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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Awhile back I wrote a column on earworms.  That sounds like a disease or condition.  If you remember, however, an earworm is a catchy song or tune that runs through a person’s mind.  For instance, on Seinfeld (my best friend can tell you I reference Seinfeld A LOT) George has this earworm in his brain.  He would go around singing “Master of the House” from Les Misérables-who doesn’t, am I right? Jerry asks about the song.  George replies “it’s from Les Misérables.  I went to see it last week.  I can’t get it out of my head.  I just keep singing it over and over.  It just comes out.  I have no control over it”.  And then there is his answering machine message, “Believe it or not I’m not home” to the tune of The Greatest American Hero theme song “Believe It Or Not”.  Look it up on YouTube if you don’t know it. And now I have that song in my head!

You have your obvious songs (for me at least).  For example, “Hippy Hippy Shake” immediately makes me think of the movie Cocktail.  And you have your not so obvious, such as “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson always making me think of Who’s The Boss.  In one of the episodes titled Older Than Springtime, ad exec Angela is to come up with a youth-oriented campaign for a hip designer.  Tony assures her that she’s still young and hip enough to come up with something good.  There’s a dancing scene and “Steppin’ Out” is playing.  Now, whenever I hear that song, I think of that scene.

You have your theme song earworms that are immediately recognizable.  Right off the top of my head, you have “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” from Cheers.  Little bit of trivia for those younger than me who may not remember that show: Woody Harrelson, who plays Detective Martin “Marty” Hart on True Detective played Woody Boyd on the ’82-’93 NBC sitcom. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to these themes on Spotify.


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