I was driving through Tennessee today, shifting Spring break from the Smoky Mountains to Memphis and Graceland. And a very strange thing occurred as I was looking for something to listen to on the radio. Music on the radio has been something of a recurring theme since I began writing this blog almost two years ago. So I’m going back to that well again, but the time to write is shorter than I would like, so I’ll try to be brief.
I can’t listen to country music. And I don’t listen to the radio to be saved, either. So my options aren’t very many in places like I was today. When I heard the opening notes to Rick Astley’s “Cry for Help,” a song that I’ve always liked on some level, I listened to it despite a healthy dose of static mixed in with the vocals. It was better than the alternative, at least.
At some point near the end of the song, another station with the same frequency cut in, playing the Eagles’ “One of these Nights.” For somewhere around 8 to 10 seconds, there was an accidental overlay between the two songs, before the Eagles won out. I wasn’t ready to let Rick Astley go yet, but life rarely waits until we’re ready for such things.
The harmony between the two songs was more interesting than either one could be on its own. It was as if some cosmic deejay had synched up the two, if only for an instant, before transitioning from one to the next. I’m sure this happens a lot, but it rarely gets noticed, and even more rarely gets written about. But it’s worth remembering that two disparate strands of music–or other forms of expression–have the capacity for coming together, in ways that are not easily seen on the surface. But since it can never last, it’s best to appreciate it when it happens. In this sense, it’s not too different from life itself.