NPR logo My iPod Unravels the Kennedy Assassination

My iPod Unravels the Kennedy Assassination

Random is scary! If you've ever shuffled songs on your iPod, you've probably noticed some amazing coincidences and connections between songs.

I was playing some new music by She & Him, the new project by M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. They originally got together to record the Richard and Linda Thompson song "When I Get to the Border" for a film. (Anyone know what film?) It's a song originally from the greatest folk rock album ever made, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.

When the song from She & Him ended, my iPod shuffled to "Calvary Cross," which is the best song on I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.

Did my iPod intentionally make the connection between She and Him and the Richard and Linda Thompson song? Or was it just a coincidence?

I told this story to Chris Walla the other day. He was recording a new song for our feature called "Project Song." He believes iPods know to make the connections between songs, that it isn't something entirely random.

I wonder. Dylan had a great line: "take what you gather from coincidence" and I do.
I have, in my life, gone back and forth about the Kennedy assassination for example, and all the oddities that surround it.

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I used to find myself saying "that can't just be coincidence." But since I started shuffling my songs I know it can.