Saturday, July 21, 2012

Great Mysteries Of The World, Part 1: Songs Stuck In My Head


 My friend and ace financial blogger John Hempton not only dreams about physics while he sleeps, but he comes up with world-changing concepts in those dreams, which he writes about when he wakes up, as you can read here.
 I wake up with songs stuck in my head.
 And not just any songs.  Really mediocre songs.  The kind you don’t want stuck in your head.
 This morning it was The Doors’ “The End,” a bunch of musical noodling on top of Jim Morrison’s ersatz poetry (“This is the end/my only friend/the end”), which at the age of 16 seemed incredibly profound, but these days, having crossed the half-century mark, seems like something that would mainly impress a 16 year old.
 I’d have preferred “Love Me Two Times” (the lyrics of which Morrison didn’t write—Robby Krieger did), or “Soul Kitchen,” or the unheralded “Texas Radio and the Big Beat,” one of the best but least enduring of the Doors catalogue (and a Jim Morrison song if there ever was one), which nevertheless somehow manages to get played on Sirius XM often enough to make me want to take back everything I said about that satellite radio monopoly in our last holiday music review, which you can read here.
 A couple of days ago the song stuck in my head was also unfortunate: it was Paul McCartney’s (actually Wings, but, same difference) “Jet,” which is one of those McCartney songs I never enjoyed—even though it sort of sounded pleasant enough on the radio—because it had what remains one of the most outstandingly bad lyrics the Beatles’ least-cynical lyricist ever created (“And Jet/I thought the only lonely place/was on the moon”), which, as you might have guessed, was the lyric stuck in my head that morning.
 How did the genius who wrote “Golden Slumbers” and “Her Majesty” ever come up with that?  And if it had to be a song from the “Wings” era, why couldn’t it have been “Let Me Roll It”?  (Of course, at least it wasn’t “Silly Love Songs.”)
 Now, outside of “Revolution # 9” you might think there wasn’t a bad enough John Lennon song to qualify for this stuck-in-my-head-when-I-wake-up thing, and “I’m Only Sleeping” isn’t exactly bad, but it’s not a song you want stuck in your head, believe me.  It might be more listenable than “Jet” or “The End,” but it’s not exactly an enduring Lennon number, like, oh, “Dear Prudence” or “Starting Over.”
 And it’s not a song I’ve ever actually played on purpose, except when it comes up on “Revolver” after you skip “Eleanor Rigby,” which is, technically, a great song, but not one you ever want to listen to all the way through.
 So why “I’m Only Sleeping” crops up in this mediocre-songs-stuck-in-my-head thing is a great mystery: I haven’t heard it any time recently—and I mean in the last 5 years, that I can remember.  But come to think of it I haven’t heard “Jet” or “The End” lately, for that matter.
 What would be great, of course, is if somehow you could wake up with exactly the song you wanted to wake up with stuck in your head.
 Longtime readers know that the house band of this virtual column is the Arctic Monkeys, whose lead singer and songwriter, Alex Turner, I would put up there with John Lennon on both counts.
 And if there’s any way John Hempton can figure out how, in his abnormally fecund dreams, to program “Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure” into a person’s random-access-memory upon wake-up, I would greatly appreciate it.

Jeff Matthews
Author “Secrets in Plain Sight: Business and Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett”
(eBooks on Investing, 2012)    Available now at Amazon.com

© 2012 NotMakingThisUp, LLC
                                   
The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews.   Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations.  This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice, and should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever.  Also, this blog is not a solicitation of business by Mr. Matthews: all inquiries will be ignored.  And if you think Mr. Matthews is kidding about that, he is not.  The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The word is "earworm".

Anonymous said...

Rosanne Cash version of I'm Only Sleeping is worth a listen.

sfBirdie said...

The term "earworm" always grosses me out.
Secondly, I thought Ace of Base was the house band of this blog!

Dave - Everywhere said...

Thank you. I have spent the last 40years trying to convince people that much of Jim Morrison's lyrics were self-indulgent crap.

Anonymous said...

I miss the old NMTU where an article like this would never pass without comment!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-30/best-buy-founder-schulze-recruiting-executives-for-buyout.html

Anonymous said...

one time in thailand i told two young ladies from the UK that it was me who had written so many Arctic Songs because I was Alex Turner's secret go-to writer. Worked like a charm. For one day. Which is all I needed.