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Silly songs and earworms

While commuting to work, or just driving around town, many people like to listen to the radio or to music on whatever little device they have in the car. When I worked in Fresno, many years ago, I loved to listen to audio book cassettes, which now come as CDs. A longer commute gives the listener time to get through a book, and when time is tight and you feel you just don’t have time to sit down and read, this is a good alternative to a paperback or hardback book, or even a Kindle.

Now than I no longer work outside of Madera, my commute is very short, so I don’t listen to recorded books on the way to work. I do like to listen to music on CDs. (My car is not state-of-the-art, so a thumb drive doesn’t work for me.)

A few months ago, I went through a box of stuff at home and found a bunch of CDs with no jewel cases, and wondered what was on them. Some of them had hand written information, indicating that they contained music which was copied or recorded homemade-style. Some of them looked like promotional or freebie music, like the items that come in charity mails (aka junk mail), requesting donations. Charities will often send mailings asking for money, and will include a little gift, such as a calendar, greeting cards, address labels, or a music CD. I enjoy and appreciate those little gifts very much, but I often think it is very sad they have to use their resources to include a gift when they really need the money.

CDs in my house seem to accumulate. This stash of CDs I found in a box at home came from various sources, mostly left behind by folks who “broke up housekeeping” either by death or by moving into a retirement home. Some of them came from my parent’s house; some from my friend, Jina, who died from a car accident a few years ago, and some were in Chuck Doud’s boxes of junk he left at our house for yard sale purposes.

I threw these orphaned CDs into my car to listen to them as I drive around Madera. The first one was a CD of hymns. It was beautiful organ music, mostly familiar tunes. I enjoyed it very much and continued to listen to this same CD for about a month. The next CD was more religious music. I have listened to several of the CDs that now live in the console of my car. The one I have in my player now, I believe, was from one of those freebie mails. It has 32 tracks and is music of all kinds, mostly instrumental, but familiar from days gone by. The name of the CD is “Great Sing-a-Long Songs.” They are songs of which I know most of the words, and since most of them are instrumental, I have my own little karaoke session in the car while I am cruising around Madera. This CD has been in my car player for about 2 months now. I listen to it over and over again. I have heard it so many times that when one song is over, I am geared up for the next one, knowing which one it is.

Some of the greats on this CD are, “My Wild Irish Rose,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” “America,” “Hokey Pokey,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “Sixteen Tons,” and “Clementine.” Some of them are considered “Silly Songs,” and those are the ones I love the best, but all of them become earworms to me, which means that if it is the last song I heard, I have that tune in my head until I hear another tune that becomes another earworm. It is a great benefit to me, as nowadays I am usually singing whenever I get out of the car.

The last song I heard today was “Take me out to the Ballgame.”

My love to all,

— Nancy

• • •

Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path.

— Proverbs 23:19



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