Music in my head
I’m one of those people who have songs in their head over 20% of the time. It’s rarely a conscious choice. Most often they’re triggered by conversations, because my head is an distracting little lyrics repository. They can be obvious triggers like “I hurt myself today” (which is a terrible time to share what’s in my head), or slightly obtuse associative triggers like “Got it!” And sometimes they can even be triggered by the cadence, rather than the content, of what they said. I actually rediscovered a 1983 tune I had almost completely forgotten that way. The lyrics were gone except for “got to keep a-movin“, but the chorus rhythm was still stored in my brain. Songs also pop into my head when I’m walking or exercising, based on my movements. You wouldn’t believe how often “March of the Trolls” sneaks in there!
I often find that there’s a song in my head when I wake. Sometimes this song is related to recent events, but more often I see no connection. In fact, more often than not it’s something from my childhood, and not always a good something—to the point where I haven’t heard it since my childhood. I keep “Carry On Wayward Son” on conscious standby to kick out any awful earworms that I need out of my head. It’s rarely necessary, but it always works.
Most of my waking songs are benign but bemusing. I’ve started wondering if there’s a pattern I can’t see because these songs are only in my head as I’m waking up—not the clearest-thinking part of the day! So I’ve started writing them down. At the end of a year, perhaps, I’ll compile a playlist, and if I’m not too embarrassed by it, I’ll share with y’all. Maybe we can come up with some interesting hypotheses or experiments.