatisified in love, heartbroken, or delivering messages of seemingly unattainable ideals, as their own internal dialogue?  
And don’t even get me started on some of the modern films… I wonder how much music and its related messages have a hypnotic effect on those listening and absorbing?

This week’s Science Weekly Podcast from The Guardian is a fascinating special on music and the brain.

Music is found in every human culture and one theory is that it was an evolutionary precursor to language…

Whereas language allows us to make propositional, “information rich” statements, music is far vaguer but arguably provides a superior means of conveying emotion… That certainly rings true for many of my friends… And I reckon with the only exception being really tremendous orators…

The podcast describes how this emotional power is being harnessed to help people with Alzheimer’s. We also hear how singing can help stroke patients rediscover their lost voices. Lovely, eh?

However, my favourite discovery from the podcast is that birds can dance… Wa-hey!  I reckon when none of us are looking, there are millions of parrots and other pals dancing away in jungles and on islands all over the globe… Hahaha… Just like this fellow, who I think forgot where he was.

I am off out of here for the Bank Holiday weekend, I am off to the land of surfing, cloudy cider, beach games, toasted marshmallows and sleeping under the stars… Camping in Croyde, in Devon… Can’t wait! Please do a sun dance for us… Have a wonderful weekend yourselves 🙂