Google Sweet Google

This small, yet significant experience changed my thinking about the internet. It showed me that even if one has a very small piece of information about something and would like to expand on it, the internet, and hence Google, has no limits.

About a week back, my family and I took a trip to the shops as a huge sale was happening and we were there for a few hours, during which various songs were playing in the store. I caught on to one specific song, which was clearly from the 60s, it sounded like something you would hear by the “Beatles”. It had such a catchy tune, it stuck with me the whole day. Going home, I couldn’t stop replaying the song again and again in my head, if only I had known some of the words. It was distinct, I’d heard nothing like it before and the problem began there, I didn’t get any of the words from the piece of music, nor did I know the artist. I wanted the song so I could stick it into my IPod and play all day and it was breaking my head apart, what was the song? I needed something to help me find the name of it, a word, someone’s voice I could recognise, something! Hoping I could ask one of my friends by humming them the tune, I tried. I asked everyone, I hummed it in different pitches, but had no luck; no one was able to figure out what I was humming.

Walking home disappointed that I couldn’t figure out what it was, I got onto Google, typed in a few bands from the 60s such as Rolling Stones, Beatles and others, plugged in a few of them onto You Tube to see if they would match my mystery song, but I got nothing. I even tried other search engines, AltaVista, AskJeeves, Wikipedia, everything I could think of, but nothing, I got nothing. It was killing me now, I had to find it. The tune was constantly running through my head; soft words, but such a tune with a perfect guitar and drum background. It was a constant change of chords from one to another, the chorus was being sung every few lines, and a few men were singing in the background along with the main singer but in a different pitch. It was so melodious, just thinking about the song gave me enough determination to find it.

I spent 3 days trying to figure out what to do as nothing I had tried so far was successful. I thought as far as going to an old records store and asking them if they knew what I was looking for, but alas, the light brightened in my brain. My piano! Frantically plugging it in at 11:30 in the night, I started to conjure up the tune to the song. I managed to figure out the main keys in the song and typed them into Google along with the words, “music notes”. It retrieved no results, I felt hopeless once again, allowing myself to raise my hopes only to be let down in a split second. I almost gave up but I thought, perhaps I was playing in the wrong octave. I tried tuning the song on my piano on a different octave, praying for something to come out of it. I tried the C Chord and came up the first basic notes of C G E C A# D. I ran off to Google and typed these in again, and alas, it retrieved a few results. I scanned through them thoroughly, scrutinizing every web page it came up with. I wanted something, and having my hopes so high up now, it would have been indescribably upsetting to have been put down once again. I got something, finally. I raced to You Tube and typed it in and I clicked on a video that only ran for about 20 seconds. Praying like it was a matter of life and death, I listened to it. It sounded off, it sounded nothing like it. I went back and clicked on another link, and it sounded a lot better. I felt a warmth run down my spine, I had finally found it. “Happy Together” by the Turtles, I had finally found the song I had been raiding the internet the past four days for. I was overwhelmed that I didn’t find it through listening to it again, or by retrieving information about the band or song from another source, but purely through musical notes conjured up on a basic piano. Within the next five minutes, I managed to retrieve the lyrics and the mp3 file from Google. Nothing had made my day more. I had always admired Google for the extensive range of information it always gave me, but this was the pure reason to convince me that the internet wouldn’t be what it is without Google.

RANJANI RAGHAVAN (NITYA)
August 2007



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