Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mystery Chinese Song

While driving home from work tonight, I was listening to NPR's "All Things Considered".  They had a short segment on songs mothers sing to their children.  It was basically a collection of snippets of people singing songs that they remember their mother singing to them. You can listen to the program here

About 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the segment, there is a snippet of a woman singing a song in Chinese.  For some reason, it really caught my attention. It was something about the woman's voice and how she was singing. I dunno.  So, if you happen to understand Chinese, do you have any idea what the song is?

I find it interesting how just hearing a voice can have a profound emotional affect.  I guess it's similar to how music can have a similar affect. I imagine someone must have done studies on why music can have emotional influence on people, although off-hand I'm not familiar with any.   

The whole voice thing reminds me of a time years ago when I was a teenager and I was watching some TV program on PBS where they were interviewing different people. There was this one woman that I instantly fell in love with as soon as I heard her speak, just because of the sound of her distinct Irish accent. Well, I didn't really fall in love with her - I didn't even know her, never met her, etc.  But for some reason just the sound of her voice brought about a strong emotional reaction and to this day I don't really know why.  It's not like I have that reaction to everyone with an Irish accent.  

Along a similar line, I distinctly recall the first time I heard a Norah Jones song. I was in Home Depot and her song "Don't Know Why" was playing. There was some haunting quality about her voice that made me take notice. At the time I had no idea who the singer was or what the song was, but I immediately scribbled down some of the lyrics so I could track down the music when I got home.

It's weird how the brain and emotions sometimes work.

3 comments:

henry rhombus said...

Funny, I always experience a haunting quality in Home Depot, yet I don't think any song is to blame.

Nick! said...

I think its "effect" not "affect"...>.> <.<... Grammer police away!

Mostly Torn said...

Yeah, I used to think that too when I was a kid. ;-)

Actually, I distinctly remember being taught in school that affect was a verb and effect was a noun, but it's actually not as clear-cut as English teachers would lead one to believe. Both words can function as nouns and verbs.

Check out the dictionary definition of affect here. As a noun, it means "the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes." So, I stand by my usage, except one might argue the term "emotional affect" might be slightly redundent since affect when used as a noun implies emotions are involved.

This concludes today's grammar lesson. Please send the police back to the station.