If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about waking up every day in 2020, outside of just needing to scream for a little while, is that without fail, almost every single day, I wake with a random song stuck in my head. Now, that isn’t an unusual occurrence or something that is a new novelty of this worthless year. I’ve woken up with music stuck in my head before. The biggest difference is the frequency at which the songs are coming. Instead of now and then, it’s daily.
There’s no real rhyme or reason about what song it is too. It’s truly random. Yesterday morning I woke up with a song in my head that I haven’t listened to in years. The song was “Automation” by the musical parodist Allan Sherman, a take-off of the songbook standard “Fascination.” Sherman was very popular in the early 1960s, peaking with the top 5 hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” in 1963. I know his catalog well as, well, I enjoy weird old novelty songs thanks to a diet of Dr. Demento CD collections as a child.
The song is about automation in the workplace. Carrying the concept to the extreme of having it replace the singer’s wife. The lyric I woke within my head being: “There’s an RCA 503/ sitting next to me dear/ where you used to be.” Again. A song I hadn’t heard in years, but there it was loud and clear thanks to a random neuron and synapse firing in my brain space.
This morning I woke with The Hollies’ song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” rolling through my mind. A good song and The Hollies are a band I always welcome to take up space in my brain. There have been mornings when I’ve woken with songs in my head by Weird Al, Blondie, Bryan Ferry, Miles Davis, Sinatra. The list goes on and on. But why? Why is it that in the last few months this has become such a common part of my morning routine?
I think it’s my brain trying to feed me a little nugget to joy to start my day with. Last year was hard for me with the loss of my father, and this year has been tough globally for us all. So I imagine that instead of waking up with a lack of motivation to leave the bed, my brain is trying its best to give me a little something. It makes sense too. Music has always been my biggest comfort, my sanctuary. Sometimes I’m at my happiest when I’m alone with a pair of good headphones on.
For the most part, it’s nice waking up with some piece of music in your head. I’ve not found it annoying, yet. It’s annoying when you’re trying to go to sleep and have a song stuck in your head and your brain won’t shut off. So I’ll take this little brain-boosting coping device for what it is. Something to get me up and started with another day in a year that feels so overwhelming and uncertain. Whatever works, right? See you next week.