Monday, August 3, 2015

A Tale of a Stowaway Earworm

Like most people, I get songs stuck in my head from time to time. (This phenomenon is referred to as an "earworm.")  Sometimes it just lasts for a few hours; sometimes, much to my dismay, it lasts for days.  I've had this happen to me numerous times while traveling and those songs, whether I want them or not, have become a part of that travel experience.

Via Pinterest

Last week, while selling back some books at a local used bookstore, a song came on and I was instantly transported across the pond to a different time and place.  Isn't it funny how songs are much like those mystical, magical stones in Outlander?
Via Pinterest
Here's the backstory.

In 2006, I chaperoned a group of forty-five 5th and 6th graders for 2 weeks as we traveled through England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  Here we are:

Let me go on record - keeping up with forty-five 11 and 12 year olds is exhausting!  

Anyway, given the kids' ages, they had to be chaperoned every waking moment of the day and thus the trip allowed for no down time.  Given our extensive itinerary, we did a lot of walking.  I mean A LOT. Sometimes the after dinner activity (since there was no downtime) was... You guessed it!  Taking a walk! Sometimes the walk had no clear cut destination either; we were just walking for the sake of walking.  

One evening about five or six days into the trip, in New Lanark, Scotland, we set out after dinner on yet another walk (what I had started to refer to as "death marches").  On this particular day, we were all tired.  As we dragged ourselves along, one of the kids said, "I bet we've walked 500 miles on this trip so far."  Before I knew it and before I could even stop myself, I started singing the 90s pop hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by the Proclaimers.  You know the song -

"I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door"

Well, that was all she wrote.  I sang that dang blasted chorus through our remaining time in Scotland; I hummed it all through Wales.  It got so bad that the kids started to moan and groan whenever they heard me singing or humming it!  ("Ugh!  She's singing it again!")  To make matters worse, several of the kids picked up on the catchy little tune and they got sucked into my predicament, too!  Together, we sang it as we ferried across the Irish Sea and throughout Ireland.  We even sang it during the three flights back to the states (when we were awake, that is.)

When I heard this song last week, it transported me back to the sheep-dotted mountains of Scotland, to the quaint little seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, and to the rolling green fields of Ireland. 

Llandudno, Wales 2006
Glendalough, Ireland 2006

Despite how annoying it was to have that song stuck in my head (my fellow travelers would agree), I admit that I do enjoy the unexpected flood of memories that happens when I hear that song now.  I just hope to NEVER have that song stuck in my head ever again.  Great memories or not - once was enough!

On a final note, I guess the song choice was rather fitting, not just because of the walking theme, but because The Proclaimers are from Scotland and that's where my predicament started!

Ever had this happen to you while traveling?  Please feel free to share your experience!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. hahaha this is hilarious! i love the 500 miles song. i can't think of any songs that have been in my head whilst travelling, though the first time I visited the US, everywhere we went and every drive we took, 'stacy's mom' would come on, so it became the song of the trip lol.


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