Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reminiscing Classic Earworms

When I was growing up, music and noise was a constantly in the background every day life. Besides the usual routine every day noises of the TV, radio, conversation, dog barking, and the "mummy this" and "mummy that", there would be someone playing the piano or the drums or the guitar, or singing very loudly in the shower.

On top of that, my dad had (or still has) this funny quirk where he would be suddenly become fixated on a song or artist... and then for days afterwards, the song will be playing on repeat mode on the stereo. If you've heard of earworms, it's just like that, except that it's not just in your head any more.

"Immerse yourself in the tune", my dad would say.

He would not only play the song repeatedly again and again and again, but also quite loudly. It was impossible to ignore. The songs he fixated on were from a broad range of genres.

Sometimes it would be oldies from the 60s and 70s. But with my dad being very progressive with the times, it did not stop there…

I remember one time when Megahit 6 came into the house, and we had to endure listening to Boy George's 'Crying Game', UB40's 'Can't Help Falling in Love', Pet Shop Boys' 'Go West' and Duran Duran's 'Come Undone' at least 1,000 times.

Then after coming back from a US family holiday, my dad picked up the soundtrack to Sigfried & Roy's stage performance at The Mirage, Las Vegas. So enters the season of new age music with the breathy whispers of 'Mea Culpa' all throughout the house.

Then we had a short phase of techno disco music. "I just like the beat", said my dad when I inquired whether there was some great significance or meaning in the pulsating techno beats.

For one of his birthdays, I remember getting him a ABBA Gold CD. So I only had myself to blame when I found myself humming 'Mamma Mia' and 'Money, Money, Money' before I could help myself.

And then my brother brought home an Enya CD, so we went into another new age phase again for a while.

We also had a season of Don Moen who was very popular in Christian music in the mid 90s. So the familar refrains of 'I am the God that Healeth Thee' and 'All We Like Sheep' did not end after church on Sunday, but carried on throughout the week as well.

Then came a phase of classical vocals such as Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli... our house would be filled with angelic voices singing 'You Lift Me Up' and 'Time To Say Goodbye'.

These are only some of many other examples I can think of... so I think I had a fairly wide, albeit random, exposure to a broad range of music genres (all this on top of keeping up with other current pop music trends of the day including Backstreet Boys, BoyzIIMen, Babyface, Celine Dion and others).

But now this practice of becoming fixated on a particular song or songs has already manifested in me. I have become my dad! *Gasp* Will I become like Debbie in the song '1985'? I can already picture me bobbing my head to some 'old' song from the 90s and telling my kids how cool this song was back then. I hope they will turn out to be sensible enough to realise how cool those songs were and will always be!

Anyway, now I come to the actual main point of this entry (before I started rambling on in nostalgia). I wanted to share the three songs that are currently playing on repeat mode on my music player all day long... and I'm not tired of them (yet)!

Kantoi by Zee Avi - 'Kantoi' is an urban slang which means someone who got busted or caught in the act... I purposely searched for a youtube vid with English translation for those non-Malay speakers. This song is so cute and quirky about how this girl finds out her boyfriend was cheating on her... and I laughed out loud at the line "no wonder lah my friends pun tak suka you!"

1985 by Bowling for Soup - People who grew up in the 80s would appreciate this as the song is littered with pop culture references to the 80s... Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, U2, Duran Duran... the era of sitcoms, game shows, before reality TV and when music was still on MTV

Spiderman by Michael Buble - Did you ever wonder how the theme song from the popular comic book series would sound in a jazzy two-step beat? Well you need ponder no more because Michael Buble has the answer!


  1. Wow. You are spot on ^-^. Still listen the same way if I am hooked to one !

  2. In fact mom is doing the same thing nowaday ! Really infectious !

  3. gosh i didn't know uncle alfred has the same habit i have! drives people far, far away from me lol

  4. Speaking of which, my supervisor has 'mea culpa' as his ring tone. Great minds think alike


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