BEWARE Those Looney Toons!
This is how it begins. You’re driving down the road, sunroof open, most alluring sunglasses in place, and it’s a beautiful summer day! The only thing missing is music…so, you reach to turn on the radio. It’s already set to your favorite music station…you know…the one that plays such a great variety of songs from days gone by…and unique genres that none of the other stations play. You’re in a great mood, and on your way to Trader Joe’s for a few things on your list: those absolutely decadent dark chocolate nonpareils, homemade sea salt and vinegar potato chips, and of course a few bottles of that inexpensive, but always good, dry, red wine, plus whatever other treasures you are meant to find that day.
On this particular morning, the radio program is featuring songs from the 30’s and 40’s…before your time, but such a fun way to study history! The program host gives you some background for the song he is about to play. You listen…find the information interesting enough, and then…the music begins. A mysterious, pulsating Latin rhythm to it…a tango…what a fun song! You seem to recognize it…something from your childhood, maybe…nearly lost but surfacing from your subconscious. Of course! It dawns on you…your parents used to play this song! Your memories are distant, but you have definitely heard this as a child…you think you like it!
The quality of the recording is exceptionally good. You’re feeling it now…the exotic musical quality and the passion expressed in the lyrics, the dance rhythm prompting you to sway a bit in your seat. You start to imagine the dramatically outstretched hand of your dance partner…reaching for yours. You rise, wearing a seductive (but very classy) red dress…he leads you to the floor…your stage…and with an obligatory red rose held between your teeth…you glide together through the night, as if one, ardent being…interpreting…in synchronized perfection, the language of romance!
The song is over, and you are back down to car;) More songs are played before you arrive at your destination, but this one lingers, somewhere deep within you. Funny song…you’re not even sure, now, if you really like it…still, it enthralls you as a listener…and you may never be quite the same.
After you are finished buying one of almost everything you like at Trader Joe’s…you decide to go to the drive through of a nearby fast food place to get an iced tea. As you drive up to the window, waiting your turn patiently in line…it begins; you start to hum that song! You aren’t even aware you are doing it, at first…then suddenly you question…what am I humming? And you realize…it’s that song from this morning, you smile to yourself…and let it go. (Or did you?) You pull up to the service window and pay for your tea…but wait! The employee at the window smiles at you. He happens to be Hispanic…like your dancing partner of this morning (in your mind, of course;) You take the tea, quickly…almost embarrassed, as though you think he might have recognized you! You speed away, and he shouts out after you…senora!!! You are confused for a moment…he DOES know me!!! What shall I do? But then you realize, you were in such a hurry…you only forgot your change. How ridiculous that was, you think, and you almost laugh…but feel oddly…possessed!!! Oh well, on to other things.
There is a long wait in the bank lobby, after you sign in to complete your intended business. You would like to have just driven through outside, or to have used the automated teller, but you had to put something in your safe deposit box, so it was necessary to go inside. You sit and wait and play a word game on your cell phone…the missing word begins with a “c”…nine letters…hmm…you opt for a clue…”Cuban musical instrument”…and then it hits you…castanets!?! The music from that morning immediately begins to play in your head! You wonder…what in the world is going on here? You are jolted back to the present moment when the bank attendant calls your name, and escorts you to the safe deposit vault. You open your drawer, place your certificates in safely, lock it…and proceed toward the door to exit the bank, when you are unexpectedly called back for a moment…”don’t forget your free gift” the bank attendant says…she opens a black, lacquered folding fan…you look up in disbelief as it reveals…a Spanish dancer with …A ROSE IN HER TEETH!!! ”Summer heat wave…we want our customers to remain cool” she says with a smile. You accept the fan, abruptly…the music fades in, but you stop it instantly, as you wonder, just for a split second… can she hear it, too?
Meanwhile, back in the car…you are almost amused at the coincidences of the day…but you are also annoyed to think how this song has embedded itself so deeply in your subconscious mind…and wholly without your permission! Who is in control here, anyway, you think to yourself?! You affirm: I WILL NOT allow this song another moment in my head!
Things seem back to normal…you buckle up, turn on the news, and make your way home. All is well…except….a story of unrest in Spain…the people are protesting against the government…and for a moment you think…why Spain of all places…and why today? Now you think, you are being ridiculous…all of these things have been nothing but coincidence! How absurd of you to think otherwise! Yet later in the evening, after dinner, while doing the dishes…you find that you are singing the words to…that song!!!
You wonder…what makes a song stick in our heads that way? Of course this has happened before, but not quite so persistently as this! In the past it has been something with a catchy tune, a mesmerizing beat, or a few choice words that just seem to capture your interest on some level. More often than not…the tune that sticks in your head is not even one you like! Why would that be? And the worst part is…they play and play and play and you are virtually powerless to turn them off…and if you do…they will only begin again, when least expected! How does that work, anyway? And sometimes…they are with you for days!!! Has this ever happened to you! There do seem to be certain songs that are naturals for this for this phenomenon. You know them…this happens to all of us from time to time…right?
It’s late and time for bed. You shower, put on your face cream and gardenia scented body lotion…and then comfortably slip into bed, anticipating that final chapter of the intriguing novel you want to finish tonight. Silence. It’s over…and it was everything you hoped it would be. Now time for sleep, so you turn out the light, snuggle into your favorite sleeping position, and enter into dreams…when all at once…you guessed it…you are back in the dance hall, somewhere in Spain, with your gorgeous, Latin dancing partner, only now…he has a name…Raymondo!!! There you are in your beautiful, tight fitting red dress…with a leg revealing (but very tasteful) slit up one side…and of course, let’s not forget the rose…and the music!!! You dance as you have never danced before! You are swept across the floor to the pulsating rhythm of flamenco guitars, violins, and piano…(oh and let’s not forget the castanets!) You are breathtaking! Everyone in the place has their eyes on you…as you perform flawlessly…and finally, the dance is over. The applause is deafening…uproarious! Raymondo takes the rose from your lips, breathes in its fragrance of you…and looking deeply into your eyes, he leans in to embrace and softly kiss you….and then…you wake up!
What a dream! Getting out of bed, you remember everything…vividly! You finish dressing…and sitting before your vanity mirror, as you apply your makeup…you begin to sing…………………………..OH, NOOOOOOOO!!!
What did you say? You want to know the name of the song? Well, OK, but I must warn you…I will tell you, but I will not accept responsibility if you can never forget it! Listen at your own risk! You have been warned!
(Here’s a clue: Strike a match and you will know!)