I know a song that’ll get on your nerves!

… or, maybe not.

No doubt we’ve all gotten songs stuck in our head, usually at the worst possible times – taking an exam, stuck in line at the supermarket, trying to concentrate at work. Worse still, it’s usually a horrible, annoyingly repetitive tune that rams itself into your subconscious like an ice pick.

Then you start to do anything to get it out of your brain! The go to method is to push your cranial muscles to the limit trying to think of ANY other song in the world! Occasionally it works, sometimes a little too well and you suddenly can’t get rid of the new song! It latches on like a parasite! Other times, it’s two doses of hell in one with the new track on centre stage and the beat of the old track in the background of your subconscious.

I had a bad case this morning: I woke up with Split Enz’s ‘Six Months In A Leaky Boat’ screaming in my brain. The second I opened my eyes, the song started from the very beginning! “When I was a young boy / I wanted to sail ’round the world…”

The good news is: I LOVE that song! Seeing as I haven’t heard it for about five years, it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise! For me, it’s a cutesy feel good tune that takes me back to simpler times.

This phenomenon is annoying when it happens with a song or jingle you can’t stand, but when it’s something you enjoy, it can really put a spring in your step for the rest of the day!

So, why does it happen? The obvious answer is when you hear it from someone else, on the radio or a friend trying deliberately to drive you crazy! But what about the ones that drop in spontaneously and uninvited? Perhaps you’ve recently heard a riff or a commercial that’s very similar?

To go a little deeper, I like to think they show up at points in your life when you need a reminder or a nudge. Those nudges can be to get you moving on a project you’ve been putting off {your brain has been idle for so long, you’ve let your guard down and these grating rhythms keep making their way in!}, or in the case of a song you like, as a reminder to take a break from beating yourself up, from letting stress overwhelm you and to focus on the positives and let them enrich your life.

Here’s to more pleasant surprises in our lives, and the more obscure, the better.


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