Open Thread

A while back (meaning anywhere from three months ago to last week- it all bleeds together these days), I listened to a radio lab episode that spent one of the segments talking about the sounds that appliances make in our houses, and how that sound has a profound impact on our lives. I wish I could find the episode, but basically they had a guy with a keen sense of tune who could tell you whether the hum of your fridge was a b-flat or a c-minor, and what that meant as far as your mood, etc., and how it impacted the way we behaved. One of the key takeaways was that modern life has human beings living in an audio nightmare- you may not actively notice it, but the hum and whizzes and whirs of modern appliances have a profound impact on our behavior and moods, and we are just not built to handle modern noise.

I can’t find the episode, but I know it was radiolab because I was driving to the grocery store on a Saturday, and turned the radio on specifically to hear the show (although I had no idea what the content would be). I’m to the point now that I always have the radio off when I drive alone, even when it is for hours. It’s my time without barking dogs or phone calls or whatever else to just listen to the road and think. Basically, I only run the radio when I am in the car when other people are there to keep them from initiating conversations or because there is a special show I want to hear (like radiolab).

At any rate, the reason I bring this up is because I have had the weirdest earworms the last week, and I simply can not figure out why I am getting them. Every morning I wake up, and another song is in my head, and more often than not they are songs I have not listened to or heard or even heard mentioned in years. For example, this morning, I woke with this in my head:

Yesterday it was this:

The day before, it was this (and yes, I am now writing them down every day):

And on Monday, it was this:

It goes on and on and on. There is nothing I was doing consciously the night before that would bring on these songs. I sleep with no music or tv or radio, so it isn’t like I heard something in the middle of the night and woke up to it. I was sitting at my desk earlier today and started singing Roxanne, and an hour later I was belting out Ethel Merman. So here is my question- is it possible that there is something involved with the appliances and the hums that is tonally similar to the songs we get as earworms?

*** Update ***

It wasn’t Radiolab. It was This American Life, which plays right before Radiolab on my NPR affiliate.

209 replies
  1. 1
    Louise says:

    I heard this on Planet Money.

  2. 2
    Louise says:

    I heard this on Planet Money.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    I’ve got an earworm. It’s a little ditty called Fix the Damn Site, Cole.

    Maybe you’ve heard of it.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @Baud: Rebuild next week. Get off my god damned tip.

  5. 5
    Lee Hartmann says:

    John: it is called getting older and remembering things. At least I tell myself this to make myself feel better. But really; the older you get the more stuff you have buried in your memory and the more options your brain has. So enjoy the richness you have built up over the years.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @John Cole:

    Is what’s going on today rebuild related?

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    You ain’t got no earworm. You are watching Gandhi.

    Trust me on this.

  8. 8
    scav says:

    Lot of tangentially related stuff in a lot of Oliver Sacks books, not just his
    Musicphilia.. Not attached to machine noise but the brain does seem prone to music.

  9. 9
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Is it possible that years of struggling with Fvck You Word Press have finally driven you mad?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    raven says:

    Aw it ain’t that bad.

  12. 12
    Valdivia says:

    it was radiolab. I will find the link.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Bill Withers? Lucky you. My earworms suck.

  15. 15
    Jade Jordan says:

    Cut your drinking in half and the earwigs will go away (so will the headaches and memory loss).

  16. 16
    Boudica says:

    Okay, maybe it was Radio Lab.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    I was surfing my usual tumbirs for red head erotica (hate porn), and clicked on one page for this song that has been playing in my head ever since last night.

  18. 18
    Valdivia says:


    oops. you’re right. :)

  19. 19
    Comrade Mary says:

    Boudica, your first link to TAL was perfectly correct.

  20. 20
    danielx says:

    I’ve had Free Man In Paris popping into my head at odd times for the last week. Could be worse, the last earworm I recollect was a Def Leppard song…

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    If you wanna scare the ever loving piss out of yourself, lose your wallet on your way to work in the middle of downtown. Fortunately I got it back missing only $13 in cash. Occasionally I get lucky.

  22. 22
    Comrade Mary says:

    At risk of my phone issuing multiples, Boudica’s first link to TAL was correct.

  23. 23
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    One of the key takeaways was that modern life has human beings living in an audio nightmare- you may not actively notice it, but the hum and whizzes and whirs of modern appliances have a profound impact on our behavior and moods, and we are just not built to handle modern noise.

    Fuck modern noise. I’ve developed tinnitus and that goddamn ringing beats modern hums and whirrs all to shit, and there’s nothing that can fix it for certain. I’ll live with it the rest of my life. :/

  24. 24
    General Stuck says:


    I am puzzled by “get of my goddam tip” . What’s a “tip”, some kind of metrosexual jive speak?

  25. 25
    ninedragonspot says:

    You know, there are worse services out there than WordPress. Try dealing sometime with China’s Sina Blog – one of the very few options for blogging behind the Great Fire Wall. The internet there is designed to work haphazardly – makes it easier to hide some of the “restrictions”.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @General Stuck:

    head erotica (hate porn)

    I haven’t heard this term before. Explain.

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:


    Joni is always welcome in my head.

  28. 28
    aangus says:

    ” is it possible that there is something involved with the appliances and the hums that is tonally similar to the songs we get as earworms?”


    This has been another episode of simple answers to ….

  29. 29
    Lee Rudolph says:

    Thirty/forty years ago there was a book called Powers of Mind written pseudonymously by “Adam Smith” (who mostly wrote books about money, and may have coined the phrase “gnomes of Zurich”). Each chapter (as I remember it) featured him investigating some New-Agey, or Human-Potentially, or whatever, thing—like EST, or whatever that Chilean business was; usually rather cynically, but not always entirely dismissively, and always from a first-person perspective. Anyway, in one chapter involving some sort of mental practice or other (you can tell that I am highly trained in the Art of Memory!), he begins to get quite freaked out because various bird songs keep coming into his head (this was long before I, at least, had ever heard the term “earworm”, but that’s what they were, except for being bird songs not people songs). Eventually he discovers somehow that somewhere else in his apartment building, someone has a hi-tech (for the time) cuckoo clock that marks different hours with different birdsongs.

    But the sonic signal that was getting to him was very, very faint, and he never actually was aware of hearing it in his own apartment. Nonetheless it would get the songs into his head, where they would (IIRC) continue on their own.

    So: could you be picking up, not appliances, but actual songs being played somewhere nearby?

  30. 30
    Wag says:

    I woke up with Enola Gaye as an ear worm last weekend.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    @John Cole: Seriously, this site is fucked up at this point. And we have to wait until next week for it to be un-fucked? What the hell is this, 1983?

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:


    It’s Red Head erotica. Red Headed females, and if I am lonely enough, maybe some male ones. I would link to one, but fear running afoul internet traditions, and such.

  33. 33
    Randy P says:

    I’m reading on my phone. I find that clearing cache and cookies fixes the issue. If I was feeling a little more scientific-method-y, i’d do one more experiment and figure out which one it is.

    It’s only a slight pain. I can deal till the next rebuild.

    Re: earworms on waking. I get that all the time. No telling where it comes from. When I’m walking, I often find that whatever is in my head is in the exact tempo of my footsteps, but I have no idea which is cause and which is effect.

  34. 34
    General Stuck says:

    @Ash Can:

    My FF for this site has been totally borked all afternoon. Until I disconnected my modem for a while and then plugged it back in. I don’t know if that did it, but the site is back to working perfectly now.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: I lost my wallet in the Gare de l’Est, and it was turned in at the lost and found with cash and everything in it.

    ETA: Talk about scary. Be 20 y/o and walletless in a foreign country.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @General Stuck:

    “Hate p0rn” confused me.

  37. 37
    Anne Laurie says:


    I’ve developed tinnitus and that goddamn ringing beats modern hums and whirrs all to shit, and there’s nothing that can fix it for certain. I’ll live with it the rest of my life. :/

    You tried any of the postural treatments yet?

    (Not the best link — but a friend who’d suffered since childhood claimed the new-ish treatment where they essentially hang you upside down at weird angles to re-float the calcium crystals reduced her symptoms enormously. And, yes, anecdotes are not data… )

  38. 38

    no man you are fuken wacked out

  39. 39
    dance around in your bones says:

    Well, you are lucky you wake up with musical earworms instead of “OMG I am such a fucked up person and so unworthy”. I try to let those thoughts just bubble up and float away like a good Buddhist would do, but they just hang around and torment me instead.

    I haven’t thought of Green Tambourine in fucking years. I can still sing every stupid word, though.(♫listen while I play-ay-ay♫)

    The Dead Milkmen song somehow made me think of the TV show China Beach, which I was entirely hooked on back in the day. Anybody else into that show? I thought it was stellar.

    eta: I have also had problems lately with the nym and email addy not automatically filling in when I open a new tab. Win7 and FF 18.0.2 here. WTF.

  40. 40
    jurassicpork says:

    If you’re comfortable with Obama’s use of drones, then you’re probably a Bush Democrat.

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I figure if all I’m out is $13, I’m gonna cut my losses and thank the FSM for keeping an eye out on me, The fact that the cute guard who flirted with me slightly (after scaring the piss outta me, as I was going past he yelled, “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” and I had the discipline to not wet myself) doesn’t hurt matters in the slightest.

  42. 42
    cbear says:

    I don’t really have an opinion on the appliance/sonic wave thingy–but if you’re belting out Ethel Merman tunes, you might want to consider consulting Dr Marcus Bachmann. I hear he works wonders on people with your problem.
    (Not that there’s anything wrong with it.)

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:


    I’ve had permanent severe tinnitus since 1985, from chronic ear infections since childhood. I have learned to live with it, but not easily.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, loss of $13 isn’t a big deal compared to the PITA of getting new ID and credit cards.

  45. 45
    LT says:

    I wake up and wait for the song to come. Almost always a different song. I like it.

    And one of the best things about songwriting is either waking up with or just suddenly find a song playing in you rhead and realize it’s one you’re still working on. And sounding freer, looser, and even with more stuff going on than you yourself have written. So good.

  46. 46
    freelancer says:


    Fuck. Off.

    And post your trolling screed here if you want a discussion, you shameless blogwhore.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:


    probly should have added an I

  48. 48
    BenjaminJB says:

    Cole, if it was Radiolab (and not the This American Life segment that Boudicca pointed you to), it might have been this episode that cut together three episodes of 99% Invisible, the design podcast, which presented an episode called “The Sound of the Artificial World.”

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @freelancer: Not mincing words tonight, are you?

  50. 50
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Anne Laurie: I haven’t tried those. I’ll check with the two ear specialists I’ve had to see about this. Part of the problem is that it’s something that occurred after surgery many moons ago, and they’ve basically said there are some things that I can try to *maybe* reduce it, but full surgery is a crapshoot and not worth the expense unless I’m bothered by it. Most of the time, it’s negligible, but it gets bad when my sinuses act up.

  51. 51
    dance around in your bones says:

    Also, the time I am most aware of the household electronic background noise is when the power goes out and it suddenly so quiet. It used to happen fairly frequently when I lived in Baja and the total darkness and quiet was……unsettling.

    I’d light about 5 candles and read my kindle when it all went dark. My husband would just say fuck it and go to bed.

  52. 52
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @freelancer: I’m guessing it wants money. I wonder if that ever works? And how many blog comment sections it puts those in?

  53. 53
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Lee Rudolph: Still have my copy of Powers of Mind somewhere in the house. He took a year off and experimented with everything. I liked the part when after a year of meditating damn near every way anyone has come up with, he gets back to New York, opens a very expensive bottle of wine and simultaneously his mind is telling him it’s awful, it’s ruining his state of being, while his tongue is telling him it’s a very good vintage etc etc.

    Or something like that, it’s been 30 years since I read it last.

  54. 54
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    suddenly so quiet

    I had an apartment overlooking the San Bernardino Freeway many years ago and eventually got used to it. The first night after I moved out it was So Quiet. No trucks coming down the Kellogg grade 10 miles away? Eerie.

  55. 55
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Finally finished House Of Cards, not too bad, going to see the British version, soon.

  56. 56
    tofubo says:

    [hopefully not a dupe]

    so god made a banker…

  57. 57
    Don K says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    Ha! About 95% of the time my earworms elicit the reaction of “This song really blows! I hate this f**king song! I haven’t heard this song in 40 years and my life was better for that. Why of all the songs I’ve heard in my life am I stuck with this one?”

  58. 58
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    I had the opposite experience years ago – lived on an old farm with no noise at all, went to visit family on the East Coast – they lived right by a freeway and the gawdamned noise kept me up every night I was there.

    Interesting what you get used to.

  59. 59
    Redshirt says:

    Led Zepplin’s “Kashmir” is guaranteed to erase any other earworm. You’ll have it as an earworm of course, but that ain’t so bad!

  60. 60
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Honestly? The worst part is the blogwhores with zero interaction from the poster. And I think the money blegs are total bullshit. But hey panhandlers can make upwards of $30/hour, so nice work (or not) if you can get it.

  61. 61
    Ken_L says:

    Of course the Bilderberg Group is controlling our moods via the frequencies in our refrigerators. I thought everybody knew that by now.

  62. 62
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    Since John brought up Radiolab, I remembered they did a spot on the subject of earworms:
    Also, arguingwithsignposts and General Stuck, also Anne Laurie:
    I’ve had tinnitis all my life. I didn’t even know it was a condition or a problem until I was in high school. There was a PSA with Farfel the Dog that described tinnitis, and, DANG– it wasn’t the martians trying to communicate with me after all!! I’m used to it, and it doesn’t bother me even though it’s always there, but my wife has it due to a burst blood vessel in one ear, and I see how much it bothers her. My sympathies.

  63. 63
    magurakurin says:


    can’t say who is or isn’t a bush democrat, but that sure is a bush league blog. I like the “donate” button right up near the top. How’s that working out for you?

    Instead of dropping by and calling people names and looking for fights, why not get behind someone like this and his suggestion to repeal the AUMF. That’s the real problem. Drones are a weapon of war, they are going to be used. Time for Congress to take away the President’s authority to use it with impunity.

  64. 64

    Right now I’m enjoying Variations in D flat for cornet and piano, op. 53 by Henri Büsser, which I played while in high school, and still remember it note-for-note, and my fingers involuntarily finger along even though I haven’t played it in over 30 years.

  65. 65
    Tokyokie says:

    If one of Cole’s appliances is causing him to perform Ethel Merman songs (I just hope it wasn’t both parts of “Friendship”), then he must have secretly acquired a Thermomix. What else could be that evil?

  66. 66
    Hugely says:

    big lizard in my backyard…

    yea man thats fckin nifty

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hugely: Just wait for the bats…

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The Sting is about to start on TCM.

  69. 69
    Lynn Dee says:

    they had a guy with a keen sense of tune who could tell you whether the hum of your fridge was a b-flat or a c-minor

    Do mean c-sharp rather than c-minor? I don’t think a single note can be said to be in a major or minor key.

  70. 70
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “We can’t stop here. This is bat country.”

  71. 71
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    From an interview with Pete Townshend of the Who:

    I was in the Sea Scouts — sort of the nautical equivalent of the Boy Scouts. One day, when I was about ten years old, we went out for a ride in a boat with an old, rusty outboard motor on the back. As we bobbed along in the water, the engine made these funny noises-brrrrrrrrrrrrr and browowrowowrowowrowowrowow. By the time we had gone up the river and back again, I had to be carried off. I was in a trance of ecstasy. When they turned the outboard motor off, I broke down — I actually physically broke down. At some point in the journey I had gone off into a trance. I began hearing the most incredible sounds — angelic choirs and celestial voices. What I heard was unbelievably beautiful. I’ve never heard music in my imagination like it since. But I’ve always realized the potential for sounds to ignite my imagination like that. To this day, I’m a bit scared to let a sound take me that far.

    I’d also heard that was the inspiration behind the pulsating synth lines of “Baba o’ Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

    So yeah, machine hums can equal earworms.

  72. 72
    danielx says:

    Perhaps Cole is hearing The Music Of Erich Zann – it would go far towards explaining his tendency toward irascibility.

  73. 73
    MikeJ says:

    repost from below, because fucking refresh still not working. Grr.

    October 19th is finally here, and it’s not that great.

  74. 74
    MikeJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The Sting is about to start on TCM.

    MikeJ->Puts finger to side of nose, nods.

  75. 75
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Radiolab? Why do you hate Capitalism.

    Seriously though, Radiolab/TAM are two of the best intelligent entertainment options out there.

    And Lynn Dee, you are correct. You need at least two notes to determine whether a chord will be minor/major.

  76. 76
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: In San Francisco when they need to do big work on the Bay Bridge, they shut it down for the weekend. One weekend I had to work downtown during the shutdown. After months of having to work 100 yards from the I80 rumble, I had a day of supreme quiet. It was quite eerie.

  77. 77
    Tim F. says:

    Sounds like you should check out the Radiolab episode on earworms.

  78. 78
    Maude says:

    My refrigerator fan motor died yesterday. The landlord hasn’t heard from the repairman yet. It is going to storm here. The lower fridge is somewhat cook.
    Electrical things are noisy.
    I’ve had tinnitus since I was a teen. It isn’t going away, but I’m used to it.

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:


    My refrigerator fan motor died yesterday.

    The fan motor died on mine a while back. I pulled the fridge away from the wall, took a window fan and aimed it at the exhaust fan on the fridge. Managed to move enough air to keep things at least semi cool. Not quite as cold as it should have been, but got me through the weekend waiting for repair without throwing away a full fridge of groceries.

  80. 80
    shirt says:

    Don;t even think about humpty-back camels. You’ll really be sorry.

  81. 81
    Hy Goldberg says:

    The whole subject of music and the brain is deep and fascinating. Daniel Levitin has written a couple of really interesting books that end up arguing that music gave rise to language, not the other way around as has been the assumption.

    This is Your Brain On Music and The World in Six Songs are the names of the books, and though he’s a little too into Sting for my personal tastes, he’s really smart and a good writer. And he talks about the neurological basis for earworms.

    I’m studying guitar now, and getting into the music of Django Reinhardt, the first great lead guitar player, and still one of the top five all time. Every day I wake up with a different swing tune in my head, and it’s great.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @shirt: Long-necked geese. You bastard.

  83. 83
    Maude says:

    I’ll do that tomorrow morning. The 1/2 and 1/2 is still okay.
    I went shopping Tues and was going again tomorrow. I didn’t buy any frozen food.
    I cancelled the trip tomorrow. Glad I did, the snow will be here.
    I figure, it gets fixed when it gets fixed.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    when the power goes out and it suddenly so quiet

    I spend a lot of time in data centers (computer rooms.) Nothing more unsettling than a computer room that’s lost all power and is dead silent.

  86. 86
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m to the point now that I always have the radio off when I drive alone, even when it is for hours. It’s my time without barking dogs or phone calls or whatever else to just listen to the road and think.

    This is a radiolab episode.

  87. 87
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Since it is an open thread, Bell’s Hopslam is fucking awesome


  88. 88
    clayton says:

    @Boudica: thanks for this.

    One of the best shows,though all are great . . .

  89. 89
    danielx says:

    Tears in my eyes…a TBogg classic for the decade.

    …every time mommy catches 6-year old Tiffany Elizabeth Grace Katniss Bella Rose playing in mommy’s make-up, the adorable little tow-headed moppet just snarls “Mind your own fucking business, you stupid drunken twat” and now she will probably grow up to be a meth-addicted stripper who dresses like a total whore and has buttsex with an endless series of black men until one day she wakes up and realizes that not only does she have seven kids by seven different men, but also that she has just been elected governor of Alaska.

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    I had tinnitus. It was bothersome, then I think it went away. Then I found it never really did.

  91. 91
  92. 92
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yeah, you rarely realize how thoroughly you are surrounded by that dynamo hum.

  93. 93
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @danielx: Holy fuck that is beautiful.

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dance around in your bones: Wow. Thanks for the FZ ref (I saw him at the Orpheum in Boston during this period.) We seem to be on the same wavelength.

  95. 95
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Indeed, we are! Just don’t eat that yellow snow!

  96. 96
    eemom says:

    Yay, the site’s unfucked!

    I KNEW if I just waited quietly Cole would make it all better.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @eemom: Didja send him a couple of emails? I know he likes that.

  98. 98
    dance around in your bones says:

    @eemom: What, you didn’t immediately email him?

    He likes that a lot, doncha know.

    ETA: G&T, this is getting spooky.

  99. 99
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dance around in your bones: We’ll have white snow, not yellow. If I pay attention to the tv, we’re going to get like 8-12 feet of snow and 200 MPH winds with 8-foot waves reaching 10 miles inland. Or something like that.

  100. 100
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Sure as you’re born.

    Can’t hate on an earworm with a brogue.

  101. 101
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Where the fuck do you live?? I’m in SoCal, where we have a heart attack if it falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or get more than 1/4″ of rain.

    The big waves are always welcome, though.

  102. 102

    There’s a line in Karma Police by Radiohead: “Arrest this man. He talks in maths. He buzzes like a fridge”.
    I remember them describing 90’s crap “alternative” music as fridge buzz.
    The Wikipedia sez:

    He buzzes like a fridge/He’s like a detuned radio”, a reference to the distracting, metaphorical background noise Yorke calls “fridge buzz”. Yorke has said that the idea of fridge buzz is one of the primary themes of OK Computer

  103. 103
    Jay Noble says:

    Not only do I get the morning earworms most everyday, I dream in full 3D Cinemascope with full surround and wake up having to convince myself of things like I hadn’t been backstage with Fred Astaire, Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra at some TV thing while Lucy and Ethel were on stage. I think it’s all some kinda bleed from an alternate universe.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Skimming through the threads, did you guys see that some Bush family email accounts were hacked? We need a wet clean up in the delusion aisle:
    One email from Jeb Bush noted H.W.’s friendliness toward Bill Clinton, noting “how kind he was with President Clinton and he helped restore his sordid reputation. A very tough thing to do but with kindness, dad probably helped Bill Clinton than anything he himself has done.” He added, “Might be tough to say it that way in a eulogy with President 42 there.”

  105. 105
    priscianusjr says:

    “Sugar, Sugar” haunted trollhattan during an entire backpacking trip.

    Couple of days ago, you got “Green Tambourine.”

    Guys, get help. Ear worms like that can be fatal.

  106. 106
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dance around in your bones: I’m in New England. I may have been exaggerating somewhat.

  107. 107
    danielx says:


    Or so painful as to make you wish you were dead, like the one I had with the Oscar Meyer Wiener song….


  108. 108
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Har de har har.

    Ok, I have totally fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole with the Zappa thing – check out this Zappa and Steve Vai video…..Vai is wearing some kind of 70’s jogging shorts + a leopard print tee and Zappa some sort of bloomers, but the guitar work is exceptional. Also, the cigarette stuck into the guitar neck by Zappa is oddly retro.

  109. 109
    freelancer says:


    Trying not to loathe you at the moment.

  110. 110
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    Cole, you’ve got it good. My earworm automatically resets to this if there’s nothing else in there. Bon, c’est bon…

  111. 111
    dance around in your bones says:


    I was just singing that to my grandkids the other day. They looked at me like I was all kinda weird.

    I had to explain to the 3 boys that a wiener meant a hot dog back in the day.

  112. 112
    SatanicPanic says:

    @priscianusjr: shit now I got that one

  113. 113
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    I get that one a lot. This, too. Not that they’re related.

  114. 114
    Paddy says:

    I find myself unconsciously picking out a few notes from an ad song or music that triggers a memory of a song I know. Voilia! Earworm. Happens all the time.

  115. 115
    eemom says:


    the one I had with the Oscar Meyer Wiener song….

    ah, 1970s teevee commercials….the golden age of earworms!

    Plop plop, fizz fizz….

  116. 116
    Mandalay says:


    There’s a great post in the comments for that article:

    Fuck, as most words in the English language, is derived from German, the word ficken which means “to strike. In English, fuck falls into many grammatical categories.

    As a transitive verb for instance; “John fucked Shirley.” As an intransitive verb; “Shirley fucks.” Its meaning’s not always sexual. It can be used as an adjective such as “John’s doing all the fucking work.” As part of an adverb; “Shirley talks too fucking much.” As an adverb enhancing an adjective; “Shirley is fucking beautiful.” As a noun; “I don’t give a fuck.” As part of word; “Absofuckinglutely”, or “Infuckingcredible.” And as almost every word in a sentence; “Fuck the fucking fuckers”.

    As you must realize there aren’t too many words with the versatility of fuck. As in these examples describing such situations such as fraud; “I got fucked at the used car lot.” Dismay; “Ah fuck it.” Trouble; “I guess I’m really fucked now.” Aggression;” Don’t fuck with me buddy.” Difficulty; “I don’t understand this fucking question.” Inquiry; “Who the fuck was that?” Dissatisfaction; “I don’t like what the fuck is going on here.” Incompetence; “He’s a fuckoff.” Dismissal; “Why don’t you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself?”

  117. 117
    dance around in your bones says:

    @eemom: oh what a relief it is!

  118. 118
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    Goddam ya! You planted this one, you…Swamp witch!

  119. 119
    eemom says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    One may ask: what was that entire decade, like, thinking?

    @dance around in your bones:

    Also too: I can’t believe I ate the whooooole thing.

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Step away from your TV, dude.

  121. 121
    dance around in your bones says:

    @eemom: Where’s the beef?

    Ok, 80’s. But ‘big fluffy bun?’

  122. 122
    scav says:

    Introduce another genre and decade, why not? See if it works.


  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Also, one can use this sentence, “Fuck, the fucking fucker’s fucked,” and people will understand one.

  124. 124
    dance around in your bones says:

    Jeebus, this is bringing up whole earworms of commercials.

    You’ll wonder where the yellow went

    Hamm’s the beer refreshing

    Thanks, guys.

  125. 125
    max says:

    Website: server still not updating.

    @eemom: One may ask: what was that entire decade, like, thinking?

    That if everybody got together and got high and thought groovy thoughts and was nice to everyone, things would be so much cooler.

    Didn’t work. Beats the hell out of the 80’s.

    Mandelay @ 88: Fuck, as most words in the English language, is derived from German, the word ficken which means “to strike. In English, fuck falls into many grammatical categories.

    That is a actually a recording by Jack Wagner and you can find an MP3 version right here, presumably off the original vinyl.

    [‘I read that and knew I had heard it before…’]

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: May you sleep on uncomfortable pillows for six years for the Hamm’s thing.

  127. 127
    danielx says:


    The 70s had their moments (at least those that I can remember), but yes…it was a decade featuring conspicuously bad taste in many area. Television being one of those…amazing how that hasn’t changed, considering how many times I’ve seen the name Kardashian on the cable tv listings.

  128. 128
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh hell, we all know that beer’s refreshing!

    What, no fleas of a thousand camels in my armpits?

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: It’s not that bad. I am capable of recognizing shades of evil/awful/ick.

    And I call off the curse. I am having an evening of decent booze, The Sting earlier, and The Hold Steady; I am alright.

    ETA: Yeah, if this kills the awful earworms, I will be happy.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @freelancer: What the fuck is your problem you emo pantshitting gadfly fucking choad?
    Cole has a couple shameless blog whoring maestros relentlessly whoring the FP here so what’s the big deal about someone coming by and dropping a little some some? You don’t like it? Don’t fucking click on it you garbage time ratfucking loser. Last I checked this wasn’t your fucking blog and if Cole, et al, didn’t like it then I ‘spect they’d do a god damned thing or two about it.
    Now how’s bout you and that eternally uplifting soul arguingwiththesomebody go fuck each other raw in some god damned closet somewhere you fucking fuck.
    Get some fucking Vitamin D in you for God’s sake and shut the fuck up.

  131. 131
    Nikolita says:

    @ John – A book you might be interested in is “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks.


  132. 132
    dance around in your bones says:

    So my YouTube excursion (starting with Zappa) has led me to Ultimate Guitar Battle Vai vs Van Halen vs Malmsteen vs Wylde vs Dime and a slightly pudgy Eddie Van Halen is also rocking a lit cigarette in the neck of his guitar – was this a thing back in the day that I just overlooked because everybody smoked?

    I remember Keith Richards hanging a lit cigarette when he played, but we all know he is the undead, so… harm, no foul.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Vitamin D?

  134. 134
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    DYK?: This song was an ad jingle before it was recorded by the group that hit the pop music charts with it? (btw, the chorus of this kills me- great bass, drums and horn parts!) (btw, I will now forever picture you and burnspesq as the duo here).

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): eemom and burnsie? You fucking bastard. You are lucky you still carry the Max McGee name. Otherwise, dead. Just saying.

  136. 136
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, I am relieved that the curse has been cancelled. I like my comfy pillows.

    That lead singer looks like an accountant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: They aren’t a pretty band. That is one of their virtues. No one will go to them based on their looks, but they are gritty and dirty and real.

  138. 138
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I like my comfy pillows

    I choose to not double entendre this line. :)

  139. 139
    Mandalay says:

    Well, well, well….

    Deaths from paracetamol overdoses fell by 43% in England and Wales in the 11 years after the law on pack sizes was changed, according to a study.

    But the number of people taking paracetamol overdoses had not declined, says the Oxford University study published in the BMJ.

    In 1998, the government restricted pack sizes in the UK to 32 tablets in pharmacies and 16 in other shops

    A great example of government implementing a simple and elegant change to make the world a better place, with no real downside.

    Now if only Congress will do the same with magazine sizes….

  140. 140
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Yutsano: Gracias :)

    I did think of the dual meaning, but what the fuck.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: @dance around in your bones: You people…

  142. 142
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I KNOW! We are just filthy-minded.

    I am so ashamed. Heh – not.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: I am just disappointed by your decision to judge a band because its singer looks like an accountant.

  144. 144
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Hey, I can’t help the connection that was made, rational or not. I wasn’t trying to picture them that way, I just did- her, probably, because I was sending the reply her way, and him because I just think of them (eemom and burnsie, to be clear) in tandem.

    “Bastard” away if you must.

  145. 145
    Groucho48 says:

    Not quite an earworm, but, I was listening to my Arcady station on Pandora (Celtic music) and a very nice little violin tune came on. Noticed it was by a group called Kerfuffle but forgot the name of it. A couple days later, the tune was running through my head on an endless loop. Tried to track it down but the band didn’t have much of an internet presence and it had broken up a while back. Found a UK music site and listened to clips from their albums until I found it. The Sleeping Tune. Unfortunately, their version wasn’t available digitally. Found a few versions on YouTube. it was originally a bag pipe tune. I did find a live version with a violin by another group, that wasn’t bad, so, will inflict it on you guys.

  146. 146
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Dude, I wasn’t judging their song, just remarking that the guy looks – like an accountant.

    Hey, it hasn’t hurt Elvis Costello any to look like a geek.

    I liked the song :)

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: Okay. Of course, Elvis Costello is sui generis. As his first album cover stated, “Elvis is King.” Here.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    Man, but I ain’t never seen a progression of serious fucking borking like this bloggy blog is going through.
    This place is F_U_C_K_E_D

  149. 149
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: I blame wifey. She’s corrupting my poor innocent gay brain with jubleys and stuff. She’ll deny this of course.

    @Omnes Omnibus: What? I’m not an accountant. Not yet anyway.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And here. and finally, here.

  151. 151
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah. Vitamin D. They probably got a couple of couches and sleep on the love seat.
    Fucking losers.

  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, god. Beck again?

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I just did- her

    BLURGHARGHABLURGH!! B:ECA&^NNCH! and other assorted retching noises used by loud cartoon characters.

  154. 154
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Please, for the love of all that is good and just in this world, no.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: I just posted a full EC concert. Don’t blame me.

  156. 156
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    I’m not an accountant. Not yet anyway.

    Now it’s time to damn you, damn you! Why’d you have to put this in my head?!

    Oh, and now I picture you as the fella on the horse.

  157. 157
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I love that cat.

    I used to set up huge speakers on the porch of my farmhouse and blast Elvis C. until the cows cried uncle.

    Ok, there weren’t any cows there anymore, but they WOULD have cried!

    @Yutsano: I was thinking of asiangrlMN when I wrote comfy pillows. Just like, in the back of my mind. Why she doesn’t comment here anymore?

  158. 158
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I love that cat.

    Me too.

  159. 159
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Forgive me. I just get a little tired of these two pistol packing mommas dropping in and acting like they’s righteous about policing “their” blog turf. Don’t they know that’s Sherrf President Stuck’s job?
    It always seems to be the same 3 or 4 loser ass schmoes who can’t for the life of them just gloss on by.
    I find it humorous that Cole has been relentless in his pursuit of…what’s the term for 4th rate blogwhores? Not tertiary blogwhores, M-W says it’s quaternary so let’s go with that. Relentless in his ass lifting for 4th rate blogwhore personality wannabes but somehow this crosses the line and is just oh so offensive for their delicate sensibilities.

  160. 160
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: It is late and I am deep into EC, so I won’t wade in any deeper.

  161. 161
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Me too, Thanks for the EC links. He’s just a great songwriter.

    Cornerstone is a bit pissy tonight. Lighten up, Francis!

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah. I figure this is about the time where adults start speaking LOLcat for some unfathomable reason, so…peace out.

  163. 163
    Alison says:

    I love that no matter what else changes in this world, I can always trust that the Balloon Juice community will be here…

    …bitching and arguing and using all the swears. Ah, consistency. :) We really are like a family! In that we keep spending time with each other even though most of that time is spent sniping and flipping the bird.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: I had a stupid fight with the guy who discovered electricity because I asked a question tonight, so I can’t judge.

  165. 165

    I’ve had this song stuck in my head today.

  166. 166
    Yutsano says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): It’s the tax thang. I have a nice two bedroom condo in Hades reserved just for me based upon that little factoid alone.

    @dance around in your bones: If there be Tunch, there be wifey. Otherwise she occupies herself on teh Twitters for her social media outlet. But on occasion I can get her over here for a couple of comments. She did post a night or so ago.

  167. 167
    jc says:

    Be careful because “Pictures of Matchstick Men” sounds a lot like “Crimson and Clover.” Mutant earworms.

  168. 168
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    I’m familiar with your back-story. I’m not one of those who harbors a prejudice against those who hold your occupation. But make me think of a Molly Hatchet song, whether or not you intended it…


  169. 169
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, that’s when I usually see her nowadays – when there’s a pic of Tunch.

    Too bad, I miss her voice here. And I don’t do Tweeter or Falsebook :)

    I’m weird like that.

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There is another part. to the concert.

  171. 171
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    P.S. I am surprised Elvis survived that Rockpalast concert in ’78, he was sweating so much. Enjoying it very mucho!

  172. 172
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    I don’t want to…

  173. 173
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    what, go to Chelsea?

  174. 174
  175. 175
    eemom says:

    dunno if y’all are still awake, but further to the topic of earworms, and band members looking like accountants — does anyone remember the early ’90s King Missile song Detachable P*n*s? And if so, do you know what happened to THAT guy when the band fizzled out??

    Law school. He went to fucking law school.

  176. 176
  177. 177
    dance around in your bones says:

    @eemom: Sorry, I am Watching The Detectives right now and guzzling wine.

    Will read later. (Detachable Pe.nis? really?)

  178. 178
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: I wanna grow hair, I wanna grow up, I wanna go to Boise!

  179. 179

    @dance around in your bones: An extremely irritating song with spoken lyrics designed to make people like Beavis and Butthead snicker. The droning riff can get stuck in your head.

  180. 180
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Yes I have. If you have, I think that’s about 2/3 of the audience.

    I liked it, btw. Don’t think it was award-worthy or anything. Schlocky fun.

  181. 181
  182. 182

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): The est parody with Rob Reiner was really funny. “Heinz Asshole”, indeed.

    “There may be others like me, but there’s nobody else like me. There’s only one Eddie Trojan”. Leif Garrett(!!)

  183. 183
    dance around in your bones says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I was going to reply in a nasty fashion to you dissing Watching The Detectives until I realized you were prolly talking about the Pe.nis song.

    I’ve never heard it. Sigh – I guess I have to search it out on the YouTube.

    And after that GREAT Rockpalast concert w/Elvis Costello! Thanks, Omnes!

    ETA: Yeah, Detachable was a stupid song.
    Maybe I should just go to bed.

  184. 184

    @dance around in your bones: I was indeed talking about the King Missile song :-)

    You’re not missing much if you haven’t read it, really.

  185. 185
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    It left a much bigger impression on you than me, it seems. I recall Garrett, David Cassidy, the McDonalds and, of course, the Pacer, but I don’t recall the Reiner scene.

    [ETA: There was a Schwinn Stingray in there too, no? I had one of those. That bike was the fucking bomb!]

    Reiner’s kid directed it, right? Is that Penny Marshall’s son, or a son from a previous marriage?

  186. 186
    bad Jim says:

    Someone once suggested that, if you’re old enough to remember the commercials that ended with the words “by Mennen”, you can mentally intone that phrase to end any earworm.

    For a while my technique was to bring to mind Schubert’s “Quartetsatzt”, one of whose cadences is so poignant and twisting that any pop tune evanesces into insignificance. (The last time I actually heard the piece it took me a while to recognize it; there’s a lot of music packed in there.)

    I’ve been enduring tinnitus since I turned forty. I’ve supposed it’s because I simply can’t hear high frequencies any more and my brain makes up this pink hiss to compensate. On rare occasions it goes away, late at night when it’s very quiet. In noisy environments it’s obnoxiously obtrusive. It turns out there is a good reason for some of us old people to be annoyed by loud music — it hurts!

  187. 187

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): You’re definitely right on Reiner’s kid directing it, and I think you’re right about Penny Marshall’s son. Jeez, looking on IMDB, there’s a son of Francis Ford Coppola involved, too.

  188. 188
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Yeah, Roman Coppola, who’s the director of the Charlie Sheen abortion that opens this weekend. I think his sister inherited all of the film-making talent from the parents.

    ETA: I shouldn’t be so harsh. Roman co-scripted Moonrise Kingdom.

  189. 189
    dance around in your bones says:

    @bad Jim:

    That was a lovely piece of music. Washed the Detachable Pe.nis stuff right out of my brain.

    And so what if one guy had a serious double chin going on and the other three looked like accountants?

    And with that said, I bid you all adieu. Going to bed now, Juicers.

  190. 190
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: May your comfy pillows give you comfort. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that. :)

  191. 191
    bad Jim says:

    @dance around in your bones: Thanks thanks thanks.

    At the moment my refrigerator is saying something insistently. At first I thought it said “Kill Stalin”, which is odd, because it’s not that old, but then I don’t really know what it thinks about anything. Maybe it’s just saying “it’s cold”, which is what you’d expect from a refrigerator, but why would it bring it up in conversation all of a sudden?

  192. 192
    raven says:

    @bad Jim: Refrigerator from Requiem for a Dream.

  193. 193
    Schlemizel says:

    When the darkness falls I get terrible earworms and even listening to music won’t make them go away. I have had a bad one for a week now thats gotten to the point I can’t read with any comprehension and have trouble falling asleep – which makes everything worse.

    The only thing that holds it at bay at the moment is to turn on some mindless crap on TV.

  194. 194
    Schlemizel says:

    @bad Jim:

    B.F.Skinner did an experiment as a grad student. He found an old Edison player & some wax recordings that were all scratches. He played the scratching sound for mental patients & cataloged what they said they heard. He discovered that he could identify their particular illness by what they thought those scratches were saying.

    I think of that every time someone talks about ‘back masking’

  195. 195
    RainyDay says:

    Songs are often associated with particular memories. I think these songs are flowing back into your consciousness because something has triggered old memories/experiences/feelings you associate with particular songs.

  196. 196
    Gex says:

    @magurakurin: I love the people who are opposed to excessive presidential powers, yet respond by demanding that the issue be dealt with by relying on a president to change policy by decree. IOW the only answer to unaccountable presidential power is more of the same. Getting Congress involved would mean they’d have to have a Schoolhouse Rock level understanding of how America works, not the libertarian/emoprog understanding which is: the president uses the bully pulpit to dictate policy and that’s the end of the story.

  197. 197
    JPL says:

    Since I saw Les Mis recently, this is the song that is now stuck in me head.. Angry Men

  198. 198
    gene108 says:

    My Bloody Valentine has a new album out…SWEET!

  199. 199
    dance around in your bones says:

    @bad Jim:

    “Kill Stalin”? Comedy gold.

    P.S. – don’t watch Raven’s link, you’ll never sleep again. I warned you!

  200. 200
    The Moar You Know says:

    One of the key takeaways was that modern life has human beings living in an audio nightmare- you may not actively notice it, but the hum and whizzes and whirs of modern appliances have a profound impact on our behavior and moods, and we are just not built to handle modern noise.

    Keep my car radio off as I get very hard of hearing after a few weeks of it on.

    Nature is capable of some very loud noises, but they’re extremely rare. We evolved for an environment that is far, far quieter than the one we live in. Even a quiet room in a house is full of noise.

    I had the privilege of going in an anechoic chamber once. I’d like to have my bedroom converted into one. Real quiet is a physically palpable sensation.

  201. 201
    someofparts says:

    Always one of the things that delighted me about Zappa – he orchestrated those noises, used them in compositions.

  202. 202
    Everett Volk says:

    Holy Shit!!!! Thank you, John!

    I heard this show 15 years ago in grad school while driving through North Texas. I could have been trying, literally, for years to figure out what the show was, and BAM! you pull it up for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  203. 203
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: In a similar vein, I always drive radioless with a window cracked (blows the smoke out and saves me from my kiddies’ criticisms and raid on my stash), and the wind sounds translate to a Dixieland Band or a full symphony orchestra, sometimes with chorus. I find that I can even improvise and add a few trombones. It’s great! However, I can never remember my improvs when I get to the pianny. An earworm would come in handy.

  204. 204
    Wolfdaughter says:

    I’m on my way out the door to go visit the doctor, so don’t have time right now to peruse all the posts. Later.

    I have perfect pitch. I absolutely concur with John, for me and others with perfect pitch. I hear an appliance humming a particular note and this reminds me of a song in that key. I can’t bring to mind any particular examples, though.

    When my washer is going, it’s not a defined pitch, but the chug is rhythmic, with different rhythmic patterns according to the part of the cycle the load is in. I jive to the rhythm and actually identify beginnings of measures. A-CHUG-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug, etc. Does anyone else do this?

  205. 205

    My worst earworm, double earworm, happened to me a few years ago. It was Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” versus “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” by the Cowsills. I was grocery shopping and probably heard them on the store soundtrack. I saw her sitting in the rain that segued into down through all eternity the crying of humanity. Try that in the frozen food section.

    I had another another double earworm years ago, it was an endless loop medley of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” and Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses”. Arrgh. Just thinking about it makes me crawl around looking for an aspirin.

  206. 206
    Mattski says:

    i fricken love the dead milkmen

  207. 207
    Step2 says:

    John Fullbright – Gawd Above

  208. 208
    J R in W Va says:

    @Hy Goldberg:

    Django was beaten and maimed in his early life, because he was a Gipsy, and played the guitar with at least two fingers that didn’t bend… I think on his left hand.

    Much like Les Paul had an elbow that wouldn’t bend from a motorcycle accident. The Dr. asked him whether he wanted it set straight, to look normal much of the time, or bent to be useful part of the time.

    Of course Les Paul chose an angle that would facilitate his guitar playing.

    But what guitar players they both were! Founders of Jazz guitar!

  209. 209
    sm*t cl*de says:

    they had a guy with a keen sense of tune who could tell you whether the hum of your fridge was a b-flat

    B-flat — not just a note, my entire life-style!
    I do not know about these ‘sharp’ notes on account of not being allowed access to anything pointy.

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