Let’s hear it for Dr. Franz Mesmer, the infamous Austrian physician considered in some circles as the Father of Hypnosis. He was born this month in 1734. Unfortunately, his unusual techniques and claims of “animal magnetism” ultimately led to professional disgrace.
His mesmerizing name lives on, though, so, how about some hypnotic and/or mesmerizing songs to remember the man? Here are a few of my favorites. And, of course, I’d love to hear about your favorites, too, in the Comment section below.
Who better than the Mayo Clinic to explain the workings of hypnosis in layman’s terms?
And who better to push the serious side of hypnosis way over the edge than director/writer Mike Judge, the “Beavis and Butt-Head” creator who captured a giant slice of the corporate world’s craziness in his 1999 movie “Office Space”?
And then we’ll move on to the music — three hypnotic songs from three mesmerizing women:
• Tracy Chapman’s intense “Fast Car.”
• Sade’s smooth “Smooth Operator.”
• Anita Baker’s soaring “Sweet Love.”
And then let’s check out five wide-ranging songs covering very diverse singers and styles:
• Ballad: The Little Dippers’ “Forever.”
• Blues-tinged: J.J. Cale’s “Magnolia.”
• Folk: The Weavers’ version of “(Bring Me a Little Water) Sylvie.”
• Pop: Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner.”
• Rhythm and blues: The Floaters’ soulful background chant in “Float On.”
And we’ll end with two songs with great guitar riffs:
• Neil Young’s subdued, haunting “Harvest Moon.”
• And Fleetwood Mac’s driving “Gypsy,” with the marvelous Stevie Nicks.