Rebel Rebel

By | Saturday, July 05, 2008 Leave a Comment
This morning the song in my head was Rebel Rebel by David Bowie.

Why? How did my brain pick that song? I own Diamond Dogs and the other albums on which the track appears. I have it in my iPod as well. So its quite possible that the song came up while I was driving and entered my sub-conscious though my conscious mind lost track of it. But I don't think so. Perhaps I saw an ad for some product, a Canon EOS Rebel camera or a Nissan Rebel for example, that used the song as backing track. I've been reading Malcom Gladwell's Blink, which has brought to mind the power of the sub-conscious. Clearly Rebel Rebel could have been prompted by something in my day.

Still, frequently songs come into my head that I'm sure I haven't heard for a very long time. Songs that I don't own. Songs that I don't even like. Interestingly, they are usually pieces that I don't know well. Usually it is just a snippet, often only the refrain. And it goes over and over and over in my head. The only technique I've found to consistently cure this affliction is to sing a song (in my head) that I know and like. That will almost always drive the intruding musical phrase from its track.

I am consistently amazed by my mind's ability to score a soundtrack for my day. Quiet moments are rarely quiet inside my head. I wonder whether this is something that all people share, or a personal dementia. But most of all, how do I choose the songs? Why an old track from an early XTC album, followed by one sentence from a Brittney Spears song, followed by Rebel Rebel. Perhaps I will need to be a cognitive psychologist in my next lifetime.
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