Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Earworms Scare Me Sometimes

I woke up this morning humming "Tennessee Waltz". Before I was even fully conscious, before I had my coffee, that song was looping on a tape in my brain. I even started singing it to myself in the shower, and with that realization came a niggling fear.

WTF? Because that is really the only thing that you can say to yourself at that point, when you realize that you are doing something that is weirder than normal.

It was an earworm. For those who are not sure what exactly an earworm is, it's a song that gets stuck in your head on a loop, and it won't go away. It's usually a song that you hate with the passion of ten thousand suns(like "Riders On The Storm" or that awful song about Barbie), but it can also be a song from your past. Like the "Tennessee Waltz".

It's probably been more than twenty years since I actually heard that song; my tastes run more toward metal-ish, classic rock-ish type stuff. It wasn't likely that I would hear it on the radio.

Where the heck did that earworm come from?

As the day progressed, another earworm showed up, this time it was the theme from the Batman movies. I knew where this one came from--we've been playing Lego Batman and Robin. Larry and I play, at least. Zane seems to think that the game is a movie, and when we give him the controller he seems to enjoy flinging poor Batman off of buildings or into toxic waste. (He also thinks it is hilarious when I accidentally smack Robin around.)

Since I could trace the origin of that particular earworm, it did not cause me the same sort of concern as the "Tennessee Waltz". In fact, it was almost a relief.

My grandmother has dementia. She's in a nursing home, where she is no longer cognizant of anyone or anything that is going on around her. She just lays in a nursing home bed, wasting away. I doubt that my grandmother knew that her memories were being sucked away from her until it was too late, and most of the time people with dementia are pretty good at hiding their deterioration, so there were probably some early signs that everyone missed. I am terrified of that happening to me, because how would I be able to tell something was wrong?

I already have trouble calling family members by the correct name--is that a sign? How would I know if it is? Am I going to be wandering down the road at three in the morning and not know how I got there? What if random earworms are a symptom?
As if I didn't have enough things to be anxious about, now I have to worry about this too? WTF????

Finally, I just got annoyed, which I do more often than is probably healthy. (Is THAT a symptom?) There are TONS of other things for me to worry about, I told myself. Why am I still thinking about this?

Sometimes, as the saying goes, you just have to take a nap and get over it. So that is what I did. And I woke up feeling much better. Relaxed, even.

Until I found myself humming the theme song from...Green Acres.

Anyone else suffer from earworms?


  1. Weird ... I had a Tennessee Waltz day a week or so ago - maybe it's floating around on the radio waves or something??

    But yes. I get earworms, and often have NO IDEA where they come from - or where they go!

  2. OH NO!!!! I suffer the Barbie song enough on my own,please, oh please, do NOT let this post trigger it again!!!!!!!! Crap, too late...

  3. "Life in fantastic" UGH!!!! And I refuse to do the suggested cure of playing the song, in full, to get it out of my, no, no..."Come on Barbie, let's go party..."

  4. Yes and right now I have that Riders on the Storm song looping in my brain. Lady, I'm going to come over there and beat you!!! ;)


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