Today’s guest post is from Linda in St. Paul (West Side).
The Germans have a word for it – ohrwurm, which translates literally as earworm, that phenomenon of getting a song lodged in your head that plays over and over till it drives you to distraction. I fall victim on a regular basis. Often particular songs are triggered by everyday objects or activities, and this is never more true than when I’m working in a garden.
I can’t trim a rosebush without drifting into It’s Been a Good Year For the Roses. It’s usually the George Jones version, though it occasionally morphs briefly into Elvis Costello.
Tending a bittersweet vine is a sure way to conjure Big Head Todd and the Monsters. (“Bittersweet…more sweet than bitter…bitter than sweet…”) If you don’t know it, you could look it up on YouTube. Consider yourself warned, though – it’s a sticky one, as difficult to dislodge as a ball of burdock seeds.
Buttercups invariably trigger All Shook Up. I explained this to a friend once and she told me I am lucky my mental jukebox goes to Elvis instead of The Foundations.
An especially virulent earworm is Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else But Me. I cannot even walk past an apple tree without suffering an acute attack.
And then sometimes my brain takes an odd detour and arrives at destination I’m at a loss to explain. I spend a couple of weeks in the summer pulling a vine known as hog peanut. To my knowledge, no one has ever written a song about hog peanut. The song that surfaces from my subconscious to fill the void is the bebop classic Salt Peanuts, with the lyrics adapted: “Hog peanut…hog peanut…” in an endless loop. Can you hear it?
Winter is fast approaching, and the garden earworms will sleep beneath the snow for a few months, to return in the spring. The only thing I have to say is…it’s been a good year for the roses.
Share your favorite (or least favorite) earworms.