When you own an iPod (NB: other MP3 players are available), any time spent plugged into it can make you feel like a music advisor on “Life: The Movie”. On the occasions when you catch a glimpse of the cityscape, some piece of incredible architecture or just a strange interlude on the streets, music simply has the incredible power to be the soundtrack to your life.
Take my journey to work today, for instance. At Broadway-Nassau station, a man dragged a tired looking suitcase onto the train, looking for all the world like a dodgy perfume seller or fake Prada bag vendor. Until he opened his mouth that is, at which point it became apparent that he had to use the bag to carry all his bigotry with him. Having spouted off in no particular direction about AIDS, homosexuality and hatred, he then locked his eyes one by one on fellow passengers with a faintly maniacal stare.
And the song that’s playing during this episode? With its attack on the madness of the US (“it’s on America’s tortured brow, Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow”) and its more pertinent suggestion that life is “the freakiest show”, David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” couldn’t really have hit the nail any more firmly on the head.
From ethereal chillout to contrast the madness of the rush hour rat race, to The Smiths’ “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” as the rain pours down, I sometimes think that my iPod has some kind of mood sensor attached. Although why “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats was playing as I entered the office, I have no idea. Thinking about it, a better question might be why it’s even on my iPod in the first place…
Still, at least listening to my own music collection is better than the torture that The Special One and I are having inflicted on us night after night by a neighbour in an adjacent building. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” as much as the next man (even when the next man is wearing a neon pink t-shirt saying “I love ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ by The Beatles”), but I don’t need to hear it played on repeat for half an hour or so as I’m trying to get to sleep.
One explanation could be that the perpetrator of such JohnPaulGeorgeandRingo-ular torture has recently been involved in a bitter love split, and is drowning her sorrows in music. Sadly, if that is the case, her partner has recently been round to collect his or her CDs, as last night the original version was replaced by her own far-from-delicate cover version. The lesson for me obviously being that after a week of wanting the hell to end, I should be careful what I wish for.
If it happens again tonight, I’m putting on my iPod. Sweet dreams are, indeed, made of this.