Cue the Music

I suffer from an unusual, but apparently not all that uncommon malady. It is something that has been an annoying part of my life for much longer then I realized that there was a “scientific” name for it.  It is something that doesn’t necessarily hamper my quality of life, in fact it can make it more interesting, or depending on what is happening at the time, more funny, yet its annoyance factor can border on extreme.

So what is this malady?

Apparently its parasitical, if the symptoms are any hint. These little parasites reside either somewhere near my audial nerves or somewhere near a major brain storage unit. They are active all the time, but sometimes more then others. Those pesky parasites have been known to keep me up at night, and I have learned it best to avoid certain things before bedtime. As far as I know there is no cure.

Other sufferers have already recognized the source of my malady, and are either nodding in sympathy or snickering at my plight.

Cause you see, I am one the “lucky ones” being “privileged” to be in possession of these parasites more commonly known as Earworm.

For the non-initiated, earwom is what occurs when someone get a song, or a snippet of a song that plays in a continual loop in their head. It is an interesting little memory quirk, the cause unknown (at least to me), but I know how it works. I am minding my own business, doing something mundane, when something, a comment, something I read, will trigger a memory about a song, be it a snippet of melody or a line from the chorus. Immediately the earworm perks up, thinks “OOO! That will work nicely for an hour or 72!” and the next thing I know the opening lines, from The Beverly Hillbillies will be a part of my consciousness whether I like it or not.  The musical taste of the average earworm can be eclectic, if not bizarre…ok, maybe its just my particular earworms.

Yep earworms…plural. I have two of them! I also am in possession of a fairly active imagination. That imagination keeps those earworms fat and sassy. Lucky me!

Unfortunately my earworms do not necessarily work in tandem. Consider them the dueling banjos of musical mayhem. That’s right…they like to compete against each other and for the state of my sanity, by playing snippets of two completely different songs simulatneously. Currently, the combative song snippets are “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer and “We Built This City” by Jefferson Starship. No, they are NOT in the same key or tempo, at least they are from relatively close eras.

At least its not the combination of “Do You Think My Tractor’s Sexy?” and the theme song to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” or Chopin’s “Prelude in E Minor” vying for prominance over the Theme song from “Three and a Half Men” or even “Nearer My God to Thee” being coupled with Ray Steven’s “Guitarzan“.

Thank God there’s only two earworms, and sometimes one of them gives it a rest!

This malady can last for days. I wrote recently that the song “Chim Chim Cheerie” was plaguing me. Don’t ask me where that song came from. It just showed up in my head for no apparent reason and wouldn’t leave. I blame the bad case of stress induced insomnia lacking a better excuse.

I had the movie wrong, thinking at the time it was from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was instead from the film Mary Poppins; a movie I’ve never actually seen. At least I knew that Dick Van Dyke (who starred in both movies) sung the tune originally. That damned song had my earworm going for a good week. I did at least have the satisfaction of sharing that plague with my youngest child before it finally left my brain alone. What I did not reveal to anyone at the time, is that once I realized my movie trivia error, the main song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was also playing merrily along thanks to my other earworm.

My children and a few friends are also plagued by chronic earworm. Some time ago, my kids and I discovered the henious game of Song Wars. That game has one simple rule, share the line from a song, any song, and try to ensure that the lyrics that you share, overpower the song that the other person’s earworm currently has control over. You know you’ve won, when you get a response laced with “arrghs” or profanity. The only downside to this, is that you are also the loser, because you have just ensured that you too are also stuck with that song in your own head.

Of course that prompts this question. The eighties music dueling in my head is getting annoying. I need another tune, or a de-worming. Help?

3 Replies to “Cue the Music”

  1. This is why it is so much fun texting you with the titles of songs to see if it will get those pesky earworms riled up. i.e. “Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf”


  2. I have at least 1 or 2 of these a day, pretty much every day. I have a tween daughter, and so very often I find that at least one of the worms du jour is a piece of a song by Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez or the like. Man, that is truly cruel and unusual punishment! But today she was singing the title song from the musical Hello Dolly, because she heard it in her chorus class this week. Better than Bieber at first, but after the 50th time ricocheting through your skull, not so much.


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