Getting To Know You

This post is strange. In that it’s about a total stranger.

It’s a woman. At least, I think it is.

I have no idea who she (or possibly he) is, but I know everything about her. NO, I’m not a stalker.

I had the good fortune to find her iPod.

Three years ago, my brother had a summer job working as security for various festivals (I forget which one) and after such an event, he found an 80GB iPod under a chair in the VIP area.

He followed the right protocols; turned it in to the police, and waited three months (the usual rule is 28 days).

He waited, and when it wasn’t claimed, he gave it to me as a present. I was thankful and a bit down for the poor person that lost it.

So began a three year lesson in someone else’s life, based purely on the 5504 songs they have on their iPod.

And over five thousand songs is a lot of music.

I listen to the songs they listened to when they were down, when they were ecstatic, tired, chilling out, raving, hungry, downcast. It’s a very strange phenomenon to have this little slice of someone else’s life. Some songs I’ve never heard before, some I admire this person’s taste in, some I completely judge them for. But the truth is, before I delete a single song from this iPod, I am determined to listen to every one. A kind of musical education, if you will. I’ve even transferred a few records on to my own iPod, which is considerably smaller. In reality, I own two; but to me, this black 6th generation classic is part of someone else’s life. It doesn’t contain any recent popular music (top 40 stuff).

There’s some classic music, like Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff, a LOT of 80s stuff (which isn’t exactly to my taste) some awesome party mixes of the early 2000s and a fair amount of crap too.

There’s everything from the Verve, to the Prodigy, to a disturbing amount of Kate Bush, and back again to Led Zeppelin and Eurythmics.

I am happy that she has one of my favourite songs of all time ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark, however. (I can see half of you judging me, and the other half googling it to see what’s what).

Anyway, it’s a lovely thing to have someone else (unwittingly and probably begrudgingly) give me their little slice of life via the medium of music. Whoever you are, you have some amazing playlists. I appreciate them all.

The only sneaking suspicion about this person I have is that she must be a woman; as the entire Bridget Jones Soundtrack is on here, including Chaka Khan. I suspect she must be older than me, as every single Robbie Williams song (before 2011) is on there too. I checked. That’s a lot of Angels.

Despite her penchant for much of Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, of which there are many, I conclude that this woman must be either a complete maniac, or as totally down to earth as you can get. Maybe I’ve passed her in the street. Maybe she’s someone famous? Is she alive? Is she happy? Is she on the other side of the world or down the road? Is she listening to the very same playlist on her replacement iPod?

I guess I’ll never know. It could be anyone’s. But thank you, mystery person; for three years of awesome music so far. For your Kings of Leon, your Paolo Nutini and Stereophonics that I listen to when I’m down. I’m dubious as to why you need so much Madonna still, but I’m getting there.

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