What’s the Half-life of a Song?
Living in Azerbaijan, away from my normal radio and music sources, the life of any given song seems to last a lot longer. I arrived here just over four months ago. Since then I’ve heard a good deal of popular songs blaring from the cellphones of my Azerbaijani countrymen. Most of the popular songs are either of Turkish or American origin. The Elton and Whitney phenomena aside, it’s nearly guaranteed that I will be serenaded to the musical stylings of Pitbull, I Know You Want Me, and Inna, No Fire. They are catchy tunes, no doubt. But each day on TV a cellphone advertisement will take a few minutes to highlight the most popular songs downloaded to cellphones. Pitbull and Inna have been on that list, every day, for the entire time I’ve been here. And we never stop hearing the Eurovision hits, either.
Maybe it’s because I’m in such a different environment that I’m noticing this. I really don’t remember how long ridiculously popular songs stay atop the charts in America. Obviously it depends on the song, but I’m getting slightly worried that I’ll be listening to Pitbull and Eurovision hits for the rest of my time here. That, and Alexander Rybak might convince me that I am, in fact, in love with a fairytale.