Archived Story

How does the radio know what I’m thinking?

Published 8:00am Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It amazes me when I am listening to the radio and a song or two comes on that reflect my thoughts at that exact moment.

Most of the time I take it in stride, but other times it almost feels as though the people at the radio station have a direct connection to my thoughts. What is really creepy is when that happens on more than one occasion in a short period of time.

Such was the case the other night when I was scanning stations in my car and heard three different songs that did this in less than an hour. The more interesting thing is that the songs were on three different radio stations.

I began scanning the dial and thought about how much music has changed since I was a kid.

I was born in 1980 and my family listened to quite a bit of Top 40 radio back then. Some of my earliest memories of music are sitting in the living room with my sister and watching MTV — back when MTV actually showed music videos instead of a bunch of awful reality television.

As I scanned the radio stations I remembered watching MTV and waiting for videos I liked to come on. My favorite video as a kid was Dire Straights’ “Money for Nothing.”

I loved that video because of the really cool computer animation – if you haven’t seen it, look it up online and see how far computer animation has come since 1985. I began thinking about that song and within a few moments I heard it on the radio.

I then began to think about how my tastes in music evolved over the years and started to remember the music I listened to in high school. For some reason I thought of my high school girlfriend and her fascination with Jewel. When I would talk to her on the phone, she was always listening to Jewel and learning to play the songs on her guitar.

Needless to say, I got burned out on Jewel quickly — it did not take too much since I was not a fan in the first place. But wouldn’t you know it, within a few minutes I was scanning the stations again and I heard a few lines of Jewel’s “Foolish Games.” I listened to two lines and hit the scan button again.

By this time it was getting late and I began to feel tired. I have always been a bit of a night owl, but in recent years my bedtime has rolled back from the early morning hours to the p.m. hours of the current day.

I thought about being younger and going weeks on end with less than four hours of sleep each night. Now, I am usually in bed by 11 p.m., which is a late night for me. There was a time when I could stay up until 6 a.m., get a few hours of sleep and be refreshed — unfortunately, if I do not get at least seven hours of sleep I am dragging for much of the following day.

As I contemplated getting older, the scan function stopped on a country station and Toby Keith was singing, “I ain’t as good as I once was; my how the years have flown; but there was a time back in my prime; when I could really hold my own.”

It was the perfect summery of the thoughts going through my head at the time.

I laughed out loud about how strange it was to hear three songs that pegged my thoughts so perfectly. Maybe the folks at the radio stations to have a direct pipeline to my thoughts after all.

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