Imagine … every breath you take, every move you make being stalked by song?
My old mum experienced a spell of auditory hallucinations when she’d hear anything from triumphal choruses of Ave Maria to George Formby.
“Can’t you hear that?” she’d say, singing along to When I’m Cleanin’ Windowsplaying over and over on a loop in her mind.
Of course, she had had a stroke. In my case it is more as if I’ve been struck by a deeply concordant note like a human tuning fork.
This giant earworm started watching Of Monsters and Men perform their hitLittle Talks on Channel 7’s Sunrise program.
Sure I’d heard the song before, but once I actually saw the band perform it, it was like someone hit repeat.
Don’t listen to a word I say. Hey!
Your mind is playing tricks on you, my dear
The phrase “earworm” is lifted from the German word Ohrwurm, used to describe a sound that crawls inside your head and refuses to decamp.
Studies suggest that 98 per cent of people have at some stage experienced earworms or stuck song syndrome. Presumably the other 2 per cent are either deaf or lying.
A Top 10 of earworms compiled in 2003 by James Kellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati, includes the Baha Men’s Who Let The Dogs Out, Village People’s YMCA, The Lion Sleeps Tonight sung by almost any one and Queen’s We Will Rock You.
Compiling a new list today he would definitely need to add Little Talks.
Part of it I am sure is to do with the band themselves. Hey!
After their performance hosts Mel and Kochie joined them for a chat and it was like Mr and Mrs Gulliver among the Lilliputians.
These tiny little pocket people twinkling with good humour are from Iceland.
The lead singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir has a look of dark-eyed impishness very much like that other Icelandic singer – the one with a name that sounds like a startled chicken.
And, all of a sudden, I really, really want to go to Iceland.
Honestly, what do you know about Iceland? asks the bucket list scrutineer.
My mind is a blizzard of dazzling white; across this vast empty tundra I stumble seeking a single fact.
The Prime Minister is? Don’t know
Currency? Not a clue
National dish? At a guess, herring or some other smallish fish.
Main export? Little singers who look like Bjork
National dress? Fur skin hats and swan suits
Climate? Very, very cold.
National sport? Something to do with snow
Main leisure activities? Something to do with snow
The capital is? Reykjavik I say triumphantly.
But secretly I am ashamed. Hey!
How is it possible to reach such a great age and know so little about another country.
I’m sure the average Icelander knows more about Australia.
But, one thing I do know is that you have reached the end of this column I’ve successfully passed on at least one highly infectious earworm.
Just to make absolutely sure and with sincere apologies to Paul Simon.
In Iceland, in Iceland, in Iceland
I’m going to Iceland