Sunday, August 9, 2009

The lion sleeps tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after that...

One of my neighbors is in the habit of playing oldies really loud--loud enough, at least, that I can hear it quite plainly through my window, day after day. I have not been able to figure out if this neighbor is listening to his own collection of music or a radio station with a very limited repertoire, but I hear the same songs all the time. Usually I don't really notice it, until "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" comes on. Then all of a sudden it's high pitched wailing assaulting my ears. Is it really possible to sing that high? Does it have to happen every single night?

Today I discovered the culprit. I was walking home from work and heard some song which was forgettable but nonetheless part of the familiar playlist. I followed my ears and saw him sitting in a chair in his backyard. It's a guy who lives on the street behind me. I know his address now, but I don't think it would be nice to publish it. I also know his last name because it's posted prominently on his house. It's a good thing for him that his attempts at DJ-dom amuse me more than annoy me.

Speaking of songs that traumatize...

Most music, I either like or dislike. There are just a few pieces, however, which I do like but still have unpleasant effects on me because they are indelibly associated in my mind with unpleasant things.

It's been 3 years since I originally blogged about this - apparently so long ago that it was in the blog that AOL deleted - but still I cannot hear most of Vivaldi's Four Seasons without feeling a certain sense of dread, sleep deprivation, sadness, and biscuits. All because, for a time brief period one summer, I used that CD to wake me up for my opening shift at Bob Evans.

And then there's that song, "Mama Said (there'd be days like this)." One time long ago, I (think I) happened to see a movie about Captain America, in which (I think--it really was long ago) this song was played. Something about that movie horrified me. It had something to do with a rat, a man with glasses, and a little boy who met an upsetting fate. Now whenever I hear "Mama Said," that old horror comes back to me.

Too bad, because they're really kind of catchy--the Shirelles and Vivaldi alike.