Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Postman dreaming

I had a scary dream last night. Not really a nightmare, more of a horror-oriented action/adventure dream. Chthonic creatures, macabre settings, the works. But I noticed that in the dream, whenever something scary was about to happen, I'd hear "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes playing on a tinny radio in the background. The phenomenon of an oldies song presaging something horrific appears in movies often enough that it's a cliché, and a number of films make use of songs inherently creepier than "Mr. Postman". I'm specifically thinking of Final Destination 3, in which The Lettermen's "Turn Around, Look At Me" ("there is someone, walking behind you...") plays when creepy things are about to happen.

What I'm unsure about is this: which came first? Did this happen in my dream because I've seen too many movies, or does this happen in movies because our brains are hardwired to associate music with emotions? That is, did they start using music to presage danger in movies because we already do this in our dreams?

Any thoughts?

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