I would like to develop a new skill. Unlike writing or cooking, this new skill I have in mind doesn’t have any practical purpose at all. I’m not even sure if I can call it a skill, really, but at the very least it makes for an interesting topic for those awkward social situations where you need to keep the conversation going but can’t quite think of anything to say.
Yesterday morning, Elliott Smith’s cover of “Because” came up on the random playlist at the exact same moment I happened to be thinking of a particular friend. I literally dropped whatever I was doing and stood completely dumbstruck by the freakish coincidence and by the discovery that the lyrics of the song was an almost exact reflection on his views on life, love, and beauty. “Because” is his favorite Beatles song. (Not long after the song ended, I received a text message from that friend. Life is full of strange coincidences.)
I immediately started forming a haphazard theory that maybe there’s a lot you can tell about a person by his or her favorite Beatles song. A song, in the most basic sense, is a poem set into music. Let’s assume that poetry (lyrics) is a reflection of universal human experiences, thoughts, attitudes, etc. Let’s also assume that a person loves a particular song because he or she feels a strong, personal connection to its message – the song could either reflect certain beliefs, philosophies, behaviors, or ways in which he/she perceives the self. Why The Beatles? Because you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who has absolutely no clue who the Beatles are and because I’m so out of the loop with pop culture that I’d be like, “Who? What?” if another song or artist was mentioned.
Testing out my theory was something that happened by accident. All it took was a single Tweet on Twitter*, and soon my friends were asking me what I have to say about their favorite Beatles song in 140 characters. It was a Friday morning and I guess nobody was in the mood to do anything productive.
Fritz started off the whole conversation when he said:
Fritz: Mine’s “I Got a Feeling”, tell me what you think. :D
Me: You work hard and party even harder. Also, you keep missing the jeepney and are usually almost late for work.
Fritz: WTF? You can tell that from a Beatles song?! Your reading powerz can kick Nostradamus’ butt anytime!
What a sarcastic, this Fritz. =P
Then there was Ade, who is probably the biggest Beatles fan among my friends.
Ade: My faves, as you know, are “In My Life”, “Come Together”, “I Am The Walrus”, and “A Day In The Life”. What does that say?
Me: That’s a lot of songs! Which one’s the ultimate favorite? My Beatles Song Personality Reading Abilities can only handle one.
Ade: “A Day in the Life”
Me: You can’t decide if you love and hate your routine and it drives you nuts. You’re also too afraid to go for what you really want.
Over Y!M, Ade confirmed that my Beatles song reading is in fact correct. w00t!
Klassy saw what was going on through Facebook and decided to join in.
Klassy: My favorite Beatles song is “Helter Skelter”.
Me: You try your best to depend on no one but yourself when you hit very low points in your life, but deep down you want someone who will help pull you back up.
Klassy: HUHLOLZ. Spot-on. You read me well :p
Coco: Butting in on this Beatles action before I go to sleep with “HelloGoodbye.” Also, “We Can Work It Out” and “Eleanor Rigby.” K.
Me: Based on Hello Goodbye, you like being around people who have more differences than similarities with you. Amirite?
Coco hasn’t gone online since yesterday so I guess I won’t know if I was indeed right.
Marco: My favorite Beatles Song is “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”
Ade: Um, you like circuses?
Me: You treat life or social situations as one big performance. You’re very guarded and put on different masks around people.
Pau: Sige nga. Mine’s “Come Together”.
Me: You’re not as safe and conventional as you seem, and you only reveal the twisted side of your personality to like-minded folks.
I know that reading sounds like a lot of bull, but what I really meant to say was that just like Come Together (which sounds like a safe pop song unless you pay attention to the whacked-out lyrics), Pau seems completely normal and harmless – at first. Then you get to know him and realize that he’s perfectly capable of running through a crowded street wearing nothing but boxers while screaming something really random like, “PROTECT YOUR VAGINAS!” Except I couldn’t say that in less than 140 characters.
Throughout the duration of Twitter Beatles reading, I realized two things. First, the less I know about the person, the more my reading sounds like a fortune cookie fortune. They’re not as specific as I’d like them to be, and I’ve got no clue if I hit the mark or missed completely (seriously – did I come anywhere near at all?). Second, the readings I gave to friends I know well (Fritz, Ade, Klassy) came not so much from their Beatles song as from the things I already know about them. Which got me thinking that maybe it works the other way around. Maybe I can only make a more or less accurate connection between personality and favorite Beatles song when I’ve achieved a certain degree of knowledge about that person.
Before going to bed last night, I asked Ale the favorite Beatles song question. To my surprise, he told me that he doesn’t really listen to the Beatles and that the closest thing he has to a favorite song is John Lennon’s “Imagine” – or rather, A Perfect Circle’s cover of “Imagine”. I said that if he could be a Beatles song, he’d definitely be “I Am A Walrus” – crazy, unpredictable, and scatterbrained. Sometimes I have trouble keeping up with him because he likes to jump from one thought to another totally unrelated one.
Was I correct? Well yes, but not in the way I expected.
“You do know what walruses are known for, don’t you?” Ale asked once he was done laughing hysterically.
“Um, no. What?”
“Walruses are the mammals with the biggest penises.”
See how that random bit of information came from out of nowhere?
As for me, my favorite Beatles song is “In My Life”. Explanation in less than 140 characters: I may not be good at showing it, but I love everyone who’s been a part of my life, even the assholes. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.
* Twitter, for those of you who aren’t glued to the Internet like I am, is a live micro-blogging tool where you answer a simple question (”What are you doing?”) in 140 characters or less. It’s great for finding out what your friends are doing or feeling and using that as an excuse to procrastinate.Google+