One of the things that has always kinda bugged me is waking up with a song stuck in my head. As a musician, I’m always thinking about music, either songs that already exist or great musical scores I’m concocting in my head that have yet to become real music. But that morning song thing? Makes me nuts!
Today’s stuck song is Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” and, as usual, I have no idea why this particular song has decided to engrave itself into my consciousness. It’s a great song, fantastic horns and good vocals even though I’ve never understood how the song’s title relates to anything – but, hey, sometimes, that just happens, right? But the way I usually get a song unstuck is to listen to it and, yeah, sometimes, that doesn’t help.
There are quite a few theories about why this happens to people as well as things one can do about this and while I understand the science a little – at least I kinda get what they’re saying about it – it’s just weird to be asleep then wake up… then your internal jukebox starts playing before you actually sit up and start your day. The phenomenon is so random, too, like my mental jukebox is locked in shuffle mode – there’s no telling what song or genre is going to be playing once I make the shift from unconscious to conscious – it’s like my brain is playing “Reveille” and announcing the start of the day or something.
One way to get rid of the earworm, as they’re called, is to read a book and I guess it’s to distract your mind from having a song looping around in your head… except that doesn’t work for me; I can read, write a blog, doing something on my computer or even focusing on playing Borderlands 2 – and that song will just keep looping until I listen to it – and that’s provided I have it on my computer and I don’t have to go digging through all of my CDs to find it and, yeah, I’ve done that a few times because the damned thing won’t go away until I do!
Once I listen to it, it’s like the earworm is satisfied and, poof, no more looping song! Or, um, it gets me to thinking about similar songs that I haven’t heard in a while – and my earworm seem to choose songs I haven’t listened to in a coon’s age, like the morning I awoke to “Love on a Two-way Street,” a song I haven’t heard in at least five years – but I do have it in my music collection.
I get that songs that are catchy – even the ones used in commercials – can get your attention during the day… but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always awakened to that stuck song that I haven’t heard for however long it’s been, like waking up to Mandrill’s “Children of the Sun” the other day – it seems that my earworm doesn’t like songs that I don’t like or, even better, songs written by people that I’ve never heard. Like, I don’t listen to Lady Gaga so I have no idea what her music sounds like nor do I own any of it. So it seems that my morning earworm only selects music performed by people I’ve heard before and then only the songs that I actually like.
I don’t think this is a bad thing, such as it is; because I’m getting older and thanks to the stroke I had, I know my memory’s suspect at times – but I can remember an earworm-induced song right down to the key it’s written in – how weird is that? I just find it funny that a few seconds after my conscious mind turns itself on to wake me up, a song gets stuck – and then I’m making myself nuts humming it until I relent and actually listen to the song.
I wonder what tomorrow’s song is gonna be?
- Why That Song Gets Stuck In Your Head (businessinsider.com)