Sunday, November 30, 2014

Songs stuck in my head

You may or may not know that I am a rock and roller at heart. Although my father played classics and some Big Band music when I was a kid. I also played trombone for about 6 years. I probably would still be playing trombone if the band director hadn't been such a douche. I had started guitar a bit before I gave up on trombone and have been playing ever since. Up until a few years ago I played with a large band performing mostly international folk dance music. We had about three people who were callers and taught folk dances. It was a lot of fun, but once in a while I would break into "Smoke on the Water" or "Wild Horses" with one or two of the other musicians. Reactions were mixed.  

I have listened to many genres and have appreciated many. Everything from bluegrass to blues and jazz, even polka. So it might surprise you, but it doesn't surprise me that most of the morning I had the Frankie Yankovic singing and playing "Who Stole the Kishka" rolling around in my head as I did other things. Sometimes it comes out of my mouth, but I have learned to control that to some degree because of the reactions I sometimes get.

Frank Yankovic 1958.JPG (thank you Wikipedia)

This afternoon while setting up the barn to put the horses in (cold night ahead) another tune got stuck. This time it was Tony Bennett doing "I left My Heart in San Francisco".  I have no idea where this stuff comes from. Maybe there's a leaky file in the song memory part of my brain.

Tony Bennett in 2003.jpg (thanks again Wikipedia. Yes, I contribute)

There was nearly a week last fall that I couldn't shake Captain Beyond out of my head and had to buy the album again after not having owned it for about 40 years. I don't know how all this different stuff fits in that file in my brain, but it must take up a lot of room.

It really rocks!

Then the question is, "Does this happen to everybody or is it just me?" I'm not sure I want to know the answer. The strange thing is that the music is so eclectic. Sometimes it's part of the Peer Gynt Suite, Carmen, Debussy, Gershwin, The Beatles, Cream, Lester Flatt, The Roches, Béla Fleck,  Joni Mitchell, J.S. Bach, and the Liszt keeps going.

I don't call this stuff up knowingly, but something must trigger it. A word, sight, smell, or another sound, I just don't know. It might be a concern to some, but for me it's just free entertainment that comes and goes as it pleases. It's usually a good thing so why question it?


  1. Ha! I started out on the trombone as well, only because we had one in the house from my dad who had also played it. I hated it, but then they tried to make me play the bassoon and that was even worse-I quit. Still remember a bit of it, though. I also have various music that goes through my head, but I can usually trace it back to something I heard during the day. I just read your prior post, so now I will have "I'm tired" rattling through my mind for quite a while. So apt.

  2. The folks I work with tell me I have broken radio embedded in my's always changing stations. I have no control over it.
    Who stole the kishka? I can sing it at the drop of the hat...It was a big hit in Detroit when I was a kid...Frankie was the king of Hamtramck...the still independent city inside of Detroit...
    Reactions? Who cares about reactions? Don't wanna sing for them, Don't wanna sing for you, Only wanna sing for me!
    My co workers get worried when they don't hear me singing. You don't wanna hear my punk rock version of Gold Finger! I figured out how to play it on banjo...these days my main instrument is chromatic harmonica!

  3. I have the same broken radio in my brain. Songs arrive inexplicably, play the same three lines over and over for days, then vanish without reason, to be replaced by the next oddball selection.

    And since I enjoy just about all genres, I could end up with anything from big band to death metal, country to classical, or some unholy hybrid of reggae/rap/rock/ragtime.

    By the way, I owe you an earworm. Now I've got "Who Stole the Kishka" stuck in my brain.

  4. Ha! I played the accordion when I was a teenager.

    I don't get songs "stuck in my head," but I enjoy a wide variety of different kinds of music. My taste ranges from "You have got to listen to this!" to "Please don't judge me."

  5. As much as I hate to admit to the fact, my most prevalent earworm is Sugar, Sugar by the Archies.

  6. aitbr, I had dreams of being the next Tommy Dorsey. Sometimes I know what triggers these songs, but quite often they just turn up.

    microdot, I picture a modern version of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road movies. Are you Bob or Bing? I tried chromatic for several years because of Stevie Wonder. I was awful. I saw a banjo version a James Bond theme on your blog.

    Diane, I love giving earworms! How about Creedence Clearwater Revival? "There's a bathroom on the right!"

    PP, can you still play? I thoroughly enjoy the variety of music that has been created by people (and nature) and am always open for something new.

  7. Batty, Now YOU have given it to me, you ba***rd! :)

  8. "I'm gonna make your life so sweet…"

  9. I love CCR! Or how about Jimi Hendrix: "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy".

  10. Diane, Whew! Thanks! At least that got Batty's bubble gum out of my head!

  11. My honey and I are often amazed at what the kids are calling music these days. We'll take some CCR, Allman Bros, Bob Dylan … any day. We take them all camping with us and play them out in the middle of nowhere.

  12. I am definitely more Bing than Bob....But, I am more Dino than either of them. I have been listening to a band called Slow Joe and The Ginger Accident. Slow Joe is a 72 year old guy from Bombay...very eclectic band, they play really authentic roots rock and their own version of low tech Bollywood pop....I've seen them cover early Pink Floyd and Elvis in the same set. But it is Joe's original songs that really are great.
    I admit, chromatic is a bitch, start playing melodies, it gets easier and easier. I started by trying to play Midnight in Moscow...There is a YouTube video of Stevie Wonder jamming with Toots Theilman on Toot's classic, Bluesette. It is just too cool!

  13. It's always the most annoying songs that do this to me! But yeah, I think it happens to everyone.

  14. Songs pop into my head all the time. There's no controlling it. And they don't leave until they're good and ready.

  15. Agi T., Sounds like our parents. "How can you stand to listen to that crap?" I used to hear that regularly.

    microdot, I am appreciating Bollywood more and more. I'll look on youTube for that.

    SLM,It probably happens to a lot of people, but there is something about telling people about voices in your head that concerns some.

    Donna, When they are good and ready is how it is in my world, too. Here is one from earlier this morning. A classic!

  16. I get songs stuck in my head all the time, mostly folk or western as they have words I can remember...sort of. I envy your eclectic mix of songs. More to choose from.
    Grew up on Frankie Yankovic on the local radio station. Brings back memories

  17. Haha "the Liszt keeps growing." :)
    I wake up in the middle of the night, and songs are stuck in my head. Not even good songs, either. Then, they keep me awake. Try going back to sleep with "Seasons in the Sun" stuck in your brain!

  18. TBF, It is fun to have a music library in there. Nothing like a good polka to get you going!

    Dawn, "We had joy, we had fun," you have my pity.

  19. Interesting post. And fun.

    I am a hummer. Some days I hum the same bleedin' tune ALL DAY. Usually, but not always, the last one I heard on the radio. Not very magical :)

  20. Ah, but it is magical. I think it is a sign of impending sanity. Self entertainment is always fun even if people look at you funny.