Music flowed in my mind as I woke the other day; I hummed the song, intermittently belting out snatches of random lyrics—“…copper-bottomed tympanis and horse platoons, THUNdering, THUNDERING all along the square…!” It was the tune “Seventy-six Trombones” from The Music Man. Music in my mind is a daily occurrence. It’s like I have a playlist in my head that’s set to Shuffle. The music is just always there, as spontaneous as a sneeze. That particular morning the “trombones” song changed mid-verse from lyrics to humming while I inserted my contact lenses. I walked into the kitchen and suddenly found myself singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Today I reflected on my unconscious habit of humming and singing. Ironically, I’m not a fan of speaking first thing in the morning. It takes such an effort to open my mouth and formulate words. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the key—I have so many songs deeply embedded in my subconscious that I don’t have to generate sentence’s or consider the grammaticism of my native English tongue. My mental music flows without thought…or rationality.
This works pretty well for me because my husband leaves for work while I am still groggy with morning haze and curled up in my blanket. I can’t think of an instance when there was an actual human in hearing distance when I’ve trumpeted out phrases of random songs. Now and then, our Great Dane doggie looks quizzically at me, but then carries on with her typical morning routine—slurping large, drippy swathes of water from her bowl.
This morning while preparing breakfast for myself, the song du jour was “Oklahoma”. I will clarify that these random songs rarely start at the beginning. This one started quietly in the middle of a chorus: “…and when we say——-“ (crescendo) “YIPPPPPPP! A-yip-I- odle-AYE!!!!!” (Super forte loud)—“We’re only saying you’re doing fine Oklahoma, Oklahoma, O.K.—-!” I stopped myself before I had to actually spell ‘Oklahoma’, that is the next part of the song lyric. It’s just too hard to think about lengthy spelling early in the morning.
It is such a joyous feeling to sing “Hallelujah!” or “Yip-i-odle Aye!” first thing in the morning. Really, you should try it. Singing about “copper-bottomed” anything is just funny. It makes my mind giggle. Mental chuckling. Actual out-loud giggling takes too much morning effort.
I love that my mind is filled with Broadway music, childhood favorites, hymns and jazzy randomness. Superfluous music works well when the day is bright and filled with hopeful beginnings. However, sometimes I hear Billie Holiday or Lena Horne’s distinctive blues lyricism in my mind. Then it is usually evening and I’m tired or challenged by racing thoughts of a less brilliant type. In those moments I hum, or sing softly while considering what’s underpinning that mood. It could be that I didn’t take my “brain chemical pills” yet. Sometimes if its already evening I just give up and go to sleep, which is always a good solution. I know that I’ll always feel better in the morning when the random music rotation surprises me. What’s the music in your head?