Sunday, August 1, 2010

Killer Songs

I got the diagnosis from my friend Alice Valdal.

Earworms, she said. Those songs that get into your head and, like a nagging cough or a bad boyfriend, won’t leave.

Now I have a name to put to the creatures that wind around in my brain like an eel in a reef, just a fraction exposed at any one time and the rest a mystery to be ousted only by much patient urging.

A few weeks ago, it was a couple of lines from Taylor Swift’s Love Story that possessed me. I finally had to track down the video on youtube so the fragment could find its way to its family and leave me alone.

Then, about two o’clock last Wednesday morning, Thomas Fersen’s Elisabeth moved in. I love this song – it’s got a serious tone that overlies the quirky story, but you have to listen to get the full picture. Did I mention it’s in French?

So I’m lying in the dark, trying to remember whether the erstwhile beau’s next line is “if I’m lying, may I turn into a toad” or if this is where he offers to become a mule.

After a long struggle I did manage to bury all the animals (along with the boyfriend’s hopes of reconciliation), but another Fersen character came to the funeral and I found myself despairingly sharing headspace with the manservant who gloomily recites his résumé to the police as they arrest his employer, Monsieur l’assassin.

These are (obviously) catchy tunes and clever stories but my French is simply too shaky, especially in the murk of three o’clock. So then the dilemma became whether it would be better to get up and listen to the song in the hope it would vacate moi, or whether that would anchor it firmly in place.

After a long fight, with first one side and then the other gaining the upper hand, I found the solution. I recruited Monsieur and his garrotte.

The earworm is now in deep hiding or a shallow grave and I can’t hear a thing except…is it…Here it goes again?

OK Go better watch out. Monsieur’s on my speed dial and he’s got a day pass.

illustration by Ray Goldsworthy
dba Dad

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