Thanks to a Facebook post from a writer I follow, I’ve had a medley of Counting Crows “‘Round Here” and “Mr. Jones” running through my head since last week. This isn’t good; it’s actually kind of bad and it has me thinking about songs I used to find entertaining and then heard one time too many and now hope I never hear again.
Counting Crows were already popular when I got back from Albania and headed off to Mississippi for an odd, misguided couple of years. I therefore heard, on TV and on the radio and at friend’s houses, a constant run of the two songs I mentioned above. They were catchy and kind of cool at first, and the lead singer had great hair, and then all of a sudden they weren’t cool and I blocked them out of my memory. It’s no joke that I hadn’t thought of them for years until last week.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a moody relationship with music and part of that involves suddenly reaching super-saturation of a song. I used to like Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” then I heard it one time too many. Anything by the Cranberries can, as far as I’m concerned, replace the ET game cartridges in the landfill New Mexico. “Stairway to Heaven” can join it and it can lie next to “Stray Cat Strut,” “Goody Two Shoes,” “Mony Mony,” “I Love A Rainy Night”, “Flowers on the Wall” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Damn you Mike Myers and your damned Wayne’s World AMC Pacer scene.)
Sometimes an entire group is ruined because the group does the unforgivable and that which has been seen can never be unseen. I used to like Styx, and even forgave them “Mr. Roboto,” until they did the abomination “Music Time” and now I can’t listen to any Styx song without hearing “Hey everybody it’s music time!” in my head. (Look it up, I refuse to link to it.)
The song, however, that provides the soundtrack when I peer down past the gates of Hell is one I wasn’t even a big fan of, but got to hear again and again and again as part of my job.
As part of the English experience, many Japanese English textbooks include lyrics from English songs and the official CD contains the music. Usually the song is “Let it Be” or “Hello, Goodbye” (which both should also be buried somewhere) but In this case, the song was by Stevie Wonder, was from The Woman in Red soundtrack, and was about a man merely telephoning a woman to express his amorous feelings. (I cannot be more specific without losing what’s left of my soul.)
I was invited to a class to walk the students through the lyrics and then help them sing it about five times. This went over so well, according my soulless teaching partner anyway, that she decided to do the song in every class that week. To give you the Devil’s math: 9 classes X (two times explaining the lyrics + five times singing it two the music) = hearing a song way too many times to possibly retain sanity. I can’t even think about the song without having to hum “MMMBop” to kill the ear worm.
Believe it or not, it could be worse. I know one teacher who was a big fan of “Cartoon Heroes” by Aqua. This is madness.