Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Phil Collins' Affect on Grocery Shopping ... An Extremely Informal Study

Not long ago, I was at the grocery store when Phil Collins' "You Can't Hurry Love" came blaring across the store speakers. I couldn't help but sing - out loud but discreetly - with the music, after quickly glancing to see if anyone else was in the aisle with me.

I stopped singing as I turned to go into the next aisle, only to discover the person in that aisle singing out loud, right along with Phil. I grinned as I passed that individual; and, then, chuckled out loud as I turned into the produce section to find an employee bopping up and down to the beat of the music. Before the song ended, I passed one more person swaying their head and shoulders to the catchy tune.

To my knowledge, none of them saw me or had the slightest inkling that I was secretly marveling at the fact that one song had just put four people in a very similar, happy, upbeat place. It may have only lasted three minutes, but we all had something in common during those brief moments.

Music is powerful ... it can bring people together; but it can also evoke a whole spectrum of emotions based on your time and place in life. A tune that one considers happy; another may consider sad. Lyrics that stir up longing in one person; may bring contentment to another. A beat that makes one person feel the need to dance; may make another person feel the need to sit.

I often think of Steven Curtis Chapman, who was inspired to write the beautiful song, "Cinderella", as he marveled at how quickly his oldest daughter had grown up. In the blink of an eye, it seemed, she was graduating from college and getting engaged. And, how the meaning of those lyrics changed so drastically and instantly for him with the tragic death of his youngest daughter. One song, one person ... with the words "she'll be gone" taking on a devastatingly different meaning.

Music, at its best, tells a story and pulls us in. We may be inspired by the beat, mesmerized by the tune, or drawn to the words.

As for Phil, he speaks the truth ... you simply can't hurry love; and, as it turns out, the tune through which he expresses that message really helps to kick the grocery-shopping experience up a notch!

16 comments:

Hilary said...

Oh this will always be a Supremes song to me but I sure can see how it got everyone bopping. I love it when a great song comes on the PA while shopping.. I'd be one of those you passed in the aisle, but I probably would have noticed you too. ;)

Kelly said...

As you know, I love music. Certain tunes definitely take me back to certain times.
I usually have my iPod at the grocery store so I'm usually humming to my own tunes, but I love that people were singing to the same song at your store. Very fun!

Beth Kephart said...

this is VERY funny.

Jeff B said...

At least you're young enough that your music is being played at the grocery store and not in the elevators yet.:)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes, music can be an incredible bond!
My friend and I are big 80's music lovers. One time I was in the supermarket and "Two of Hearts" starts playing. I'm thinking it's kind of catchy when suddenly I look up and see my friend at the other end of the aisle. We instantly get that look and start cracking up and dancing. I bet the security camera guys had a laugh. LOL

Sarah Laurence said...

It must have been fun to see people dancing in the aisles. I do appreciate the power of music, but I prefer to choose when to hear it.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I always sing at the grocery store and when it's an upbeat song, I'm not the only one. Then again, I live in LA. Here, somebody could make "Grocery Shopping - The Musical" and it wouldn't seem weird at all!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Awesome post--you've got me singing along and I wasn't even there.
I love that music and stories have the power to change our states of mind and moods. I bet Phil would have liked to see that too!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I ALWAYS sing at the grocery store. Used to drive my kids crazy. Now I shop alone-and drive everyone else crazy.

But seriously? A song can make me smile, cry, dance, or sing out loud. And you captured that perfectly in your post.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Singing in supermarket. I like that!
jj

prashant said...

I love that people were singing to the same song at your store. Very fun!
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CC said...

I haven't heard many of SCC newer songs, including Cinderella (is it even newer??). But I probably should! I own most of his early CDs.

Sheri said...

here's another kicker about grocery music. When I was a kid those songs were old and boring and I hated them. but I recall my mom humming along with a lyric or two as she shopped. Now I know all the words to the songs and I think, "They play much better music now then when I was a kid..."

Or I've just gotten older. Much older...

Anita said...

I'm not hurrying much of anything successfully. Slow down, slow down, I tell myself. And usually it works. And sometimes results in an unintended nap. Which then makes me have to hurry something when I wake up. :)

Nora MacFarlane said...

Oh yes... I sing at the grocery too!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i can write and listen but cant shop and listen - id spend too much money! :)