There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to why, but sometimes I make up songs.
Actually, there is no specific convergence of heavenly bodies or wind conditions or food ingestion that brings this about – it’s just something I do. Whether it’s singing to the cats about why I haven’t fed them yet (usually it has something to do with “I don’t want to go downstairs yet”) or proclaiming the wonders of a particular food (“Donuts! I love donuts!”), I just find myself singing impromptu songs sometimes.
Here’s an example of one that sprang to mind a long time ago. Dave and I were driving to school one morning when we saw a sticker on the vehicle in front of us that looked like a former President:
Hey, Woodrow Wilson
On the back of the truck
That’s on the front of our car
That’s on the ro-o-oad.
Certainly not Shakespeare by any stretch, but there’s something about on-the-spot words and on-the-spot tunes that I really like. That one there, for instance, has been rattling around in my head now for over 13 years. Seriously. And it just makes sense, you know? Our car was on the road, the truck was in front of us, and the sticker that looked like Woodrow Wilson was on it. Perfectly logical. Should there have been more? Perhaps. We might have explored what it was we wanted to say to Woodrow Wilson. The quattrain in this form should simply be considered a greeting, I feel, one that is very specific as to location.
I know I’m not the only one that does this. You other guilty ones know who you are (Dave, for instance). I worry, though, that it’s some sort of condition that will only get worse with time, but I don’t worry too much about it, since it’s something I enjoy.
I wonder if it’s tied with my other musical tic. Sometimes when someone says a sentence, the meter of the sentence immediately fits the meter of a song I’m familiar with. “Those are some big guns that they’re shooting in Iraq” immediately goes to the tune of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black,” for instance. That one is helped more by “Iraq” rhyming with “black,” but it isn’t always that way.
And, of course, pretty much everybody does the “that reminds me of a song” thing. Should someone happen to encourage all partygoers to “have fun tonight,” 93% of the attenders will immediately think (and sometimes sing outloud) “Everybody Wang Chung tonight!” traveling to Kokomo, Indiana for some reason? There’s a Beach Boys song for that. It can be surprising some of the random lyrics and tunes that pop into a person’s head triggered by the smallest thing.
None of this is necessarily a terrible thing… unless it happens 458 times in the span of an evening. Even then it’s not necessarily a terrible thing… unless you happen to be in the company of others.
It is to those others that I apologize now. I’d like to say “it won’t happen again,” but I know it will.
Feel free to sing along.