• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

20 July 2009

take heed 'cause i'm a lyrical poet

Alternate title: My stupid human trick.

You may or may not have noticed that a great deal of my post titles are song lyrics. This is not necessarily on purpose, but it's not by accident either. See: I have an uncanny talent for picking up on - and remembering - entire songs. I don't mean that I know the words to my 10 favorite songs: I mean I probably know thousands of songs, many of which I can produce, in their entirety, without music to back me up.

If you and I were to walk in to a mall, restaurant or bar together, there's a 75% chance that I know the lyrics to whatever song is playing (and can sing them with the correct timing and accuracy). I'm not talking just the chorus here. I mean the whole song. Fast or slow, all of the verses, in the correct order. This goes for classic pop (mid-50s and onward), folk-rock, psychedelic, alternative (college-rock), soft-rock, grunge, and hard rock, right up to present day. I can also do some 90's and 2000s rap, a lot of 90's country, a little punk, and pretty much any version of any Grateful Dead or Beatles song. (And there are a lot of Grateful Dead and Beatles songs.)

Because such a large portion of my brain is taken up with song lyrics, I tend to think in them. For example: I've been planning to write this post about lyrics for a week or so, and I haven't been able to get Vanilla Ice out of my head. I knew exactly which of his lyrics I wanted for my title. And do you know how often movies slip song lyrics in to the dialogue? I always chuckle ("He just said a Crosby, Stills and Nash lyric from 1969!"), and others around me stare at me like I'm nuts.

And what songs using lyrics from other songs? This morning the radio station was playing a blast from the past: Salt & Pepa's "Push It," from 1987. I know that song of course! And within that song, they use the lyric "Boy, you really got me going/You got me so I don't know what I'm doing." Which is of course from the 1964 song "You Really Got Me," by the Kinks (remade in Van Halen in '78 - I can sing you either version; the Kinks version I can do without musical accompaniment).

Can I remember to call the garbage people about the crap piled behind our house that we need hauled away? Nope. Can I remember more than 5 things on a grocery list? Hell no. Do I know all of the words to all 20 of the songs on Roger Miller's "All Time Greatest Hits" release? Of course!

Is it weird that I can do this? Bf sure thinks so. This is not a hobby that I consciously practice. I don't actively try to memorize lyrics. I just... know them. I hear the song a handful of times and then I have the lyrics. Can you do this?

P.S. I'm also a repository for Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, and MST3K quotes.