Songs We Feel With

July 17 1998 3:30 AM

Songs We Feel With

They can make us wonder if our emotions are really our own.

(Continued from Page 1)

Knowing your emotions are shaped by songs you heard 50 years ago is a little troubling. It makes you wonder whether your emotions are really yours or whether they are really Irving Berlin's set down with music to make a buck. It makes you wonder who is the real you. As my Aunt Gertrude used to say about Oakland, there's no there there; and maybe there's no real you in your emotions either.

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But I don't believe that. When I say, "I've got the sun in the morning and the moon at night," there's a big dose of Ethel Merman but also some of me.

Herbert Stein, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He is a member of the board of contributors at the Wall Street Journal.

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