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Waking with a song

Waking with a song

Every morning when I awake, since October 4, 2015, I hear a song in my head. A different daily wake-up song playing at whatever time I get up, and for just a few moments. And, it all started on my late Dad’s birthday.

If I don’t key the title (not necessarily the vocalist, group or orchestra) into my PDA or write it down right away, it disappears from my consciousness, or unconsciousness. Seems it also happens at any other time of day (if I’ve taken an occasional power nap or a weekend nap) and there is always one tune. Occasionally, a second might kick in right after, but somehow I only remember to write the first one down. And, the same song seldom returns, as if I’m destined to hear it one last time.

Well into my 7th decade, I’m unsure of where this life change experience is coming?

And, while I was not exactly certain what this happening is actually called, through friend Heather KasseI and our jazz composer-drummer son Harris Eisenstadt, I sourced a Dr. Oliver Sacks book called, “Musicophilia – Tales of Music And The Brain.” In it, Sacks writes that, “Music is part of being human.”

I don’t know why my sleep awakening songs started or if they’ll ever stop, but the jukebox in my brain keeps cranking out daily ditties.

“The power of music, whether joyous or cathartic, must steal one unawares, come spontaneously as a blessing or a grace,” Sacks writes. That’s what is happening to me, but only at my awakening, any time of day.

Perhaps the answer is this simple?

I’m a music radio dial twister. While driving, I might be listening to JazzFM91 and SiriusXM stations from Little Steven’s Underground Garage, to the E-Street channel, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Buffet, Classic Vinyl, CBC Classical, some country and western, and the ’50s, ’60, ’70s and ’80s, on a regular basis. These musical variances all happens after I get my news from Toronto’s 680News, and my sports radio fix on Sportsnet 590 and/or 1050. So, is that from where the songs are coming? Are some of the tunes I hear getting logged and buried unbeknownst to me? Am I a frustrated wannabe radio jock? Or do I simply enjoy basic and cross-genre musical melodies and just store them away? All answers score yes!

Some of my family and friends have told me they’d love to have this “musical malady” rather than weird and/or often frightening dreams. Even the happy dreamers say they’d prefer awakening to my “condition.”

Sacks says that “our sensitivity to music can sometimes go wrong … and subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop mental hallucinations that assault them day and night. Yet more frequently music gets it right.” To me, this notion is fascinating.

Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson’s disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Somehow, without looking too far down the road, I might be one of the lucky ones to avoid those illnesses, because I have this “musicophilia” condition, whatever the cause, and it’s not going away any time soon.

Moving forward, I’m happy to let the hits just keep on a-comin’!

David Eisenstadt is founding partner of tcgpr – PR Consultants to News Makers in Toronto ( For a copy of his playlist, contact him at