While I was preparing supper tonight, and listening to my iPod run a random playlist that excludes songs played in the past four months, out popped Shannon Curfman's "I Don't Make Promises I Can't Break." This is one of my favorite songs. How is it that I haven't heard this song in at least four months (since October 5, 2008, to be exact) when it's one of my all-time favorites?
The short answer is that, hey, life happens. You can't always remember that you haven't heard a certain song when the machine pumps out 80-100 tunes every day with no effort. I wish I had time to sit around and pick which favorite songs I want to hear. Nope, my music is pretty much has to be on autopilot.
I don't have to listen to the random playlist. I can play albums or non-random playlists. It's just that autopilot is so much less effort. And I'm all about less effort.
This isn't the first time I've been surprised to hear one of my favorite songs jump out at me, either. Last Tuesday, Debbie Gibson's "Only in My Dreams" and "Foolish Beat" both played within 89 minutes of eash other. I can't believe I'd go more than a week or two without seeking out one or both of those songs. Having Ambrosia's "Angola" pop up while I was visiting my sister a few years ago prompted a whole new project for me. She had never heard "Angola," or "I Don't Make Promises I Can't Break," for that matter, so I made her some CDs, "The Best Songs You've Never Heard," volumes I and II. Volume III is ready and waiting for her, but she hasn't asked for it. I guess she has less enthusiasm for listening to my favorite obscure songs than I do. Some people.
Still, I'm trying to figure out how to get my iPod to play my favorite 50% of songs twice as often as the lesser 50%*. Or maybe the top 33% three times more often than the lower 66%, and do it with no effort. As it stands now, I hear every song - over 9000 of them - about three times a year. Yes, that means I listen to hyper-favorite "I Don't Make Promises I Can't Break" just as often as the theme to "Sesame Street." Seriously. It's playing now. Everybody sing along! "Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away."
I'll figure out that playlist thing sooner or later. I've only been trying for 4.5 years.
*Right now, with every song given equal weight, it's like listening to radio station WBGN, not far up I-94 from here, serving Lake Wobegon. All the songs they play are above average.