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Cadbury's Egg

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

—Henry David Thoreau

Craniomusicology is a fascinating new academic field that involves the analysis and exploration of “lifesong,” the metaphysical residue the human soul leaves behind inside the skull after death. Yes, we are indeed talking about actual songs here, songs that each of us constructs and conducts without realizing that it’s happening constantly, up until the moment we die. The burgeoning field of craniomusicology seeks to explore the mysteries of lifesong — where does it come from, what does it mean? — and those of us who are interested in this field have Mr. Cadbury to thank for all the treasures this field has unearthed, tarnished be his name.

What we have learned in the years since Mr. Cadbury’s discovery is that every human being generates their own lifesong unique to the contents of their soul. (Admittedly, early evidence suggests that when it comes to composing metaphysical lifesong, some of us shouldn’t quit our day jobs). Further empirical data shows that the musical content of one’s lifesong tends not to be constrained by the boundaries of musical form that the person was exposed to during their lifetime. As such, spectacular new genres are being identified and cataloged every day.

One thing the researchers will tell you (off the record, after a drink or two) is that the beauty of one’s lifesong does not always correlate with the earth-bound talents and qualities the person displayed during their lifetime. In fact, from what we can tell, there is only a weak correlation between the splendor of an individual’s lifesong and the talents, proclivities, and general tendencies they expressed during their life. For example, a gifted, intelligent man might leave behind a real fuckin’ goofy lifesong, while Joey Baloney down the street might have had the Sunlight Sonata whirring inside him, waiting patiently for … well, who knows what it might be waiting for? In other words, the soul is coy, and the individual at base bottom is not who we perceive them to be. This is what craniomusicology tells us — off the record, after a drink or two.

This all started nearly ten years with a shocking discovery made in a biomedical lab of ill repute in the Pennsylvanian backwoods. Not that Mr. Cadbury was the type of shady character who belonged in a lab without ethical oversight like this; no, he was a gentle soul, even a meek one, the kind who would always shut the corpse’s eyelids before making the first incision. And we loved him for that.

Happy birthday, Mr. Cadbury. We couldn’t have done it without you. We miss you.

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