Yes, Woman. It's Yummy. God.

But I Know One Thing

Scene: Car. Interior. Jason runs into store for essentials (wine, more wine) while Amy, Noah and Ezra wait in the car. It's a nice night, so he cuts the engine. The iPod goes silent.

Noah: No! No! I want the blue song! I need the blue song!

Amy, who less than like, 24 hours earlier wrote about this very quirk, complete with the words "songs are rarely blue" because OF COURSE, quickly turns the car back on. "Bust A Move," as sung by the cast of Glee, starts up again.

Noah: No! That's the orange song. I want the BLUE song.

Amy starts going back through shuffled songs they've listened to already.

Noah: NOT THE RED SONG! I need the blue song, Mommy!

Amy starts playing random songs that he might have heard recently, then a bunch of his favorites. Four or five yellow songs, two pink and another orange song are all emphatically rejected. 


Amy: I don't know the blue song, Noah. I..I don't hear songs the way you do. 

Oh awesome, and now he's crying.

Amy: I don't see colors for songs, baby. That's a really special Noah thing. Can you sing it for me?

Noah snuffles and starts humming a familiar tune...that Amy still cannot quite place. Shit.

Jason returns to a scene of full-on hysterics. Noah continues to plead for his blue song. Amy is about to chuck the stupid iPod out the window.

Jason: What does the blue song sound like, buddy?

Noah hums it again. Amy suspects Vampire Weekend. Amy is wrong. Jason is like, DUDE. Amy looks at him like, I KNOW RIGHT?

Jason: What does the blue song look like?

Noah: Fireworks. Blue ones.

Amy gives up, hits shuffle, hopes for a miracle out of the 1,328 or whatever songs. "Say Hey (I Love You)" starts up, and Noah stops crying. He looks out the window and starts shaking his head to the beat.

Jason: Is this the blue song?

Noah: No. It's green. It's okay though.



and now that I've read ALL of the comments- "born on a blue day" is the book that I was referring to. :)


This whole phenomenon of seeing colors for songs just amazes me. I had never heard of this until you wrote about it the other day. And man, I think it's so cool that he sees songs this way. I wish I saw songs this way. (Totally not cool that you have a hard time figuring out what he wants because of this, but it sounds like you guys are slowly figuring it all out.)


While I could see how this quirk/gift could be frustrating for both for Noah and for those around him, I find it fascinating, like many of your commenters.

Also: I need to get out more or hear more music b/c I've never heard this song and i love it!! thank you!


A totally familiar!


I've always seen colours for music, eventually I looked into it and the explanation was rather new-agey, which wasn't my thing. Anyway, at the risk of sounding like a complete whack, you might like to read up a bit about chakras, energy centres of the body. For me, the songs take on the colour of the area that they stimulate, and at any given time that might be a comfortable or uncomfortable feeling. Maybe it's similar for Noah. After all, the heart chakra is green, and it's a song that says love four frillion times. And for what it's worth, I hadn't heard that song before and I'd give it a bright green if there ever was one. :)


Noah is such an awesome kid. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Noah.


I asked my husband, who is a musician, about associating color with music and he says that Noah is right on. He mentioned Phish shows in particular though (He went to a lot of those when he was younger) to explain it to me. He says that, for their live shows, they coordinate the lights with the music in much the same way that Noah is classifying it. For example, they have a song called "The Chase", that gets progressively scary and lights are red by the end of it. He says they also some light coordination based on sound frequency and that happy songs are usually yellow. Very interesting!


I thought about you and Noah last Friday while driving home from Chris' grandparents' house. NPR Science Friday was a repeat of an interview with the co-author of the book "Wednesday is Indigo Blue" about synesthesia. I did some googling and found this article on Boing Boing

Turns out, a lot of people have synesthesia where they experience sound as color, including Billy Joel, Tori Amos, and Eddie Van Halen.

Ruth of fat loss for idiots

Noah is a smart kid. He'll grow up to be a famous person one day :)

P.S. :I got a bit dizzy reading all comments with pink/white color. I guess the comment box design does have some effects.


One thing I've heard from synesthetes is that it was really upsetting when they learned the whole world wasn't like them--I guess another version of how we all realize we're "weird" in some way. But I think it's so neat that you're embracing Noah's perceptions. That really is a special gift, and he's lucky to have parents who can see that!

Ruth of fat loss for idiots

That kid will be famous one day :P


Everyone is in here saying "What a great kid!" and "This is a totally awesome talent he has!" and I AGREE ENTIRELY, and yet, as a fellow mother of someone who senses the world in entirely different ways than most people (and as someone who, myself, has some strange sensory quirks), I also feel his, and your, despair at how isolated this gift makes him. I remember, as a child, thinking everyone thought I was crazy because I could feel things other people couldn't. And I feel frustration now as a mother who never knows quite when her son will experience a noise or a scent totally differently from everyone else in the room.

So, I just want to say, I think you are handling this beautifully. And give that special kid a hug for me.

Amy :)

I had what I thought was a good idea, and that is pretty rare so I wanted to make sure to share it with you. And let me preface by saying that I haven't read through all the comments here or on the original synesthesia post so if someone has already suggested this, feel free to roll your eyes at me and move on.

ANYWAY. What if you made color-coded playlists on your iPod? Songs you already know the corresponding color to could go in them now, and as Noah tells you what color songs are, you can add them. Or you could play your whole library and make him tell you what color each song is, until he gets bored and/or irritated and won't talk to you any more. Either way, you'll have a smaller list of songs to frantically search through next time he needs to hear a certain song.

Amy :)

Ok, so if I would have read the post *directly above mine* I would have seen that this has, indeed, already been suggested. I'll just hide my face and slink back into lurkdom.


i just love reading about these "really special Noah things." thank you for sharing; i just adore him.

i read these people's examples of the same condition, and they were fastinating!

Seems the article they read before they commented is no longer on msnbc's website, but their comments are cool. :)


It is so cute that Noah has the songs named "Blue" and "Green".

Your story is the perfect example of how difficult communicating with our children can be, expecially when one cannot articulate exactly what he wants and needs.

Guess work in parenting is fun, isn't it? Not!


ok, so i have been thinking about this post since i read it. i know EVERYONE has their ideas about what to do here re: playlists. but i keep thinking about what i would to in this situation and figured i'd just add my two cents.

the star system. i'm not sure if you use your ratings on your ipod, but we do so religiously. there are only 5 stars available, but you could assign red to a rating of one star yellow two etc. this way you don't have to worry about sticky notes etc. then set up a smart playlist for each star and name it the corresponding color.
there, i said it! also, i recently heard a radio lab short called after birth that touched a tiny bit on how newborns do this and it is pretty interesting.

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