Three AM Earworms, Bubblegum Pop, and Recovery

I should be writing about important issues like the 50th anniversary year of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Tributes and memorials will be posted in a host of places online and off.

Instead, I’m writing about the earworm of bubblegum pop that I woke to at 2:30 am on a day I don’t have to go to in to work.

I am NOT a fan of bubblegum pop. It’s too sweet, it’s unrealistic, and it really, truly makes me sick. So, why do I get an earworm of this mush?

Why not Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, RUSH, Led Zeppelin, Meatloaf, or Johnny Cash?  Why not Steely Dan,  Buddy Guy, or even Elvis? I don’t think I’ve ever had an Elvis earworm, come to think on it. It’s the small victories, I tell myself.

If earworms generate from our musical memories and preferences, WHY do I get The Vogues and bubblegum pop?  At one time in my life, when I was under 10 years old, I was probably a bubblegum pop music fan. I do remember a song or two from when I was quite young. In fact, my mother’s nickname for me is the title of a bubblegum pop song. I actually like that song, although probably for sentimental reasons.

My basic problem with most bubblegum pop is that the lyrics perpetrate a myth. The boy is always going to love you, do anything for you, treat you like an angel and never leave you.

I call bullshit; everything is not candy hearts and flowers. It never was. The prince will not come swooping into your life bringing happiness, joy, and security.  You actually have to work together to create that in a relationship.  I was fortunate enough to have one relationship almost like that.  But, I digress just a bit.

On to recovery.  I read this week that the best way to combat an earworm is with a bigger, badder (yes, I know the grammar sucks) earworm.

So, how to combat bubblegum pop? My first thought of a bigger, badder earworm was Foghat’s Slow Ride, but it’s now 5 am and I want to try to sneak in some sleep before sunrise (HA). Maybe A Whiter Shade of Pale is the best remedy for bubblegum pop. I’m going to have to listen to it about 27 times, I think.

Wake me up later. No, don’t. Let me awake in my own good time.

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