Lately, my favorite radio station has been getting the heave-ho on the ol’ dial. Because, frankly, I can’t take the repetition anymore. Just how many times in one day can they play tired oldie moldies like, “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure or “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads without making my ears bleed? Honestly, stabbing my eardrum with a fondue fork would be a preferable alternative to hearing “Under Pressure” for the bazillionth time. At one point, I did like these songs. That is, until they became this century’s musical version of a medieval water torture.
Maybe I’m sensitive since I spend two hours a day commuting, which pretty much makes me a slave to the radio. Yeah, I know, I could plug in my iPod or play CDs instead, but I usually forget them each morning as I race out the door. And switching stations doesn’t help because all are guilty of the repetition sin, only it’s worse because these other stations are repeating music I never liked to begin with. And so, when I find myself tortured by yet another hourly rendition of “Listen to the Music” or “Here Comes the Rain Again,” I simply switch off the radio and drive in silence.
So here’s the problem. I can turn the radio off, yes. But dear God in heaven, can anyone tell me how to turn off my head? Yes, that’s right: I’ve been afflicted with the dreaded earworm, a term used to describe a song imbedded in the brain against one’s will.
Because for weeks now, I’ve had the same insipid song stuck in my mind, playing over and over and over.
I wake up every mornin'
I stumble out of bed
Stretchin' and yawnin'
Another day ahead
It’s not a current song. I do recall liking it ever-so briefly when it was first released in 1981, but honestly, I can’t remember the last time I heard it on any radio station. Nor have I heard it as background music on a movie soundtrack or in a TV commercial. Nada, zip, zilch.
It seems to last forever
And time goes slowly by'
Til babe and me's together
Then it starts to fly
I just woke up one morning and there it was. Playing in my head nonstop, one, long continuous loop. Each note emanating as clearly as if my ears had been replaced with Bose® stereo speakers. And it’s been that way for two blasted weeks. All day at the office, I find myself whistling the song. Humming it. Singing it. Tapping my fingers to the beat inside my brain. This has not made me popular with my coworkers.
Night time is the right time
We make love
Then it's his and my time
We take off
Because now they’ve got the damned song stuck in their heads, too. Peter doesn’t say anything, but he glares at me as I walk by and I know exactly what tune is playing in his head. Ellen is more open. She emits a hostile, “Thanks a lot!” and Wendy wails, “How could you do this to me? I don’t even like this song!”
Nor do I, my friends, nor do I. But (insert demonic laugh) misery loves company. And hey, I’m desperate. Perhaps if we lift our voices together in perfect harmony, we can exorcise this satanic earworm out of our heads, out of our systems, and alleluia, out of our lives. Let’s join together, shall we, and smite this evil plague, once and for all. United, we can extricate this blight upon our brains and free ourselves from the mental anguish afflicted by none other than that 80’s singer from Scotland, the notorious wee Scottish lass known as…yes, that’s right…Sheena Easton.
Oh, here comes the chorus. Let us sing, sing!
MY BABY TAKES THE MORNIN’ TRAIN
He works from nine till five and then
He takes another home again
To find me waitin' for him
And woosh! Suddenly, the song is gone and there is nothing but silence. Blessed silence. For the first time in weeks, I’m relieved of this lyrical scourge that’s been looping in my head as endlessly as the radio’s playing of “Open Arms” by Journey.
So now I come to you, with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me