Many of us take for granted what our favorite songs sound like; in the car or on our smartphones, we can listen to anything from Terry Reid to Nirvana. But imagine, for a moment, what it might be like to hear those songs for the first time ever. That’s what Joanne Milne faced recently after receiving cochlear implants; the 40-year old was able to not only hear a voice for the first time, but the beautiful strains of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
Milne was born deaf and actually had the surgery in February, but was forced to wait an entire month to have the implants turned on. The moment she was able to hear for the first time was captured on video, and prepare yourself: you’ll need some tissues.
“The switch-on was the most emotional and overwhelming experience of my life and I’m still in shock now,” she said. “I have to learn to recognize what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain. Hearing things for the first time is so emotional from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can’t stop crying and I can already foresee how it’s going to be life changing. I’m so happy. Over the last 48 hours hearing someone laughing behind me, the birds twittering and just being with friends,,, they didn’t have to tap my arm to get my attention which a massive leap.”
Milne was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome in her 20’s, which means she is now legally blind. She’s not letting that stop her from living her life, however, and now helps mentor others who have been diagnosed with the disease.
When she found out she was going to have the operation, she asked a friend to make a playlist of songs for her to listen to for the first time. He chose one song from each year of her life, listed below.
What songs would be on your playlist if you could hear them for the first time?
Ken Boothe – Everything I Own
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – She’s the One – Live at Hammersmith Odeon
Paul McCartney – Silly Love Songs
Joni Mitchell – Black Crow
Steely Dan – Peg
Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
Gary Numan – Are ‘friends’ Electric?
The Specials – Do Nothing
Soft Cell – Tainted Love
The Jam – Town Called Malice
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Prince – When Doves Cry
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
Fleetwood Mac – Big Love – Live (Lindsey Buckingham solo acoustic version)
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
The The August & September
Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
Ozric Tentacles – Sploosh!
INXS – Baby Don’t Cry
Nirvana – All Apologies
Richard Thompson – King Of Bohemia
Pulp – Common People – Full Length Version / Album Version
Everything But The Girl – Missing
Foo Fighters – Everlong
Massive Attack – Teardrop
Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven
The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist
Daft Punk – Digital Love
The Streets – Turn The Page
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
Beastie Boys – An Open Letter To NYC
Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds
Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Elbow – One Day Like This
Maximo Park – Tanned
Gruff Rhys – Shark Ridden Waters
The Joy Formidable – Whirring
Bat For Lashes – Laura
Haim – Don’t Save Me
Image via YouTube