Why is it when a song gets stuck in your head it's never really a song you'd LIKE to have stuck there? For example, today. The song in my head today is actually "Monday Monday," as sung by The Mamas and the Papas. You might know it?
"Monday Monday, (la laa, la la la laaa) so good to me, (la laa la la la laa) Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be-he-heeeeee Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guaranteeeeeeeeeeeee that Monday evening you would still (pause) be here with me."
Which, by the way, was in "The Big Chill," the movie that (in my opinion) really started the whole "movie soundtrack" thing. The film had 38 songs in the soundtrack (just looked that up) and all of them are ones that people my age and older would recognize and probably like.
So why didn't my head pick another song from that movie to play today? Why didn't it choose "Whiter Shade of Pale" or "Heard It Through the Grapevine" or "Bad Moon Rising" to throw on the mental loop?
Because it's SUNday. Therefore it GOES with the song. And, let's face it, nobody really knows the words to Bad Moon Rising, do they?
When I worked in a a science lab I'd throw out a line or two of my brain tune to torture my labmates, because I thought sharing the song would help me "get rid of it." Pretty soon they'd all be humming "If I Only Had a Brain" right along with me (because at the time that was the #1 choice in the cerebral jukebox). It amused me to then hear it peppered around during the day, people not knowing they were humming it while doing tissue culture or running a reaction or whatever. Seemed hilarious to me that while we were all manipulating very expensive equipement and reagents in the search for some bit of data that might help cure disease we were running that particular tune 'round and 'round and 'round. The ultimate was to get someone from another lab "infected" with it to see how far it would spread. Hopeless geekdom RULES! One labmate caught on to the dirty musical dealings and would shoot one of HER ganglial jingles back at me, at which time a skirmish of melodies would occur with the victoriously annoying song superceding the other. Good times, good times.
Anyway (Hi LJS!), back to songs of preference and how they do NOT appear to be amenable to mental rumination.....why? Why can't I playback "It's a Dead Man's Party" over and over if I want to? Why can't my brain take "She Blinded me with Science" and run it through a loop so I can jive my way through the day with Mr Thomas Dolby? Why is it that "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" tends to take over, or that the "Raindrops on Roses" song bullies its way through my preferred internal soundtrack? Is this my inner gay guy manifesting itself (BOLD and BROAD generalization...I know not ALL gay men like show tunes)? Is my inability to stay focused making itself evident? (look! a bird!) Orrrrr, could it be because, when I was a kid, these were the songs that my parents played while we were eating dinner and are therefore engrained in my very longest-term memories, thereby being preferentially thrust out into the conscious mind when I need some mental repetition as distraction?
Boy, if that last one is true, thanks for that, Mom and Dad.