The Songs in My Head
It was a long awaited year-end business conference at which I was to present a complex study on our quarterly productivities. As I sat there for 90 minutes nervously waiting to make my presentation, I subconsciously sang, “I get knocked down but I get up again” over and over! The ironic thing is that I didn’t even like this song! Somehow it was imprinted in my brain and now I could not get rid of it!
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? It can be a very annoying phenomenon especially when you are actively working on ridding yourself of it. Sometimes this auto-replay of the song lasts just a couple of hours but sometimes it can go on for days and days! This was especially bothersome when my children were younger and the songs were catered for preschoolers. I once drove from New York to Washington D.C non-stop singing; “the Wheels on the Bus Go Round, Round, Round.” The funny thing was that my children were not even with me!
When we were young we were taught through repetition. Read the same passage over and over. Say the statement out loud again and again. Write the paragraph several times. These repetitious activities forced us to remember and ultimately learn the subject matter. Perhaps these songs getting stuck in our head are based on that same concept?
When you stop to think about it, the songs that seem to “get stuck” are not necessarily our favorites but rather the ones that get much air-play and publicity. The DJ’s and radio stations play the same song over and over until it is planted deep in our brains.
Could it be that this song transference is a modified form of brain-washing? Now you may laugh, but why else would a middle-age executive be humming Yankee Doodle Dandy in the middle of the afternoon? Honestly, I really don’t care “Who Let the Dogs Out” but I did however sing about it for the better part of a month. The same goes for the doing the “Macarena” and “Don’t Worry be Happy”.
We may never be able to escape this experience and perhaps that is a good thing. Hopefully the music we carry within reminds us of a happier time in our lives. At least involuntarily memorizing the songs on the radio is better than remembering the brain-washing television commercials to buy unwanted products- but that’s another story!