Where do they come from? How do you get them? It's a mystery of the mind no one has ever unraveled. Or maybe they have, but would a neurologist publish a paper in a journal about them?
Anyway, as if this season's onslaught of ragweed hasn't been enough, I've recently been under attack from earworms. Earworms, for those who don't know the term, are those insidious songs that become lodged in your head and endlessly repeat in a loop. They seem to spring out of nowhere, though undoubtedly there is a subconscious trail leading back to the earworm's origin, and if we had the detective capacity of Poe's C. August Dupin we could track the trail back, but would it really do any good knowing how it started if you still couldn't get rid of it?
The main problem with earworms is, of course, that for some perverse reason they're usually songs you'd never listen to if you had the choice. I've been hit recently by one earworm after another over the past week or so, and the list of earworms has gone something like this -
It's My Party - Lesley Gore/ The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence/ Birdhouse in your Soul - They Might be Giants (a cool song, but torture in a loop)/ Please Release Me - Englebert Humperdink/ The Theme From Rocky (just the horns and the 'feeling strong now' vocals)/Fernando - ABBA
You can see there's nothing current on my list, it's all old things that came rattling out of the depths of my subconscious, designed to torture. I wouldn't mind if I got some cool Dylan song, say, like "The Man in Me." Maybe it's a mechanism to teach me a profound lesson which I need to decipher. Maybe it's coming from a parallel world trying to insinuate itself onto ours, like in Borges "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," some off-kilter world where every song plays in endless loops. Maybe I need a better night's sleep.
I believe, though, that I have stumbled onto a cure for earworms. I noticed it while browsing channels on the TV. Five minutes of watching talking heads on Fox news blaming every economic, moral, educational, business and political problem on the current administration seemed to subdue the earworm nicely. A hour of watching the channel cleared it up for me, with the only side effect being that it temporarily drove the love of all music from my soul. I advise using this cure at your own risk. I couldn't tell you what the long term effects might be.