(Submitted by Skepticality listener Cherry Teresa)

Last week, I was at physical therapy and they were playing an instrumental song during my session. I remember thinking that the accordion reminded me of a song from a commercial from several years ago. I really liked that song and hadn’t heard it since then, but I couldn’t remember the lyrics or which ad it was in, and humming into those song ID apps doesn’t seem to work for me, so I figured I may never be able to purchase that great song for myself.

After my PT session, I got in my car and had my XM Sirius radio playing. Only a few minutes into my drive, what do you know? The song came on! It was “This Is The Day” by The The. I listen to that station all the time and hadn’t heard it before, but they just so happened to play it the day I thought about it.

What are the odds? It’s definitely the same song I was thinking of and not just me believing it was due to the timing. I remembered the melody of the song, the singer’s voice, and the instrumentation. And the accordion. 🙂

To add to that, the song’s lyrics are “This is the day your life will surely change” so that made me even more excited about finding out the song title and artist.

Oh, and I found the ad it was in. M&Ms 2007.


Below are the extended notes provided by cognitive psychologist and statistician Barbara Drescher for use in Skepticality Episode 268.  Take a look and leave your comments below. Also, please be sure to listen to the podcast for our own hilarious commentary. Also, visit Barbara’s blog ICBS Everywhere, and Insight at Skeptics Society, and watch her on Virtual Skeptics.

There is no way to know the odds of this happening without knowing how often the song is was played at the time. It is possible that the song was played often on that channel and just went unnoticed by the author, however, given that it’s not a Billboard hit, at least not in the U.S., I’d say the odds are pretty low.

If we knew how often the song was played, we could estimate the odds that the song would play at a specific point in time, giving us a better idea of the odds that she would hear it immediately following her physical therapy session.