Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ear Worms - The Theme from the Odd Couple: Get Out of my Brain!

Ear Worms: those songs that infect your brain and play over and over and over and over again in your head and you just want them to stop. Sometimes it's a song you hear on the elevator or the mall that gets lodged in there. A song comes on the radio. Or someone talks about a song they hate, and they hum a few bars, and then it gets instantly fixed in your brain cells, the ones that have full orchestras and bands.

I have a few that come upon me sometimes without notice. They usually arrive during a stressful day, when I'm performing some task that doesn't take a huge amount of brainpower. Usually some other problem is preying on me at the time, but I'm not consciously thinking of it. But that bloody song is there, in the forefront of my awareness.

My own private Ear Worms are completely nonsensical. There is no reason on earth that the soundtrack in my brain should so effortlessly default to these annoying and randomly selected tunes, but there you go. I'll be carrying myself about my day when suddenly I have the awareness that the Theme to The Odd Couple has been playing on a loop in my brain for the past 3 hours. Somehow the awareness that it is happening drives it even deeper into my brain. That's the insidious and evil nature of EarWorms.

The Odd Couple Theme is one of my very worst ones. Not that it's such a terrible tune. In fact, I liked the TV Show, and the opening of the show where the tune played was friendly and fun and made for a happy anticipation of 22 minutes of fairly benign entertainment. I can't blame Tony Randall for any of this or whoever composed the thing in good faith. It's simply that the difference between hearing it once in its proper place and hearing the cartoon-y Ear Worm version of it in your brain repeated 732, 576, 000 times in succession is quite vast.

Even just writing this post I am tempting fate. I'm listening out for tell tale notes now: that cheerful plinking intro, that — no I can't even describe it, it's too dangerous. Click on link at your peril.

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