Like many people, I spend a good deal of time in the grocery store. I have often been lulled into a nostalgic reverie by one or more of the songs on the P.A. system that our local County Market plays both in the store, and at each of its two entrances. These songs take me back to "carefree" days of my youth in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Those days were certainly not carefree days as far as the world at large was concerned, but time heals all wounds when it comes to music. It helps us remember the good stuff of youth, when grass was green and grain was yellow.
At the age of 49, and as the proud mother of and cook for two adult-sized children and wife of an adult-sized husband, I am probably a member of the most important demographic for the social scientists who program the music for the Grocery Store. They know that I (and the other shoppers who share my profile) want to feel comfortable in the store. They know that I want to be enveloped in a feeling of well-being, so that I can get myself in the mood to cook delicious food for my family. They also might imagine that if a song had enough meaning for me, I might linger a while in a particular aisle and put an extra something in my market basket. I imagine that this music marketing thing could get very sophisticated: the masterminds of this system could easily figure out, through the use of those little bar-code cards that they scan when you check out, which songs "make" people buy what products.