Not too long ago, I had the Men at Work song “Overkill” stuck in my head for a while. And when I say “a while,” I mean a month. There are two reasons why this was especially infuriating:
- It wasn’t intermittently stuck in my head, as songs often are. I heard this song in my mind almost constantly.
- I hadn’t actually heard this song in many, many years. So at first I didn’t even have the whole song stuck in my head. Just the one part where Colin Hay sings Day after day, it reappears, followed by the sax imitating the line.
My theory is, I’d heard this song at a friend’s house while watching MTV when I was young (I was cable-less as a kid), and it lay in wait ever since then, like a latent virus staying dormant for decades. What could have triggered it back to life? I can’t say. Does it even matter when the suffering sets in? Not that it’s a bad song, because it’s not, really. But anything is horrible if it’s inescapable.
It had been so long since I’d heard this song anywhere other than my brain that at first, I didn’t even know the song title or who sang it. I had to google random lines just find out this piece of vital information. Once I found out the responsible artists, I listened to it in full, hoping that would dislodge it from my synapses.
Big mistake. That just made it stronger and more virulent. It fed upon my brain matter and grew larger and larger, threatening to consume my very sanity.
And then one day, it left. I think it did as much damage as it could and crawled out of my ear as I slept to plague some other unsuspecting soul. I do not wish such a fate on anyone. So while this song is inappropriate as walk up music, it is particularly inappropriate to me, as I live in constant fear that it may return to haunt me again.
On a related note: Not long after my harrowing ordeal, Twitterer extraordinaire @trumpetcake–a master of the twitpic–posted a screencap of the YouTube comments for this video, with the caption “No one’s got any fucking sympathy anymore.”* As you can see, there’s a big drop-off in the content and tone from comment #1 to comment #2.