It came up on shuffle the other day — as I was running with earbuds planted firmly in my ears, Blur’s “Song 2” started playing. Hearing that thumping kicking off the start of the song brought me right back to my wedding day, when we walked into our reception to that tune. (Incidentally, it also reminded me of this fun commercial.) I smiled as I ran, and it got me thinking about how sound can be linked with happiness.
Which other songs or sounds are tied to happiness? Think about it — not sounds that make you excited. Or sounds that rev you up. I’m talking about the sounds that prompt a smile. Here are five (more) sounds that do it for me.
1. The sound of water: It has to be the real thing—listening to waves crash at a spa while I’m enjoying a hot stone massage doesn’t quite do it (although that is also lovely). No, I’m talking about the sound a river makes as it’s rushing downstream. Or the sound of waves licking a beach. Or the gentle bobbing of water when you’re standing by a lake. It’s calming and injects a shot of happiness into me.
2. The sounds of toddlers and babies: Well, when they’re not screaming or throwing a fit. I love listening to little kids laugh, play and try to piece together words to communicate how they feel. In fact, it makes me think of this video, which seems to be circling the Internet these days. How can listening to these two not make you smile?
3. The sounds of a start line: Whether it’s my children’s Cub Run they do every year at the Metro Toronto Zoo, or my own 10K race, I love the buzz that goes on at the start of the race. Everyone is prattling on around you, wondering…is it starting soon? The music blares Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” to inspire the racers. Racers jump and down or run on the spot to warm up. I think of this as the sound of what you’re about to accomplish.
4. The sound of birds: I don’t think I’m alone in this — stepping outside at this time of year we’re hearing chattering, maybe water rushing to a sewer from a big thaw melting the remaining snow clinging to your front yard. It’s the sound of spring.
5. The sound of live music: Having had a chance to hear Canuck favourites Arcade Fire live recently, it reminded me of how electric live music can be. The venue doesn’t necessarily matter — whether it’s the music coming from a live band, or simply a guy playing a saxophone on the street corner for coins, live music remains an incomparable sound.
Those are five of my favourite sounds — what are yours?
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