I've been having some profound thoughts about how brains work, partly because of something I read in Prospect about MRI psychology and partly because I was listening to music earlier on. I was on a fairly long flight and I started working on the plane as soon as the seat belt light went off -- I like the BA business class seats and they have just the right working position for me so I like to get the laptop out as soon as possible -- and fired up my iPhone for background music. I chose my "Mott" playlist, which comprises a few different Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople albums. It starts off with one of my all time favourites, the Ian Hunter Band's live double, Welcome to the Club, and includes both live and studio albums. Anyway, when "All the young dudes" came on, I felt the tears welling up again. How can music, especially such familiar music, make you cry? In the case of "All the young dudes" I sort of understand why, because it's about my feelings for my sons, but in other cases I have no idea why some tracks elicit emotion and others just don't. Another of their tracks -- "Saturday gigs" also makes me feel very emotional, but doesn't make me cry. On the other hand, Ian Hunter's "Sons and daughters" makes me feel like I want to cry, but I don't. Very puzzling. It's not just Mott the Hoople, of course. We were listening to a Tim Minchin album the other day and one of the tracks -- about your kids growing up -- had me blubbing like a schoolperson. You have to be pretty talented to write something like that.
[posted with ecto]