“Your Wind Song Stays on My Mind”

Okay, I apologize. (I seem to be doing that a lot lately.) Why? you might ask. Because if you know where the post title comes from, that jingle is probably drifting through your brain right about now. (If you are absolutely confused, the ad is for the perfume, Wind Song, by Prince Matchabelli. Look here for more details. And no, this is not another post about scents.)

Along those lines, today I woke up with this song lyric in my head: “Here come those Santa Ana winds again.” If you know your Steely Dan tunes, that’s probably spinning through your head also. (The line is from “Babylon Sisters” for those of you scratching yours.)

Song earworms—they plague us for weeks, don’t they? Bet you’re already thinking of songs from the first Frozen movie (for some reason, I have trouble recalling most of the songs from Frozen 2) or, as the article pointed out, any song by Lady Gaga.

When I was a kid, any song by Glen Campbell or Queen would stay in my head, sometimes for months. (Bet you’re already thinking of “Rhinestone Cowboy” or “We Are the Champions.” Sorry.)

Advertising jingles are definite earworms. I had no trouble recalling that Wind Song ad (it stayed on my mind, you might say) even decades later. I can sing jingles I heard in my childhood. I am certain you can as well. (My bologna has a first name . . .)

This article from CNN health talks about earworms and why they do what they do.

Isn’t it interesting that a song can get lodged in our heads for months or years but a compliment or some other affirmation has difficulty taking root? If you’re like me, negative information is an earworm that doesn’t seem to go away. I call that a word worm.

Last week, my dad said something nice about my writing. Note the word something, because I have trouble recalling his exact words. Yet I can remember, word for word, a rejection I received for a manuscript about two years ago. Two years ago.
It’s time—past time—to take out the trash.

What do you do when earworms or word worms persist?

Wind Song perfume from FragranceX.com. “Babylon Sisters” from Discogs. Bart Simpson gif from Tenor.

37 thoughts on ““Your Wind Song Stays on My Mind”

  1. For me, songs getting stuck in my head don’t seem as common as memory association. Your mention of Rhinestone Cowboy immediately took me back to Saturday nights at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. That song was always played. We Are the Champions made me think of high school. I love that music does this! This is why, when writing, I’ll use music to get “unstuck.” Loved this, L. Marie!

    • Thanks, Jill! 😀 True to form, “Rhinestone Cowboy” is stuck in my head!
      Back in the day, I listened to the radio more, so songs would be played over and over that got stuck in my head. I think of high school times too.

  2. Earworms are the cornerstone of so many musicians. It makes sense though. Get that hook and people will listen a lot because it starts as you thinking you retain it out of enjoyment. It isn’t until you realize you can’t get it out that the truth appears. Think it’s like the opening hook of a story, but longer lasting. Honestly, the earworms drive me nuts.

      • Actually, the queen of earworms is Beyonce. She has more songs like that than Lady Gaga. I’d say most, if not all, of her big hits are because of well-crafted earworms. Heck, I’ve already set off one in my head by typing this.

  3. I wonder now if I’ve even worn Wind Song. Hmmm

    What gets stuck in my head are snatches of song from my morning meditation, a good thing. I also remember the exuberance of Rhinestone Cowboy. It made me sad to hear that Glen Campbell died of dementia. What a musician and performer. You sure have a talent for weaving disparate idea together into something sensible, L. Marie!

    • Thank you! That comes through prayer, Marian. 😉
      Yes, it is sad. He was definitely a great musician. That’s why his songs get stuck in my head!

      I don’t think I’ve worn Wind Song. Now I want some!

  4. Oh I remember that commercial and I’m now playing it in my mind. I didn’t like that perfume. I just give into ear worms and let them drive my crazy for the day. I figure, this too shall pass.

  5. check, check, and check again…how about old commercials like, “Winston tastes good like a (clap-clap) cigarette should” or “cigars, cigarettes, Tiperillo” oh-oh I know, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature -(lightening with claps of thunder)”
    And then there’s always, “Monster Mash” or “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I got love in my tummy” (geesh-Erik Fromm would have a heyday with the psycho-implications on that one!)
    Now you’ve let the flood gates open on those earworms so I’ll scream out loud:
    “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
    Enjoy the rest of your day!!
    HA!

  6. I’m sure everyone can relate to those ear worms, L. I can especially remember the Wind Song ad because it’s the perfume my mom used to wear. As a kid, I bought it for her every Mother’s Day.

    I know exactly what you mean about negative comments or criticism. Why is it those stick and not the compliments? I don’t get it. That’s a good psychological mystery I should look into. You know I like those. I’ve heard the saying that if we’re in a room of 100 people, and 99 of them tell us we look great, but 1 of them tells us we look tired and sick, that’s the one that sticks. 🤷‍♀️

    BTW, here’s an ear worm that drives me crazy, and I turn the song off every time it starts. Footloose. Aaaackkk. 🤪

    • Footloose is a definite earworm, Lori. Already hearing it in my head!
      I’d love to catch a whiff of Wind Song! Or Chanel No. 5.

      I seriously need to take out the trash as far as hanging on to negative comments!

  7. The theory I’ve heard (and applied with some success) for getting rid of earworms is that singing “Moon River” will wipe them out without becoming one itself. I’ve had a certain amount of success with that. And will be trying it with the “Wind Song” perfume theme, because I, too, remember that one.

  8. This is well timed for me, because I just found out about a podcast series alleging that the Scorpions’ hit song from 1989 “Wind of Change” 1) became the earworm that ended the Soviet Empire, and 2) was not written by Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine but rather by the CIA. Historically, rousing songs have moved peoples and nations, but I’m less convinced of the CIA’s authorship of the song. As Bart Simpson would say, “You gotta admit. The tune is catchy.”

  9. If you taped the compliment your dad gave you last week . . . and listened to it over and over and over . . . as we do with favorite songs and commercial jingles . . . it would become more firmly implanted in your brain. 😀

    • I wish I’d recorded it, Nancy. I’m glad the younger generation in my family have made a habit of recording the stories of the older generation. 😀

  10. Your comment about how the words of a rejection stayed with you really made me think. I can remember the exact words of hurtful comments too, but not the exact words of praise I have received over the years. Wow. I think I need to let those rejections go!

  11. I remember Wind Song and wore it for a time.
    Come to the church in the wildwood came to me just the other day. Someone had posted it on FB with Andy Griffith singing it. That rendition and then others kept me company all day. 🙂

    A very old song, Pennies from Heaven, is special to me. My Daddy would play the record and I would dance with him, or, more accurately on his feet, smiling the whole time as he sang along. He made me think the song was about me. It was years later that I realized it wasn’t about me at all. Ha! It’s still my Daddy and my song.

  12. Ear worms that remain with me are adverts-the songs on tv advertisements that I saw as a child that, unlike songs that always pop up on radio, etc, you never hear again. For decades, yet can sing them word for word.

  13. I read somewhere that the way to get rid of ear worms is to allow the song (or jingle) to play out, that the problem is with only hearing that one snippet over and over. Didn’t you write something about that? For me, it’s always the snippets that play over and over. Sitting myself down and listening or recalling the entire song doesn’t always help but it gives a bit of relief. (And thank you for suggesting the playlist from my teenage years ;)).

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