Recently, I began to take an interest in the music that the students listen to. I have to admit that a lot of what they listen to is not bad. There used to be a student at my school in Madrid, Daniel, who had the same taste in music as I do and we would share files. I think the reason I know any songs on the radio is because my students introduce me to different songs and different musicians. Some of the great musicians I have been introduced to by my students over the years: Asaf Avidan, Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, Lorde, Neon Hitch, Arctic Monkeys, Ellie Goulding, Boys Like Girls, the Givers, We The Kings, Stromae, Florence + The Machine, Inna, Something Corporate, Metro Station and Fun (just to name a few). Unfortunately, not all the music that my students listen to is good music. I, personally, can’t stand any hiphop or rap music. One of my favorite sayings is “you can’t spell CRAP without RAP!” Luckily, hiphop and rap are being pushed aside for good music like modern rock and Europop (yes, I said Europop was good!).
Oftentimes, one of these “bad” songs will get stuck in my head. I have a friend who’s been singing Happy, by Pharrell Williams, for 3 days. Granted, I think that song is pretty cool. But he might not, and it’s been stuck in his head for 3 days! I once had She Bop, by Cyndi Lauper, stuck in my head for over a week. This song, admittedly, is pretty bad, but not as bad as some of the other songs that I’ve had stuck in there before. Here’s a list of a few of the really bad ones: I’m Too Sexy, Islands in the Stream, Jesus Walks, I Would Walk 500 Miles, Gizz in My Pants, Stompa, Rock It, Diamonds, Come on Eileen, MacArthur Park and Big Pimpin’. So you can see, my life has had moments of living hell. This hell is augmented when the song in my head is a rap or hiphop song and I don’t know the words. Then my mind makes up words such as (to the tune of Umbrella): “No hounds in my home/Let it rain, I’m on a plane in the rain/Corning frowns at Howard Jones.” The real lyrics (thanks to my new favorite website, Lyrics.com) are: “No clouds in my stones/Let it rain, I hydroplane into fame/Comin’ down at the Dow Jones.” I think I like my lyrics better!
It gets worse….sometimes I find myself singing the song out loud….unbeknownst to me….when others are around. I was humming a certain CeeLo Green song (with explicit lyrics) on the metro the other day. Thank goodness I didn’t just begin to belt that one out! Another time I was singing (to myself – or at least I thought) Kiss the Girl in the toilet at work while expelling some liquid excretion….the window out to the hallway carried the tune right to the waiting ears of my students and colleagues. At least that was Disney, nobody can blame me for liking Disney. But when it’s a song like Call Me Maybe, Bad Romance or (even worse) Love to Love You Baby it becomes very embarrassing.
These, of course, are the songs that get stuck in my head! Nothing normal or common ever ends up there. It’s the esoteric or the terrible that end up plaguing my inner monologue constantly. I try to invent reasons to listen to music in hopes that listening to another song will eradicate the unwelcome interloper. It never really works. Some people say that if you listen to the actual song, your brain will stop thinking of it and move on….WRONG! That doesn’t happen. I’ve also tried purposely singing something else (or mentally singing something else) to get rid of the bad music. Then my mind varies between the two songs, or turns them into some awful mash-up from hell that then gets stuck in my head for days. I can never win. Right now, in my head, I have both Break My Stride and Call Me, making some evil concoction of Blondie and Matthew Wilder. I’m currently hearing something to the tune of “I will drive past your house and sail away to China in a little rowboat to find ya.” You see, I woke up to Break My Stride on my clock radio alarm on Friday, and have since tried singing a plethora of other songs to eradicate it, and Call Me stuck….but it stuck along with Break My Stride, so now there’s some Frankenstein song that I keep singing that makes no sense….what have I done to myself!?!
Alright, I guess it’s just the cross I have to bear now until some other rotten song gets stuck. Ok, everyone sing with me now…..”I will drive past your house in a little rowboat to China….”