Have you ever gotten an annoying tune stuck in your head? A commercial jingle or the chorus of a song? I was horrified to find out the phenomenon is commonly called "earworms". Yuk! I've made it forty some years without knowing that, and now I can't forget it. Much of the time people find them annoying, but is it possible to turn one into a laughter-filled fun experience? It happened for me, and maybe it can for you too.
The "official" term for earworms used by psychologists is involuntary musical imagery or INMI. The scientists have been studying why our brains "spend so much time thinking thoughts unrelated to our present task." Alas, they've been able to do some predicting on what sort of songs will get stuck in people's heads, but haven't learned what the benefit (if any) the brain gets from them.
I often enjoy it though, when I get a song I love repeating in my head. All the benefits of a radio without the radio!
But sometimes there's a song I don't like so much. No matter what I do to get another song in my head, nothing makes it go away - until suddenly it's gone. And then what happens? Someone says a few lines of it, or mentions it and BAM! there it is again.
Now, every time I hear the word "taco" that happens. You see my son found a YouTube video called "Raining Tacos". If you have kids you may have seen, or heard, it too. Somehow, it seems anyone under the age of 15 knows it.
He loves it and played it endlessly for weeks. When it all started I was curious. I needed to make sure it was an ok song for him - no explicit music in this household! I discovered how strange it was, and I didn't understand why he loved it so much. But then I started to cringe every time I heard it start. Ugh. Not again, I would think to myself. And so it went for weeks and weeks, pushing me to the edge of insanity.
Then one day, when I was feeling particularly good and happy, I noticed something. My son was laughing during the song. I went to see him, and there he was, watching the YouTube video and just giggling his little heart out. From that moment everything changed. Now when I hear the song, I hear him laughing. I get an image in my head of him doubled over at his desk because he was laughing so hard. The tacos keep raining in my head too, but the sound of his laughter brings me such joy I'm happy to listen to it over and over too. If you're at all curious about the song or the video, you can see it below - if you have young ones I bet they'll laugh too.
Taco night and eating in Mexican restaurants will never be the same again, but I wouldn't have it any other way.