One thing I like about being out in the wilds is the lack of man-made noise. No cars, machinery, television, people ….. just me and the wind, the birds, flowing water…… and the annoying tunes which get stuck in my head and drive me to distraction.
There are some common themes which feature on many of my walks. Half Man Half Biscuit are right up there at the top of the earworm rankings. In Derbyshire I soon find myself singing “Well we both grew up in Eyam… and strange as it may seem… neither of us thought we’d ever leave.” Or, further on in the same song, “No frills, handy for the hills, that’s the way you spell New Mills”. During my trips into North Wales I am mentally plagued by Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, and I keep reminding myself that were I to venture further South – although having never been to Twmpa – I’d need a jumper. Despite having a perfect potential earworm for my walk in Shropshire a couple of years ago, the fading light prompted one of perennial favourites.
I’m a big fan of the Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral, so it’s no hardship when their songs are stuck between my ears. However, it’s different when The Happy Wanderer follows me round all day with his persistent Valdareee, Valdarah-ing. There are times I could happily punch him.
On this year’s TGO Challenge, the Wanderer finally got the message and gave me a wide berth. However, before he left, he must’ve tipped off his lady friend that there was a vacant head that needed filling. She was Coming ’round The Mountain for at least three days. I don’t know whether she ever got to the other side but I was sick of hearing about her pink pyjamas.
Over the last few years I have discovered the joy of going to the top of hills rather than round them. The pleasure is doubled by the chance to belt out a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein as I reach the top.
This year’s most curious and frustrating earworm sprang out of nowhere, and took me back to my Sunday nights listening to the Annie Nightingale Request Show when I should have been doing my homework. The song was Fish Heads and I could remember all of the lyrics….. except for the words “Fish” and “Heads”. This was annoying. I tried to imagine….. what could be floating in the soup? What could I take out to see a movie? What don’t play drums? A few days later (whilst, thankfully, on my own) it came back to me. It’s “Fish Heads!” “Fish Heads!” “Eat them up, yumm!” I could walk in peace … at last.