Most kids probably learn the legend of the Pied Piper at some point, but the little German town of Hamelin has never grown out of it. According to the story, the music-playing stranger rid the town of rats in the early 13th century by entrancing them with song and leading them away. But when the townsfolk refused to pay for his service, he led the town's children away as well. It's a scary story -- so much so that even today Hamelin bans all music on the street of Bungelosenstrasse, known locally as "Drumless Street." Besides that, there are homages galore, including sculptures of rats. The longstanding fear might not be all that misguided. Although no one knows what really happened, a chronicle of Hamelin's history includes an entry from 1384 that reads: "It is 100 years since our children left." And before it was destroyed by a fire, there was a stained-glass window commissioned shortly after the alleged events that depicted a colorfully-clad magical figure.
The power of music:
- Studies have shown that singing as a group boosts people both mentally and physically and reduces stress.
- It has been reported that Britain's Royal Navy plays Britney Spears songs to Somali pirates planning attacks off the coast of Africa.
- People who listen to "chill-inducing" music tend to be far more generous than others, according to studies.