When I first heard “Near You” by Teenage Fanclub, I was taken with the keyboard melody that graced most of the song.
The thing ist, for the first few months that I heard this song, I was hearing a different melody than what was being played.
Teenage Fanclub had buried the keyboard among guitars, bass and percussion. As a result, I misheard the keyboard part and made up my own version in my head:
After a while, I knew this wasn’t right, but I still hummed away at what I thought was a beautiful keyboard melody. I purposefully didn’t want to hear the correct version for fear that it would ruin the song for me.
That didn’t last long. I listened to the song enough that the real keyboard part began to make itself apparent:
The result was like listening to a new song, and the new melody I heard, while similar to the one I heard in my head, was still as wonderful and did not take away from the song at all. In fact, it was like hearing a new version of the song; and while I can quickly tire of a song if I listen to it too much, “Near You” gained new life and is still in my rotation.
It’s like an audio version of pareidolia; my mind heard what it wanted to hear, forming patterns that weren’t really there. When the real version made itself known to me, I loved the song even more for giving me not one, but two different versions.
The next time you listen to your favorite song, see if you are really hearing it correctly. Sometimes it takes a few listens to hear the nuances; then you appreciate it even more.
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