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Monday, April 7, 2014

The difference between books and music

When you reach my age (seriously, my favourite pastime as a kid was watching Noah build the Ark), you think you've sussed out life's little anomalies. Not so.

I've always believed that when it comes to any of the arts, the works we love best stay with us. For example, if someone says one of my books stayed with them for days after they finished it, I walk round in a happy little daze for ages. That, to me, is one of the greatest compliments a writer can be paid.

If I see a wonderful painting or photograph, they will stay in mind and bring pleasure long after I've left the gallery.

But music...

Perhaps I'm alone in this but the music that sticks in my head for days after hearing it is stuff I hate with a passion. Why is this? Is it me?

I say this because, for the last five days, ever since seeing it played on TV, I've had Donovan's Mellow Yellow stuck in my head. (No offence, Donovan, but I've never been a fan and I hate that song. Hate it!) I can put my iPod on shuffle, spend hours listening to music I love, and STILL have that damn Mellow Yellow stuck in my head.


I've been known to run for cover if Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face is likely to be played as I know that will be on rewind in my head for weeks. (Watch this video at your peril!)

Then, of course, there's this crime against humanity. If only we could erase stuff from our memories...
Is it just me? Or is it true that the great books stay in your head for days after reading them whereas only the crap music hangs around?

9 comments:

Marcelle Dubé said...

They're called earwigs, aren't they? Those horrible little ditties that play in a loop in your head until all you want to do is hit your head against the wall to make them stop? Or is that just me?

Stories stay with me, too, but I'm oriented towards words so I really don't mind.

The only good part about musical earwigs is that it's not always horrible music that get stuck in my head. Often I like the music, but really, who needs a soundtrack for their life?

Anne Marie Becker said...

Ack! Yes, there are certain songs, and for me they tend to be pop songs my kids listen to, that torture me. I find that if I embrace it and sing it all the way through, it's more likely to go away. ;)

Shirley Wells said...

Yes, earwigs, Marcelle. Love it! I adore the stories that stay with me. The ones I don't enjoy never do, thank goodness.;)

Anne Marie, I'm going to try to embrace them and sing all the way through. Hmm. Shame I can't sing... :)

Rita said...

Shirley, I have CRS (Can't remember sh*t) so I happly, or not don't remember books or music.

Shirley Wells said...

Rita, I must have ORS (Only remember sh*t). :)

Vanessa Morgan said...

yes, it's the worst songs that stick usually :-)

Shirley Wells said...

It certainly is in my case, Vanessa. I've now got "I Did it My Way" on rewind in my head. :)

Helena said...

This post should have some with a warning! I got as far as Shaddap whatever and had to skip to the end before I got earwigged.

But I do agree with your basic premise. Maybe it's because the songs we really like are not the ones which stay in our heads, unlike books and pictures etc..

Shirley Wells said...

Sorry, Helena. Shaddap whatever will be with you for days. Possibly weeks. :)

It's odd. I love my music, but just wish the songs I like would stick with me. I've never known a book I disliked staying with me. Once I've finished it, or thrown it against the wall if I hate it, I never spare it a second thought.

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