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Songs in My Head

Trey Reely | February 2014

    One of the coolest things about television shows and movies is the soundtrack. Wouldn’t life be more exciting if music literally accompanied it? Based on casual research while channel surfing, I project that there will someday be a brain implant strictly for musical entertainment. A simple thought will trigger the appropriate tune, filling our minds with music to fit any situation. Fully programmable, the implant could be pre-set for the day or free to respond to our conscious and unconscious thoughts with the appropriate song, somewhat like Pandora but without the ads.
    Its ability to control our moods would be amazing. We could program the music to be upbeat, improving our mood; inspiring selections could give us the courage and determination to face challenges; and when a mellow mood is called for, the implant could play something soothing. This is how I see my musical brain implant working on an average day:

6:25 a.m.
A nice gentle start is just what I need; I am not a morning person. Edvard Grieg’s “Morning” from the Peer Gynt Suite would be the perfect selection to serenade me as I rise and eat a quiet breakfast, reading the newspaper.
6:50 a.m.
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma! and ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man are excellent choices for showering and getting dressed.
7:20 a.m.
Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys and the theme from The Andy Griffith Show lighten up my morning drive to school.
7:35 a.m.
Gonna Fly Now from the movie Rocky starts up as I open the car door at work, and Get Ready for This leads me into first period roll call.
8:45 a.m.
Make ’em Laugh from Singin’ in the Rain strikes up as I leave my office to teach beginners, the only students who truly appreciate my humor.
9:35 a.m.
Some knucklehead has been smoking in the band room bathroom between classes. It must be a student from another class since none of my students left during rehearsal. Man Hunt from The Andy Griffith Show plays as I report the infraction to the assistant principal and the search begins. Of course the automatic implant feature trips Smokin’ in the Boys Room by Brownsville Station.
10:25 a.m.
As I prepare for my senior band rehearsal, I mentally crank up Chaconne from Holst’s First Suite in E-flat to get that perfect mental image of how it needs to be performed. The theme from Mission Impossible begins involuntarily, and I quickly alter it to Climb Every Mountain from The Sound of Music. (Julie Andrews is singing, not Carrie Underwood.)
11:15 a.m.
I read an email from my principal requesting that I meet with him and a school board member at 12:40 p.m. My subconscious triggers Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, but I reprogram it quickly to play I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.
At lunch I relax to Michael Buble’s Call Me Irresponsible, and Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night and My Way.
12:35 p.m.
As I walk to the principal’s office, Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III prepares my mind for the potential conflict ahead. While the board member repeatedly expresses his disappointment that the band doesn’t play at more basketball games, I smile knowingly, tapping my foot to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones’ Beast of Burden, followed by You Can’t Always Get What You Want and then Hall and Oates’s I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).
1:15 p.m.
After the board member leaves, the principal tells me to add four more games despite many other events already on our spring calendar, to say nothing of a very full marching season. I succumb to the pressure as Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line floods my brain.
My prep period is shot. I leave the office with Elvis’s Hound Dog ringing in my brain. At the song’s conclusion, I continue my slow walk back to the band room, reflecting on our once strong relationship as Barbara Streisand croons The Way We Were.
2:15 p.m.
I teach my fine arts class in a depressed state. While the students take a test, B.B. King serenades me with The Thrill is Gone.
3:05 p.m.
I rebound with the Bee Gees belting Stayin’ Alive, which pumps me up for after-school sectionals.
3:20 p.m.
I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline automatically cranks up as an emotional clarinet player enters my office wanting to miss rehearsal because of her breakup with her boyfriend. It’s the third time they have broken up that week.
5:45 p.m.
Reflective, I listen to Running on Empty by Jackson Browne, White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby, and then Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
6:00 p.m.
I meet my wife at a restaurant for supper. She asks me why I have such a silly smile on my face. I tell her it’s because I’m listening to If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot.
7:30 p.m.
I go for a walk to a mix that includes Jump by Van Halen, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, I Feel Good by James Brown, and Enter Sandman by Metallica.
10:30 p.m.
After watching some TV, I put my head to pillow while Tomorrow from Annie, The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, and Brahm’s Lullaby send me off into a deep, calm sleep.

    Until I get my brain implant in say, twenty years, I’ll have to be content with my smartphone. If you think this seems like nothing but fantasy, who would have dreamed twenty years ago I could have access to thousands of songs on a phone?