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I Need to Shazam You

Equal to the feelings I get when something is missing, I cannot stand hearing a song somewhere and not being able to place how I know it.  My current obsession is with a commercial for the Silver Linings Playbook — not the one that has “Ho Hey” from the movie in it, but the one where they play a popular sports tune in the background (the one you hear punctuated by shouts).  What the hell is the name of that song?  I’ve been watching late night television with Shazam ready to go, but of course, it hasn’t been on again for days nor has anyone uploaded a version of this commercial to the Web.

Um… do you know what song I’m talking about?

Shazam was made for a person like me, a person who used to walk around humming bits of a song for various people, begging them to figure out how I know said song.  I did that once at a rest stop.  It was a few bars from a Shins song, and I was so desperate to know how I knew the song I had heard playing in the bathroom (why were they piping the Shins into the bathroom?) that I first asked other people at the sinks and then asked random people standing by a vending machine in the lobby and finally figured it out by myself once I got to the car, much to my relief.  Shazam removes all the awkward interactions of yesteryear and replaces it with a simple head nod in the frozen foods section of the food store when you hear a muzak version of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus.”

What I really need is a person-based version of Shazam, one in which I could discreetly point my phone’s camera at a person and have it tell me how I know the person.  It could just connect to their Facebook page, and based on knowing their name or where they grew up or where they went to camp, I would be able to figure out how they fit into my life.

I know what you’re thinking: why don’t you just ask the person why they look so familiar?

Because the person currently in question is this random woman I saw at Rosh HaShanah services, and she looked at me with absolutely no recognition and then got swept up in the crowd several feet ahead of me chasing her child.  It would have been odd (even odder than humming a few bars of a Shins song to strangers standing by a vending machine) to scream out to her, “how do I know you?  I have a strong memory of field hockey tied to you but that’s iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.”

I have no clue how I know that woman, but I am positive that I know that woman.

I didn’t even do a Poor Man’s Shazam — discreetly snapping a picture of the woman, and then showing it to someone who might know her name.  Which would be anyone Jewish based on the laws of Jewish geography.

So if anyone could design said app, a Shazam-like product that would allow people to immediately remember how they know one another or where their lives overlapped in the past, it would be great appreciated.  Extra points if you could peruse the database sideways; meaning, once you find the person and have identified them, you usually suddenly remember all these other people from that time in your life that you’ve forgotten about.  It would be fantastic if you could then look them up and see how they’re doing.  Sort of like Facebook… actually…

What half-forgotten group of people (or person) would you love to see in a database like that?


1 KnottedFingers { 11.25.12 at 7:43 am }

My big thing is when I went to vote. This man came up to me and started asking about how my kids and parents were. About my brothers and what I’ve been doing since school….. I have NO CLUE who he was!

2 Shannon { 11.25.12 at 8:09 am }

Oh, just about anyone. I have the worst memory for faces ever. Which is bad news when you’re a doctor in a (relatively) small town like I am. I have people saying hi to me all the time and I have no idea that I even know them – are they a patient, someone that works at the hospital, someone I went out on a date with once? I have no idea 90% of the time.

It’s a little embarrassing. If someone comes up with a Shazam for people, please send it my way.

3 lifeintheshwa { 11.25.12 at 11:13 am }

As a criminal lawyer I get the same feeling though I have to try to identify if I know them from real life (not a criminal) or work life (criminal or related to a criminal). Fun times!

4 NotTheMama { 11.25.12 at 11:21 am }

We always called it The Hey Song… Not sure if that is really the name!
I had a college course with a mom and daughter, and we spent the entire semester trying to figure out how we knew each other, to no avail. I usually do okay with faces and names, but my husband struggles a lot… I do, however, wish my children came with an app that told us when we are being stalked by someone from their past.

5 Lollipop Goldstein { 11.25.12 at 11:30 am }
6 Kimberly { 11.25.12 at 4:44 pm }

I tend to have the opposite problem. I’ll remember how I know a person, remember things I did with them, could describe them to you if they weren’t in front of us but I can never remember names. At this point I just apologize for my lack of remembering names but usually quickly establish that I do in fact remember them.

But I always wonder what happened to the girls I went to choir camp with for 3 years back in elementary school/beginning of junior high. I’d look for them on social media…if I could just remember their names…

7 NotTheMama { 11.25.12 at 5:12 pm }

Haha former Band Nerdery at its finest! 😉

8 a { 11.25.12 at 7:12 pm }

I can’t remember the name of that song, but I did know that it’s by Gary Glitter (I believe it was first made popular (again, ’cause I think it’s from the 70’s) when the Bulls were NBA champions over and over again in the 90’s). Just looked it up on YouTube – It’s actually called Rock & Roll Part 2. Don’t ask me. Anyway, I have vaguely heard of Shazam, but have never used it, since Yahoo meets my random song lyric connection needs. What does Shazam do differently?

Having moved from Chicago (where it was a miracle to run into anyone I knew, anywhere), to small towns, I keep seeing people all over and I know that I have seen them before, but I can never figure out where. So, if your app could help me to identify people that I randomly encounter over and over, when I think I know them as maybe the receptionist somewhere where I had to drop something off once, that would be helpful.

I used to be really excellent at remembering people. Now, I don’t remember anyone, and I know exactly why. When I was younger, I would remember people, but no one remembered me. At some point or another, I gave up noticing and remembering people, because I figured there was no real point. Now, I can’t remember anyone – a girl from another of our labs was bringing stuff to our lab last Tuesday, and she greeted me by name. I gave her a blank look, I guess, because she gave me a big clue as to who she was and how I knew her. I finally had to look at our sign-in sheet to figure out who exactly she was.

9 erika { 11.25.12 at 8:31 pm }

I have the opposite problem. My visual memory is actually very good, I recognize people from old times but those people often don’t recognize me and that had led to some funky situations in the past.

10 Mali { 11.25.12 at 11:40 pm }

Ditto to Erika. I usually remember people and get a little put out that they don’t remember me!

But – I’m hopeless at remembering music. Or rather, remembering the name, who sang/wrote it, etc. I’m completely useless. If I’m ever asked for a request, I stammer mindlessly, unable to think of any song title. I’d never heard of Shazam – but I’m off to download it now.

11 Jendeis { 11.26.12 at 10:42 am }

Best idea ever; I expect the Wolvog finished designing the app by the time you finished writing this post. Could he please include a feature that tells me if I actually met the person before, or if they just look like someone I met before?

12 loribeth { 11.27.12 at 8:51 am }

I am pretty good at identifying songs (at least ones from the 60s-70s-80s, that I grew up with — current stuff not so much). We listen to classic/boomer stations on the radio in the car, & dh is amazed at how I can name that tune within the first few notes. (I’m amazed when they play a song that I probably haven’t heard in 30 years, and not only can I identify it, I remember the words & can sing along, lol.) I am not quite so good with faces & names. I often have to meet someone two or three times before the name sticks.

13 JillyBeans { 12.05.12 at 11:43 am }

Its “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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