The power of familiarity

Driving through the northern reaches of Québec province, where the radio stations play mostly a strange yet familiar French form of Nashville-style Country music, I would sometimes hear a Beatles’ song.

“I Want You” and “I Am The Walrus” were two that I remembered, and the emotional effect of hearing these songs, albeit as background music in a swimming pool and a restaurant respectively, was to rekindle an emotional link back to the world I had temporarily left behind.

I didn’t like this.

I felt like I was being manipulated against my will into a frame of mind that I did not wish to embrace at that time. There is no doubting the power of those familiar Beatles’ songs – I was cast back into a host of memories, past and more recent, that I associate with those songs. But this was not the time for memories.

Perhaps this is why I cannot bear to listen to rock music radio, unless it is transmitting only new and unheard music. The ‘oldies’ format that is evidently vastly successful worldwide gives me the shivers. I prefer to listen to music that has accompanied me as I have grown on my own impulse and at my own discretion.


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