Not entirely sure how I got to this, maybe I’ve been playing too many word puzzles or I’m as bored as hell, but I stumbled on this fun word association game using iTunes. The “rules” (using the image above as my template):

  • Select any song in your library (“Birds of Paradise” by Peaking Lights)
  • Choose one word from the song’s title (Paradise) and enter it into the search window at the top, right-hand corner of iTunes.
  • Turn on the shuffle function (button located in the bottom, left-hand corner)
  • iTunes will automatically select another song from those available. (In my case we had “A Lost Political Soul Finds Himself Among the Voiceless Women of Paradise” by Harry Parch)
  • Repeat.

An additional limitation I placed on the proceedings: I did not use words containing the word (e.g. Body and Everybody or What and Whatever) from the search. You may also notice I used “little” twice above since Frank Zappa’s “Little Umbrellas” is the only occurrence of umbrella (singular or plural) in my iTunes library.

Aside from the irony of injecting agency into the shuffle function, there are some little revelations I’ve stumbled across. I only have a few Elvis Costello records, but he has a lot of songs with the word “little” in their titles. Certain words also reveal seem to have generic tendencies, like contractions have been more frequent in jazz and hip-hop or more appropriately, united jazz and hip hop tunes in my library.