It's somewhat rare when you get music on Lost, and it usually ties something together, and last night's epsiode (#3.10 "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" ) is no different. The song that opens and closes the episode is Three Dog Night's "Shambala," with the closing moving seamlessly into an orchestrated version performed by composer Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles). The song itself touches on one of the themes of the show, fate versus free will, as exhibited in the lyric, "Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind, on the road to Shambala."
Shambala (or Shambhala) itself is a mystical kingdom referenced in the text of Tibetan Buddhism (specifically the Kalachakra Tantra), supposedly hidden high in the Himalayas, but is thought to be more of a philosophical metaphor for a peace within one's self. To this point, both Hurley and Charlie have fate on their backs: Hurley's got his curse, and Charlie's got Desmond's visions of his impending death. When they hurl themselves down the hill to start the Dharma Initiative VW Van they found (a la Little Miss Sunshine with the old 'pop the clutch in third gear' trick) theyr'e confronting these fates, and it's only appropriate to hear "Shambala" playing on the 8-track as the van miraculously starts. Let's not gloss over the fact that it's an 8-track, as that certainly helps date the Dharma project.
If we go back a bit, when the song first plays, the lyrics "wash over my troubles, wash over my pain" remind us of one of the first songs Hurley listened to in Season 1, "Wash Away" by Joe Purdy. Is it intentional? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Remember in the season premiere when Julia pulled Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues CD out and instead played Petula Clark and we all looked for some meaning to it? Turns out they meant to play the Talking Heads song "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" but couldn't get rights, so changed it to Clark's "Downtown" at the last minute. Oh well ... just look at it as another skirmish in the battle between fate and free will.