Pavlovian Responses to Music

The other day I heard The White Stripes on the Radio with My Doorbell, and the radio station got a lot of complaints that the DJ had put a few random doorbell rings during the play, so people were opening their doors for no reason. I love this clip:

People in traffic are often confused by all the horn noises in Grace Jones’ ‘Pull UP To My Bumper’

Joe Strummer’s mobile phone went off during their recording of ‘Rock The Casbah’ which sends people reaching for theirs.

Then the DJ mentioned how his dog used to leap about when a certain Tom Jones song came on the radio, recognising a certain word. This was ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ in which Tom really emphasises the last, as if deliberately trying to wind up the world’s dogs.

But my favourite is from many years ago when a DJ who had a dog that was always with her, but only ever responded to one piece of music; whenever the backup singers started on Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side started, the dog would howl along with the music. Don’t ask.

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