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01 September 2014

Do you associate songs with seasons? [More:]I've been gradually working my way through my iTunes collection, listening to everything in it and assiging songs to playlists so I can choose things to match my mood. Early on I created playlists for the four seasons, because I'd noticed that I tended to associate certain sounds, songs, or bands with summer, winter, autumn or spring.

What amazes me as I go through this is how consistent the association is. Often, I'll hear a song playing (right now, Richard Shindell's 'Cold Missouri Waters'), and drag it over to the playlist I feel like it belongs in (in this case, Autumn), only to find that some time ago I had already assigned that same song. I suppose these are very deeply embedded sensibilities.

It's hard to identify any Pandora-like categories that really unite the seasons. If anything, spring might be slightly brighter and higher pitched and major key, with lots of bold ascensions (Yes' Starship Trooper and the Who's Love Ain't for Keeping are spring songs). Autumn songs are darker, more acoustic, and tend to fall into some of the traditional modal forms. Winter's are ...well, cold. And summer's tend to be things from the 70s, bombastic cock rock, and languid, groovy, jammy things.

Thoughts? If you do think in seasonal categories with songs, what are some examples of each season for you?
1. Dark 90s New York rap is winter music. No question. Nas, Mobb Deep, Wu Tang is for when it gets dark early and you need jackets and Timbs.

2. Besides that I associate Tori Amos songs with winter, maybe because of mostly discovering her music during a New England winter... not to mention, her song "Winter"

3. If you think about classic music this sort of seasonal association is thought of often, with pieces literally named after seasons...
posted by Firas 01 September | 23:14
Rubber Soul is meant to be played in November in front of a crackling fireplace.
posted by brujita 02 September | 05:39
(Or May for the Antipodeans)
posted by brujita 02 September | 05:39
This is a yes and no for me. For some reason most Simon and Garfunkle feels like fall/winter to me, as does much classical music in a minor key, while almost anyone perky like the Go Gos feel like summer. But lots of music has no seasonal association for me.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 11:48
Belle and Sebastian is definitely late autumn for me.
posted by gaspode 02 September | 18:50
3. If you think about classic music this sort of seasonal association is thought of often, with pieces literally named after seasons...

Same is true in pop music, really. Plenty of songs allude to specific seasons. "Hazy Shade of Winter," "California Dreamin'," and so on. Lots of songs directly reference summer.
posted by Miko 02 September | 20:35
I associated Delta blues with summer. That type of music is best listened to on a steamy summer day, sitting outside with a cold drink.
posted by Senyar 03 September | 06:28
Yeah, you're right about pop music.

I think a different way to get at this is thinking of emotions. Sad music vs. happy music. Contemplative vs. energetic. For example, in many places in the world autumn is not really a significantly unique season, or winter is not necessarily dark or extremely cold, so maybe minor key wouldn't have a "winter" association. But it might still have a downbeat emotional aspect across cultures.
posted by Firas 03 September | 16:51
I associate Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" with seasons. As well as "Time of the Season."
posted by Eideteker 05 September | 01:04
OMG I can't believe it - || Danf how ya doing?