Angel of Queensland

I’m a realist by nature, and I really don’t believe in ESP, karma, chi, astrology, or things of that ilk. However, every once in a while something strange happens in my life that makes me question the very philosophical foundations my life is based on (OK, that was a little bombastic, but you get the idea). For example, a few months ago, I found myself humming Peter Frampton on my way home from work, and a few days after that, he was on a GEICO commercial. Whoa!

But there was one time that I was absolutely floored and was forced to wonder if two people could actually develop a “connection”, one that spanned continents, and even languages.

I was sitting in my living room one day listening to a U2 playlist I created in iTunes, and was playing around with iTunes’ Smart Playlist feature, which allows you to automatically generate playlists dynamically based on certain criteria that you define. For example, you can create a playlist that includes the most recently played songs, the highest rated songs, etc. As I was doing this, over instant messaging, a friend from Australia signed on.

After the usual pleasantries, I mentioned that I was playing with iTunes, and I asked her to guess my most listened to song. She, being quite smart, took a rather educated guess and said, “‘Louie Louie’, or something by U2”. Knowing that I like U2 and that I wouldn’t be opposed to replacing The Star Spangled Banner with ‘Louie Louie’, it was actually a very good guess, but she was wrong.

As I was typing my reply to let her know she should try another guess, she narrowed down her U2 guess to a single song…‘Angel of Harlem’. When I read that, goosebumps rippled up and down my body. The hairs on the back of my neck stood as tall as they could. I got a weird feeling in my gut, like I had been caught red-handed doing something I wasn’t supposed to be (it’s happened more than a few times in my life), and I had to stop and make sure I was alone. For at that very moment…the moment she typed in the name of a song…I was listening to that very song.

Out of over 1000 U2 songs in my iTunes, I have listened to ‘Angel of Harlem’, in all it’s versions, all of about 20 times. I like the song, but it’s not in my top 20 U2 songs. So why did she pick that one song to name, and why at the very moment that I was listening to it? Call it fate, call it luck, call it karma, but whatever you call it, it was freaky.

For the record, my most listened to song is ‘Olympia, WA’ by Rancid; most listened to U2 song is ‘Beautiful Day’; ‘Louie Louie’ by the Kingsmen has only been listened to 45 times; and I no longer ask her to guess what I’m listening to, watching, reading, or what I’m thinking about.

Apr 8, 2008