I posted once before at the ease with which songs an get stuck in my head (Please see my entry titled “Earworm” if you are confused). I have written about friends who know how easy it is and take advantage of this weakness of mine for their own amusement. Well, yesterday I discovered just how easy it is to get a song stuck in my head.
I was delivering my postal route, and at about the halfway point I noticed a one panel comic on the back cover of one of the magazines I was carrying. The caption beneath it read “The Vintage People”. The artwork showed a group that was clearly intended to be the musical group “The Village People”, but they had gotten pretty old. At the edges of the panel you could make out members of the band with their arms held up in poses familiar to anyone who has ever seen them performing their song “YMCA”, but the panel centered on the Biker. He was standing, grizzled and aged, with his arms spread wide but with the hands down toward the floor, rather than aimed at the ceiling. He looks concerned and anxious, and he has the only speaking part in the comic
“I can't get my hands high enough to make the 'Y'!”
I'll admit it: I laughed. I thought it was clever, a play in their age (the song itself is over 30 years old), their name and one of their most recognizable (and mocked) songs. I admired the comic and walked on, smiling. Smiling, that is, until I recognized the song I was singing under my breath.
“It's fun to stay at the Y … M … C - A! It's fun to stay at the Y … M … C - Aaaay …”
“Ohmigod!” I came to a halt on the sidewalk, shaking my head in disgust with myself.
I hadn't heard the song.
I hadn't seen a lyric.
I hadn't seen the name of the song, or even the actual name of the band.
And still, that song was all I could hear in my head.
I tried to ignore it and walk on. I plugged in my earphone and hit “Play” on my current audiobook (“Strangers on a Train”, by Patricia Highsmith. I highly recommend it!) in an effort to distract myself and maybe occupy that part of my mind that now held an indian, cop, construction worker, military man and biker dude all keeping time and singing.
Minutes later I realized that though I was listening to the story, I was quietly whistling the song!
Hopeless. I'm hopeless.
Talk to you later!
... Y ... M ... C - A, it's fun to -