Yes. You read that right. My brain is 70% song lyrics. And I actually think that’s shooting a little low. I didn’t make that statistic up- I read it somewhere on the Internet (which means it’s fairly true, right?) and the reality hit home. I know the words to a lot of songs. A. Lot. And sometimes I wish there were a way to delete some of these song lyrics and make room for useful information. Like, I don’t know–my husband’s Social Security number. The preamble to the Constitution. My license plate numbers and letters. Something a little more helpful than Meatloaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Lights” or “Whatta Man” by Salt ‘n Peppa. Or “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. Yep. I know the words. All of them. But on a regular basis if you ask me what I did last night, I ask you back, “What was last night?”
My husband and I were at a family wedding this summer with our 19-year-old son. Much of the night we were tearing it up on the dance floor (No really. We were. We took dancing lessons.) with lots of other family members, having a great time. But I know I read a certain mixture of horror and amazement on my son’s face when he glanced over at one point and realized his mom knew the words to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. Yes- it was as awkward as you’re imagining it to be. I don’t know why I know the words to that song. I don’t like that song. But somewhere, in the files of my brain, that song made the cut. I cannot lie! Thank God they didn’t play Funky Cold Medina. (This is also the son that, when he was at the age of discovering the world of music, asked if I had ever heard of the Rolling Stones. As if maybe his generation had uncovered something that mine missed. But anyhow.)
At every Buffalo Bisons game my husband and I have ever been to, after we sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch (and Duh- everyone knows THOSE words), they play “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. Strangely, I know every word by heart. We sang that song in chorus in 4th or 5th grade and it stuck. Permanently. At Christmas time, when my family gathers around the piano and my sister is playing all the traditional Christmas carols, I know all the words. TO ALL THE VERSES. For the love of God- Why???? Words to my Senior Prom theme, “The Best of Times” by Styx. Check. “Only Time Will Tell” by Asia. Check. The Jefferson’s theme song, ‘Movin on Up’. Check. I’ve got it all. Including commercials and annoying jingles. Why has my brain saved things I don’t even like? Bruce Springsteen. Some Beastie Boys. Paula Abdul. New Kids on the Block. Michael Jackson. The Cure. Depeche Mode. And I’m not proud of this next one, but I think there might be some Weird Al Yankovic floating around in there too. What can I say? It was popular.
I know what you’re thinking- sheesh- join the 21st Century of music already, would you? But that’s where the real problem lies– I have. I have always listened to music. And new songs are out every week. Every day. And I know a lot of those too. So now I’ve got roughly 30 plus years of music filed in my brain. It makes my head want to explode. I’m bound to run out of room. Will I eventually forget the children? My address? The things I learned in college? (Actually, a tiny bit of that might be gone already.) Will it all be replaced by Taylor Swift and Toby Keith? And I’m certainly not a Nicki Minaj fan…but you’ve gotta admit, something about “Super Bass” sticks. If you see me around and I look lost or in a fog, don’t worry-I’m still trying to figure out the words to “Blinded by the Light” and meanwhile, I’m humming along.