Did you know that supermarkets have calculated the exact tempo of song that will cause you to purchase the highest amount of groceries? It’s true. If the song is too slow, you will be sad and depressed and not buy any food, and if the song is too fast you will move quickly through the aisles without stopping to see all of the sales. But there is an exact science to the music that you hear while shopping that maximizes spending, and this is because music affects the human brain in a vast number of terrifyingly uncontrollable ways. And so you see officer, it wasn’t my fault that I was going 90 through a construction zone. I’m pretty sure it was Flo Rida’s fault.
It’s true that I tend to drive faster when there is fast music on, and that I mysteriously seem to slow down whenever George Winston or Enya come on the radio, which doesn’t happen all that often, which is why I am never driving super slow. Yes, this is all true, but even hearing a really fast song doesn’t necessarily make me drive like a crazy person. No, it takes a special kind of fast song to do that. In fact, I have narrowed down the list to a specific few, and upon further examination I have discovered a connection between all of these songs that surprised even me! My brain was being affected in ways even I didn’t realize, until I put them all together to find the common thread. Here are the songs that make me drive like a stunt racer.
1. The Mortal Kombat Techno Theme
2. Stop the Rock, by Apollo 440
3. The Mission Impossible Theme Song
4. Cobrastyle, by Teddybears ft. Mad Cobra
5. Short Skirt/Long Jacket, by Cake
At first glance these song don’t have much in common, other than just being fast and upbeat, but in fact there is more to them than that. The Mortal Kombat theme conjures up images of epic battles and life or death missions. Stop the Rock is from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, a film in which the whole plot is basically people driving cars as fast as possible while being chased. The Mission Impossible theme again bring to mind spies and secret missions, and the final two songs on the list were both used by the TV series Chuck in the opening credits and also during huge explodey spy scenes. All of these songs make me think of cars racing at top speed along city streets or high mountain passes. Holy crap, I actually think I am a spy! These songs are tricking my brain into thinking that I am on some sort of top secret, high speed, world saving mission!
These days I don’t listen to these songs nearly as much as I used to. I am more apt to be listening to Big Block Singsong or Recess Monkey while driving. But I did get pulled over once, back when I was in college, racing down the highway to the tunes of the above playlist. I was swerving, dashing, zipping, and if I had seen a jump I would definitely have taken it. The world was my car chase, and was going to make it through that live action video game obstacle course or die trying. But I did not die. I got pulled over instead, which was probably very lucky for me.
I am not a spy. You are probably not a spy either. (Wait… are you?) So I share this with you as a warning. Be careful what songs come on while you are driving. Do not play the GTA background music as you head to the bank. You should probably also steer clear of James Bond and the Dukes of Hazzard. You may not click your seat belt on intending to drive like a maniac on your way to the office, but your brain may have other ideas. And it’s never good to encourage your brain too much. That thing thinks it knows everything.