Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When Jesus Is My Porsche, A Constant Friend Is He

Here's the thing; I'm no good with song lyrics. I don't know how people learn them. I don't have a brain for them at all. I could listen to a song 100 times on my ipod. If you turned it off and asked me to tell you the next verse of that song, I couldn't do it. Forget about Don't Forget The Lyrics. I never learned them in the first place.

I have slightly better luck with showtunes than songs on the radio, mostly because I've seen them performed and the visual of it being on stage or screen helps me commit it to memory. Reading the lyrics over and over again also helps but comes with no guarantees. Even with an album like American Idiot which I've loved and listed to for years AND read the lyrics in the booklet many times, I could not tell you half the words to those song. I can sing along while the song is playing in the background, but take the training wheels off and give me a non-vocal track and I'd be completely lost. I always marvel when it seems someone has memorized a song (especially hip hop) simply by listening to it repeatedly. How do people DO that? It's just not possible for me.

It is, however, rather easy for me to remember the WRONG lyrics to songs. Certain lyrics I make up get caught in my head for weeks at a time. The title of this post is a good example of that. Lauryn Hill's "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" from Sister Act 2 shuffled it's way onto my ipod from the depths of my music library in late November. Since then I've been singing "When Jeeeeeesus iiiiiiis my Porsche." to myself non-stop. That same line. Over and over again. It's exhausting. I hadn't thought of that song in forever but then it showed up, and the made-up lyric planted itself back in the forefront of my mind. What's it gonna take to dislodge it and send it back to irrelevance? I'll have to think of another nonsense lyric to take it's place.

And this brings me to my current dilemma. There are many many songs to which I've altered the lyrics in my head, but mercifully I don't actively think about them until I hear the song again. Right now the mother of all made up lyrics is somewhere in my memory, but I can't actively recall what it is. Part of my brain is fighting hard to unearth it in an attempt to knock "Porsche" from its perch. Another part of my brain is desperately working to keep it hidden and not let me consciously think of the song or the words I altered. That part knows if I let myself think of it, it could stick there clear til March and whatever the words are they're SO DUMB - much dumber than Porsche - that I can't subject myself to my own idiocy that way. I have to avoid remembering at all costs! The harder I resist though, the harder i can feel the memory making it's way to the surface. It's like a force of nature - how can I resist? Should I give up and just actively try to think of the song and let the lyrics take up space in my brain? Will trying to force it to happen effectively stop it from happening? Shall I try to pull off some kind of reverse psychology coup d'etat on myself?

Something's gotta give because all this back and forth is seriously slowing down the processing center of my brain. I keep finding myself walking toward places and forgetting what I was hoping to do there, or starting sentences and trailing off when I don't know where I was going with the thought. All because too much of my brain is occupied with this back and forth over trying not to remember fake song lyrics!

...maybe I can save myself though, or at least buy myself some time and mental relief. I just remembered how I once changed the lyrics from On My Own to reflect my then-obsession with Teri Hatcher. "And when I lose my way i close my eyes, and Teri's found me." Maybe I can cycle that through my head for a while and the Porsche line will go away and my brain won't be so intent on remembering the big kahuna of dumb lyrics. Yes, the worst made up lyrics are much more stupid than the Teri ones. Something need to stay buried! Yes, that will do... please brain. Don't remember the lyrics.

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