Monday, March 17, 2008

Has This Ever Happened To You?

So I intended to take the easy way out today and post some U2 or Sinead O'Connor (or even, Lord help me, a Cranberries song) in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
But then a funny thing happened around 2:00am in the morning about three days ago. What I describe here happens to me all the time. It's a by-product of spending most of my adolescence and adulthood immersed in music. What I want to know is if I am the only one afflicted by this condition.

It starts out with a slight nagging sensation. Sometimes its a piece of a song lyric. Maybe a guitar line or a drum beat. On those truly difficult cases its a bass line. It just gets stuck in my head. I start repeating it over and over. I can't place it yet. I try to seek out the next line in my head. I hum the tune (or at least the portion rattling around my cranium at that particular instant) endlessly searching for the connective tissue that will point me in the right direction. By midday I descend into a kind of manic state. Will I ever figure out what song it is? Was it something I heard recently or is my subconscious jarring my musical interest in a long lost gem? Will I ever figure it out or will it just dissipate as quickly as it came?

Normally, in the best cases, I figure it out in a day. Maybe two at the worst. I have yet to be totally stumped by my brain but this latest incarnation of this game almost drove me insane. Mind you, I suffer these melodic torture treatments silently. After all, those are the rules. Sharing only makes others endure my suffering. If I share the odds on someone knowing the song are slim at best. Certainly someone with a limited musical selection would be useless in cases such as these because the tune is often some toss off album track. Rarely is it obvious.

Then the miraculous happens. A light clicks on and the sound in my head grows. The next line or piece falls into place. I connect the sound to a picture (usually album artwork but sometimes a singer standing on stage). I am filled with a rush of accomplishment. I have a concrete clue to work from. Then its into the racks of Cd's. I pay no attention to other albums (to do so can be fatal, it causes the brain to shift to other treasures. I have no time for the live bootleg recording of a 1987 REM concert...I'm on a mission Damnit!) Then there it is, nestled in corner of a shelf. The CD that contains the song that has haunted me. I have found it!!!! HALLELUJAH!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! THE NIGHTMARE IS OVER AND I CAN SLEEP AGAIN.

(all that for a song from a anonymous New Zealand band called THE CHILLS...and it wasn't even the single.)

(mp3) The Chills -- Background Affair (from Soft Bomb)

one more for good measure

1 comment:

JC said...

All the time.....

Most recently with a long-forgotten Spandua Ballet lyric....