#IronyoftheDay I’m an atheist, & yet I woke up with a HYMN stuck in my head. I’d pray to God to make it stop, but then, well. You know.
Pasted from <https://www.facebook.com/jaebaeli>
Yeah, that was my status update this morning.
It’s bad enough, when you just get a regular song stuck in your head, but for an ATHEIST to get a HYMN lodged up in that looping track? Not just the insipid sycophantic melody those tunes always have, but the actual content of the lyrics, the sentiments inherent in hymnal/gospel music, et al; it’s sandpaper against every infidel sensibility I have.
Oh victory…in Jesus…my savior, forever…he sought me and bought me…with his redeeming blood…..
It’s torture, on some level.
I’m sure all the believers out there who are reading this are giggling maniacally, citing the sense of humor their god has. Never mind how offensive I find that lyrical sentiment, that I should worship a god who kills his son, and finds some admirable quality in BLOOD SACRIFICE….
Don’t get me started on that argument, I’ll have to whip out all my years of theological study and learning, and make a cogent argument for their god’s decidedly humorless nature, among other things, and it will just turn into a huge treatise, like those 6 books I wrote about all that…I’ve been there, done that, and don’t want to spend too much of my energy on it again. I have better things to do.
Like getting this damn song out of my head.
Suffice to say, it’s irritating enough to wake up with a song in your head, even one you like, because it has this tendency to remain an inordinately long time. I’ve had spells when a song got stuck in my head for DAYS after that. And the only cure I’ve ever found is to listen to some other music; and it better be music you enjoy, because likely, one of THOSE songs will be stuck in your head.
In recent months, I have begun to think of this phenomenon as a sort of Dream Soundtrack. I had begun to notice how often I woke up with a tune in my head, and I figured I must have been hearing it in a dream. Then I noticed, when I recalled some of those dreams, it actually WAS playing in the background of that dreamscape. So, perhaps when we joke about the Soundtrack of Our Lives, there really is such a thing, and it’s just nestled snugly in the subconscious, revealing itself only when we are asleep, or in more unfortunate circumstances, immediately after we wake up…
It’s much more useful to create music in your dreams. And historically, some musical artists and composers have claimed that their musical compositions came to them in dreams. I can say that as a songwriter myself, this can happen. I’ve been awakened by music while dreaming, and got up to record song ideas. It does happen.
Another songwriter shared a story about actually being “given” a song by John Lennon…
So, that night at 3 AM, I awakened from a dream in which the late John Lennon had played me a new song that he’d written while in heaven. As I bolted from my bed and rushed into my living room, I could still feel the song running through my system. Without any thought, I landed on the piano bench, hit the record button on the recorder I kept on the piano and played the song complete, singing all the lyrics without even thinking about them. I was blown away. “Damn!” I thought. “This stuff really works.” 
And music certainly isn’t the only creation that can appear in our subconscious minds. As a novelist, I have also solved problems with plot, motivation, or other aspects of a book I was working on, by merely thinking about it intensely before sleeping. I would often wake up with the solution. This creative resource is available to just about anyone, no matter what their vocation.
While working on a model of the atom, physicist Niels Bohr dreamed of a planetary system with electrons circulating around the nucleus. The Bohr Model of the Atom, along with his other works, led him to a Nobel prize in science. 
So, while this aspect of our minds can be irritating, it can also be a wellspring. But I’m not feeling so wellspringy today, since I STILL have this damn song in my head.
As always, I am curious about how things work, and so I Googled “why do songs get stuck in our heads” and found several fascinating articles.
The first one was in The Telegraph, and I learned that there is an actual term for this: earworms. Good to know, although the visual that goes with that is a little disturbing. Good thing I don’t maintain visuals for very long in my mind’s eye, or I’d be writing another blog about not being able to get that worm out of my head.
But this article reveals that scientists have actually figured out a way to remove that song, without replacing it with another (hopefully). At first, they tried Sudoku puzzles, but found that those were often at a level of difficulty that made the technique ineffective, as we tend to lose our focus with highly focused and difficult task. I was not keen on this idea, because I hate Sodoku; though I am proud of my intelligence, there are all types of intelligences we now know to exist, and not everyone has all of them. For me, it’s one of those left-brain things I happen to be bad at, and heartily dislike. I don’t like numbers and math, so all that does is irritate me more, and make me feel stupid. And I really hate feeling irritated and stupid.
A better solution, those erudite scientists said, was to do anagrams. (Hopefully the anagram will not turn out to be a song title.) The solution has to have a Goldilocks Effect: not too easy, and not too hard, but just right. So anagrams, apparently, fit the bill. (I noticed that at the end of the article, the author lists a set of songs that most commonly become earworms these days, and I thought that was a bit of humorous irony in itself, since I now run the risk of getting one of the songs on their list stuck in my head.)
But verbal tasks seem to be the key to eradicating this Melodious Malady, so I am hoping that by writing this blog, I will be released from my affliction.
I’ll let you know tomorrow. When I wake up with another song in my head.