One of my favourite parts of anxiety and an over-active mind is the earworm phenomenon.
For two weeks, I had to put up with ‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden’ by Lynn Anderson, a hit in 1970. I wasn’t even born then which makes it even more frustrating. I don’t know any of the words, apart from those two lines. Over and over and over and over.
‘Are you with me’ by Lost Frequencies is a great song, but one line haunts me over and over and over and over and over and over: ‘Listen to the Mariachi play at Midnight, are you with me?’
Then there’s that awful song, the Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. I can’t help but put weird lyrics in place of the original score. ‘We all live in a tub of margarine’… etc… it never becomes resolved.
I think that’s the whole point. I think our brains want to annoy us as much as possible because they’re frustrated at being underused. Or overused. Or overwhelmed. Our brains don’t really know what to do because civilization has overtaken our brain’s ability to evolve. That’s why we’re so anxious all the time, it doesn’t know where the grey area is with fight-or-flight is any more, that washing machine tendency to keep us as permanent insomniacs, I think it’s frustration because life has become too easy for us, handed to us on a plate which is good and bad… but I digress.
I love it when good earworms visit me. Like Pearl Jam: ‘Don’t call me daughter, not fit to, the picture kept will remind me.’ Those lyrics I held onto and made them drown out the rest of the washing machine noise in my mind. I love that song, so I will leave it for you at the end of this point if you like.
I think that when you get a really horrible earworm that won’t leave you alone, I think that all it wants to do is hear the last few bars of the song. It just wants to simplify things. Even if you make it up for your brain to be at peace, that seems to work sometimes. I remember doing this as a kid, with classical music. the ending never
because there was that little bit
and maybe a little bit of sad violin
and then A GRAND FINALE!
followed by a Viola
and then a low note Cello.
But you’re never sure when exactly when it’s appropriate to clap. That’s what my brain feels like.