Name That Tune: Music and the Subtle mind

The mind is an incredible thing. I don’t understand the complexities of it. The connections that it makes without us being aware of them.  The constant workings to guide and inspire and correct and inform us in our every day lives.

There’s one specific thing that my brain does that astounds me. I assume everyone has this same occurrence, but I actually have no idea if it’s a universal trait. But here it is:

I’ve noticed that sometimes a song will randomly pop into my head, and I have no idea why. It’s not a song that was playing somewhere and I overheard it. It’s not even a song that I know the lyrics too. I will just get a melody stuck in my head.  Or just a few notes of a melody…And then I notice it playing in my mind… and think… ‘Hmm, wait, what song is that?” Eventually I figure it out and match it to the actual song. And then, here’s the best part…. I look up the lyrics on my phone (because I honestly don’t know the lyrics to the song. I only know bits and pieces of the melody) and I see that the lyrics are an exact representation of my current emotional state. It’s as if the song was written to express how I am feeling at that moment… it’s my subconscious mind expressed in words. How freakin crazy is that?!

It’s always been like that for me. Is it because I am a music lover? Is it because I think that music can trigger emotions, and vice-versa, is the deepest and most honest way that emotions are expressed? I first noticed this phenomena happening to me when I was in high school. It has baffled me, and humored me, ever since. Because, well, The Brain. How does it do that?!

Real life example.  Five days ago was Valentine’s Day.  Usually, I think this holiday is just like any other day, and that corporate society just uses this random day as an excuse to sell chocolates/flowers/cards/presents.  But this particular Valentine’s Day happened to be the best day of my life. I was coming home from a rehearsal/photo shoot for my upcoming Broadway show (I am playing a Disney Princess! Ahh!) and when I got home, my boyfriend said he had a surprise present for me.  It happened to be a surprise proposal, actually! There was a lot of roses and candles and, well, a super planned-out story that I won’t share with you right now, but the finale was him on his knee with an engagement ring and… I felt the most indescribable feeling of love and excitement and astonishment. I couldn’t believe it was happening in that moment. I’ve never been happier. I said yes. We danced. We kissed. We made some calls to family (who all already knew that this proposal was happening today!) , and then I made him some soup (because we love soup, and it was dinner time, so…).  And then we went downstairs to pick up our mail from the front desk of our building. It was just like any other day. Except now, we were engaged!

We are standing there waiting for the mail, and I get a melody of a song in my head. I start humming it… and ask him “what song is this?”  He tells me the title of the song, and I recognize it,  but I don’t know the lyrics (even though it’s a Broadway classic— don’t kill me!).   I just looked up the lyrics, and wouldn’t you know… it’s an EXACT description of what my subconscious was thinking/feeling at the time.  The words go like this:

I have never felt like this

For once I’m lost for words

Your smile has really thrown me

This is not like me at all

I never thought I’d know

The kind of love you’ve shown me

Now, no matter where I am

No matter what I do

I see your face appearing

Like an unexpected song

An unexpected song

That only we are hearing

I don’t know how the brain does that. It registers a feeling within me, then goes through a rolodex of lyrics to songs that I don’t really know, and proceeds to send me a hint of the melody to the song that appropriately suits my inner mind’s monologue.  It’s astounding.

Does this happen to anyone else? Is this a common phenomena that I’ve never heard of? Whatever it is… it blows my mind. In the best way. And I’m open to it. There are times when I can’t decipher my innermost feelings.  It’s good to know that my brain has a way to send me an analysis of my inner world, even when I’m not asking for it. I love how connected we are… me and my subconscious… connected in mysterious, unexpected ways… “that only we are heeeaaarring…” See what I did, there? ;)


About Arielle

I am a California-bred, NYC-based Broadway actress, singer, and artist. I love to take photos and write poems, read, travel to new places, and see inspiring movies. I love to eat delicious food, especially with loved ones. I'm interested in the human experience, how we grow, and what connects us all. I like when people walk around smiling. I aim to be one of them.

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