this is your brain on shuffle

Every morning — and I mean every single morning — when I awaken from slumbers, my brain serves up a song. A different song each day, as a rule. Never merely a chune, as the Scots fiddlers would say, but always a song with words, and usually a pop song from any time in the past fifty years. Rarely it’s a hymn, and even more rarely a pre-Sixties pop song; but from within that fifty-year window it can be pretty much anything, including songs I haven’t thought of in years or even decades. A few times it’s been a theme song from an old TV show. 

The only exceptions to the Random Shuffle Rule come when I’ve had a song on heavy playing rotation. For instance, last year when I was obsessed with Big Red Machine’s gorgeous “Phoenix” it became my morning song on several occasions. But typically what turns up as I lift my head from the pillow is a surprise and I love that. 

This morning it was “Gates of the West” (a neglected little gem, that one); yesterday it was “Mykonos”; and that’s all I’m going to say. I’ve never actually written or (except to my family) spoken about this oddity of mine, and I’ve never made a record of the songs — I’m superstitiously afraid that any such documentation will put an end to the service. So this post is as far as I’m willing to go in self-revelation. 

But I mention it because I wonder how many other people have something like it — a central element of daily experience that no one else (or hardly anyone) knows about. Some quirk, some habit, whatever; but something that for you is a major feature of life even though no one would have any way of knowing it.