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Either I am too sensitive, too aware, or too medicated but I hear music everywhere I go except while flossing my teeth, slumbering, or emptying grocery bags although depending on the time of day, deliberate song selections are played over loud loudspeakers according to statistics on which demographic is or is not dancing down the aisles of every store in the land.


I've often thought they should play something enticing, something iconic in the parking lots as well, something rousing and patriotic, a call to arms, legs, and wallets, full of cash, credit cards, debit cards but not bitcoins nor ethereum, nor lastly litecoin. One not so small problem, in my opinion, that my proposed scenario presents is basically ethnic. The music would and should appeal to all, for example America the Beautiful would not go over in Russia, nor vice versa, but I'm getting beyond the scope of my experience, so I'll stick to the USA, which leads me to wonder why I woke up singing ...The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home... with a twinge of sadness AS IF I ONCE HAD A HOME IN KENTUCKY.


I've already tried to think of places where there is no music, in order of daily events, but alas starting with morning showers, who among us does not or has never sung in the shower? You can't really sing and brush teeth properly at the same time however you can hear in your head The Beatles brightly belting out ...Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite, there will be a show tonight on trampoline...


Getting dressed, there's always Mister Roger's Sweater Song or perhaps your phone rings, the ringtone being a few notes from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You might dress a bit more like a cowboy or cowgirl than planned and glancing at yourself in the mirror wearing a yellow and black bandanna, slip easily into ...Round her neck, she wore a yellow ribbon...she wore it in the springtime and in the month of May...


...Movin' right along in search of good times and good news with good friends you can't lose...unleashes a multitude of musical melodies, hymns, ditties and musical numbers of which our collective minds have been filled to overflowing. Somewhere there's a scientific explanation for this phenomenon of infernal snippets of songs seemingly on some play list out of our conscious control.


Not to mention but I will, The Moonlight Sonata made me do many a daredevilish deed, alternatively energized by Beethoven's 9th, Pettersen's 6th, and The Overture for the War of 1812, which makes one wonder why there is no Overture for Afghanistan, no Symphony for Syria, no Prelude to Pakistan. I daresay no one wants to read about war music that does not yet exist on Sunday or Saturday night or on Mothers Day when you could be singing...Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck might be somebody's mother...


***(This came after several discussions with my sons, who have different music in their heads. Please feel free to add whatever musical memories or songs find their way into your heads. Caution: it's contagious but fun, unlike measles, mumps, rubella or chicken pox.)

It is a long time ago, in the fifties. I am about twelve or so,in the middle of taking piano lessons so when my brother and sister and I gather at the piano I get to read the sheet music. The piano is an old dark walnut upright with yellowed keys, and has a twanging sort of sound but is roughly in tune- with itself. I am not as good a piano player as my dad but he plays boogie-woogie by ear which no one can sing to.

We play from a stack of sheet music- some singles like 'Christmas in Killarny' which has ukeleli chords on the top line, but mostly from collections. We have a 'Steven Foster Song Book', things like 'I dream of Jeannie' (with the light brown hair), 'Old Black Joe', 'Way Down upon the Swanee River', 'My Old Kentucky Home' Some of these are written in a pretend Negro dialect where Black people are called 'Darkies' but you could hardly call us racist- I never even saw a Black person till my parents took us to see Disney's 'Song of the South'. For the record I was open mouthed that anyone could be such a beautiful colour.

Then there is a song book with things like 'Who shot the hole in my sombrero' which we delight in singing in a stage Mexican accent. More seriously, there is a song called 'Via con Dios' which I yearn to have someone to sing to besides my older sister.

Of course there are also those songs sung a capella which kids taught to kids -'Be kind to your webfooted friends, for a duck may be somebody's mother,who lives in the depths of the swamp, where the weather is very dahmp. Well maybe you think this is the end...well it is!' and the immortal 'My bonnie eats maggots for breakfast /my bonnie eats elephant's dung/my bonnie has bloody corruptions/and stirs them around with her tongue. Oh come up, come up,oh come up my stomach come up, come up. Come up, come up, oh come up my stomach come up.I'm coming, I'm coming for my head is hanging low(over the sink). I hear their gentle voices calling....Hasten Jason bring the basin, whoops plop where's the mop?' Guaranteed to reduce any eight year old to helpless hysteria.

Does your life have a soundtrack?

Mine does. All the time. At least, when I am healthy, I hear music. No, I am not hallucinating. I was raised by time warp beatniks who had music parties where we sang. My father played guitar. My mother was amazing at memorizing the words and both my sister and I did too. My parents had to edit songs, drop songs and quit playing the "When Dalliance was in Flower and Maidens Lost Their Heads" records because I was memorizing those words. Before Kindergarten.

Sometimes the soundtrack relates to a song that I've been listening to over and over. Or a whole record. Or to the concert we are doing, so for the last week I've awakened with Hayden or Mozart or Jake Runested because our concert was Friday and Saturday.

Sometimes the soundtrack is very appropriate for the situation or fabulously inappropriate. I tend not to share it.

Just before the hospital got rid of me in 2009, I come to clinic after feeling attacked by my partners in a meeting. No warning, not on the agenda. So I am in high armor mode. And the soundrack that morning...makes me laugh. Two of my partners are in the little office with me. I start to hum. Hook, line....

"What is that?" says one of the partners....

"Oh," I say cheerfully. "We are working on it for the next concert. It's in my head this morning, I can't imagine why."
I sing:
"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men.
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!"

I stop. There is a long silence. My partners were male, so, yeah, let's call it a pregnant silence.

"It's inspiring. Hope you can come to our concert!" I say. "Let me know if you want tickets. Time for patients, have a great day."

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