You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’
You’re tryin’ now
This is a short lyric from the song “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty. If you heard it, you’d know it; if not by the lyrics then definitely by the saxophone riff they use in it. It’s a relatively old song and there are many others just like it taking up valuable space in my brain. This was a song that was played on radio stations back in the 70s and 80s and apparently my mind is a catalog of useless lyrics for these old songs which routinely pop into my head.
I think my father has the same issue in his brain. That would probably explain why he purposely butchers any and all song lyrics when he sings them. It would seem like a reasonable way to deal with the intrusion of such songs.
The killer thing is that I somehow can hear these songs completely out of the blue – songs that I have not heard in decades – and somehow I know every word.
And for this, I blame my mother. Yeah mom, you’re mentioned in my blog again (feel free to make comments on that below).
How else could I possibly know the words to songs from such relics like Air Supply, Asia, Kansas, Neil Diamond, and Carly Simon? I don’t even like any of these musicians to be quite honest. Yet somehow I can recite their songs just as aptly as I can belt out any part of the original Star Wars movies, or anything by Pink Floyd. I am convinced that my mother’s obsession with playing and winning radio station contests back in the aforementioned era has indeed taken a serious toll on my sanity.
Thankfully I work with a guy who has the same affliction (his mom’s fault, too) and we’ve actually turned the illness into a game where we try to serrenade/abuse each other with the most obscure and ridiculous old songs that we can possibly think of. Just the other day, he struck first blood with “Daniel” by Elton John, and I countered with “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” by the most F’d up duo of all time – Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson (I mean, seriously, how did those two get together…wait a second, I know, it was weed. Nevermind.).
But yeah, thanks Mom. That damned ‘Morgan in the Morning’ radio show circa 1982 in the greater St. Louis area. . .that’s the one that did it, followed shortly thereafter by Q101 after we moved to Chicago. I am pretty sure that’s also the reason I hate John Cougar Mellancamp so deeply — that and the frappin’ Chevy truck commercials which imply that anyone who drives a Chevy truck is a right-wing, blue-collar, corn-fed-procreator who lives where roads are still not paved.
I hate Mellencamp. I also have to say that Springsteen grinds my gears, anything from the movies Flashdance or Footloose, Kenny Loggins, Kris Kristofferson, and anything sung by anyone named Neville. Eeeesh. Gives me the willies. But just because I cringe at the first notes of these songs doesn’t mean I don’t know all the words.
Luckily my company has decent insurance coverage which includes shrinks. I would be interested in a full-on study of my brain, which, by the way, is on the list of organs that I would donate to science. Maybe science can use me to identify the part of the brain that houses the sick and twisted attraction to awful music from the late-70s and 80s.
I am considering a proposal to Time/Life Music for the “Crappy Songs that are Stuck in Your Head” collection. I bet you can’t wait for that infomercial.