I got a note from my 8-yr old son’s Hindi teacher yesterday, saying that he was singing during the lessons and had disturbed the class. My son is usually a well-behaved child – sometimes so well-behaved that I worry if he will ever have any fun or grow up to regret not having been naughty! And then there are times like this….
I asked him why he did that and he told me that he just couldn’t get this song off his mind and did not realize that he was humming it and did not intend to disturb the class. We are not native Hindi speakers and having had had no exposure to that language till he turned 7, my son finds it difficult to follow the lessons sometimes. So I wanted to give him the benefit-of-doubt that his mind wandered during the class. After giving him a stern talk-to about how learning anything will only make him smarter and how he should never ever disturb others even if he cannot follow what the teacher is saying, I asked him what he was singing. It was this silly song from ‘The Diary of the Wimpy Kid‘, he said.
And now I have been infected! I have a tendency to have a soundtrack running in my head all the time, be it a song or music or even prose – my mind has an audio and video track. I marvel at what the human brain is capable of – chopping broccoli and my brain is singing a salsa song! Just imagine what this seemingly simple task involves – your eye co-ordinating with your hand so that you do not chop off your finger by mistake and in addition, your brain is screening your last Zumba lesson complete with the Salsa track plus all the involuntary things going on – breathing, heart-pumping etc. Amazing! And then you have this ear worm phenomenon where a song repeats in your head like a broken record!
How to get rid of this? My husband’s strategy is called the ‘counter song’. He says if a song gets stuck in your head, all you have to do is, listen to another song – the “counter song” – till you get rid of the previous one. The danger is, you might get stuck with the counter song but at least it will be a song of your choice and not chance.
I am not sure if listening to ‘Greensleeves’ (The King’s Singers version), is going to save me from the Wimpy kid, but let us hope so. Otherwise, I cannot in good conscience discipline my son and let him in on the secret of the ‘counter song’, can I?
-Inspired by the Daily Prompt: Earworm