Many mornings I wake with a song on my mind. Not a bad way for this non-morning person to start the day. Going through the routine of getting ready for work, the song hangs on. If it lasts beyond breakfast, I declare it an earworm and decide its demise. This morning the song was a snippet of a hymn we sang Sunday morning when we visited a Baptist church. It was a hymn I had learned in middle school when we attended Walnut Street Baptist church. So it was familiar and singing it stirred the memory. It had a catchy melody. One that can easily get stuck. I guess it’s not bad to have an inspirational song rattling around in your head. The problem is that all I could remember was the chorus, so those two lines kept running over, and over, and over in my head. By the time I got in the car, the song went from inspirational to flat out annoying.
There are two cures for earworms that I’ve been successful with. First, listen to the song and sing along. That gets the melody and the words through your cognitive path it’s stuck on and out your mouth. Ok, so there is probably a fancy scientific reason this works, but in layman’s terms…just sing it!
The other cure is to listen to some other music. You don’t have to sing along, but it seems that just getting another tune going spooks the earworm and it crawls away.
To save my office neighbors an uninvited concert this morning, I’ve tapped into the second cure. Along with sharing this with you, it seems to be working.
Do you remember being little and twirling about? Or in your teens singing your favorite love song (into the hairbrush, on your bed or in front of the mirror) thinking of the ONE boy you were madly in love with? Maybe you can’t carry a tune and have two left feet, but singing and dancing are so good for us that they should not be ignored.
Dancing boosts memory, improves flexibility, reduces stress and depression, improves balance and makes your heart happy.
Singing has been said to strengthen your immune system, improves your posture, your sleep and reduces stress.
I know what you’re thinking all that singing and dancing around will make your family think you’ve gone nuts. Maybe it’s time to surprise your family. Sashay across the kitchen or twirl your way to the dinner table. Or maybe you just dance when no one is watching. And sing as loud as you as can when you are alone at home or in your car. Who cares what the grump in the car next to you thinks. It’s fun and frees the spirit.
We all have a happy dance inside somewhere. It’s time to let it out.
So you know I feel strongly about giving Thanksgiving its due honor. I do. Our lives can get so cluttered that we don’t slow down often enough to give thanks. In protecting this 24-hour vigil of gratefulness, typically I don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Let’s face it, Christmas music the day after Halloween is a plot by retailers to get us shopping early and often (just ask Lucy from the Peanuts).
Well, this year I caved. The second week of November I was flipping radio stations and there was one of my favorites was playing, “What Child is This?” – such a wonderful melodic song describing the gentleness of our Savior. I was drawn in and then I was hooked. So many of the Christmas songs are as praiseful as many of the worship songs we sing in Church.
Sunday in church we had a guest worship leader, Michael O’Brien, an outstanding pianist and man of God. The pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music listening slope steepened when I found out that his Christ-mas CD was available. UUUGGGHHH. Let’s face it, I didn’t have a chance, there was no going back. The CD is great, and full of Christ-centered music that celebrates His arrival. Check out all of Michael’s music at www.michaelo.org (free shipping).
True confessions, my iphone, ipod and ipad are now fully loaded with Christmas music. You will find me in traffic (when alone in my car) singing at the top of my lungs as if I’m right there with the likes of Margaret Cloud while she sings one of my other favorites, “Oh Holy Night” or with Whitney Houston singing “Little Drummer Boy.” Ok, full confession is that when I’m alone cleaning (or cooking) it’s the whole singing and dancing thing.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, be grateful for the joy that music brings and the transformational message of Christmas.
All the best,
P.S. — The Christmas movies stay in the box until the 29th! I think. I’m going to try…