It could just be cultural connections that make us identify one song as happy and another as sad. But, explains Joe Hanson, there's evidence that our emotional connections to music are more universal than that.
In this video about evolution, music, and smooshy feelings, Hanson describes a study that asked participants to create short lines of music that matched specific emotions. The results were surprisingly similar, whether the participants were Americans, or people from an isolated village in Cambodia.
Last year, at the Twin Cities branch of the BoingBoing Meetup Day event, musician Jeremy Messersmith brought the lyrics to a song he was working on—a song intended to be as terrible a song as he could possibly write. Now, you can enjoy "It's the Heat" as an actual recorded song ... a song that includes lyrics like, "There's a fire in my belly / That I can't put out / My two legs turn to jelly / Thrashing like a trout." — Maggie