Tempo in the Soundtrack of Our Lives

This morning as I was working, two songs rotated in my head:  Spy in the Cab by Bauhaus and Torn Between Two Lovers by Mary MacGregor.  It wasn’t about the lyrics – I’m not torn between lovers and Spy in the Cab is beyond meaningless.  But the tempo matched my mood.  Songs will sometimes pop into my head based on the speed I’m operating at.  If I’m trying to do something fast-paced, it might be Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry feat. Gibby Haynes or Birds by The Butthole Surfers.  Sometimes other qualities of the song will enter into it, like a song with lurching or broken rhythm or breathless vocals may pop into my mind if I’m tired or sick, like Going to a Go Go by The Miracles or LA Blues by The Stooges.

Do songs randomly pop into your mind?  How do they connect to how you’re feeling?


  1. Some Old Programmer says

    When I’m feeling particularly melancholy, “Fanfare for the Common Man”.

  2. Matthew Currie says

    I find certain activities trigger certain familiar music.

    When I’m feeling fairly mellow, it’s Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata.

    When in vigorous activity such as bicycling, it’s Santana’s “Smooth.”

    When I wake up, although my stepson is now in his 30’s, it’s still the theme from Sesame Street!

  3. says

    I’ll have to google fanfare and the schubert when i get off work tonight. @ smooth having wake-up energy – yeah, I can see that. Hm, this morning it was Dot in the Sky by Drab Majesty for me. Different energy, but still kinda uptempo.

    I forgot about memories linking to specific activities. Sometimes it’s a song for me, but I think more often is a memory of an experience. Washing round dishes I remember washing dishes at somebody else’s frustrating house party. Putting cat food in this green bowl we’ve had for years makes me think about a place I paused in Final Fantasy XII with moogles dancing in a ring. Hm.

  4. says

    This happens to me a lot.
    Sometimes I can use it to affect my mood. The song “BFG Division” from the 2016 Doom remake “Angry Again” by Megadeth, and “Poison My Eyes” by Anthrax are good when I argue.
    I started listening to the same three songs on Primus’s Pork Soda on the way to and from work for some reason: “My Name is Mud”, “The Pressman”, and “Mr. Krinkle”. “DMV” is a good representation of frustrated boredom.

  5. says

    I have lots of newer stuff too. Those are the ones I went to get the names for. I’m terrible with remembering the names of songs. Also I’m liking the changes in Doom Eternal. That I like the demon slayer soundtrack while arguing might be significant.

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