You know how you can be out and about, going through your daily machinations—setting up a trap to catch your neighbor letting his dog take a dump on your lawn—irked that Pandora’s jamming up your headphones with songs that don’t seem exactly related to The Smiths, but you’re trying to go with it? Just then, you hear the opening chords of a familiar tune and you stop in your tracks, letting the jaws of the clamp clash together as you rip off the earbuds, so as not to hear another single jangle. You know what I’m talking about, right?
There’s one song out there that you just can’t bear to hear ever again. Whether it’s because of someone you loved and lost or listening reminds you of a time in your life you’d rather forget, even the first notes of the tune can cause your insides to do the twist. It doesn’t seem to matter that the sensory connection was made years ago, those visceral reactions can’t be pushed back, can they? It’s a Pavlovian response and someone’s ringing that bell, so don’t try to fight it.
The other funny thing about these musical maladies is that one can be well past the emotional connection that caused the festering, yet the attached sentimentality remains dormant, waiting to be triggered. And there is no antidote; nothing that can undo what has been done. You can only stand and ride the unexpected wave as best you can, hoping to snap yourself out of the stupor once the song ends.
For me, the song that sends my guts all aquiver is The Cranberries’ Linger. There was this guy (the song remains the same), a best friend and a kind of a Harry and Sally relationship. (Can men and women really be just friends?) The relationship swung back and forth over the line, as did my heart. He was perfectly happy to keep me around but there came a point where I decided it was time to cut my losses. I left the state and though the relationship continued for a while, I finally moved on and a good move it was. All through the ending strains of the relationship, I listened to No Need to Argue and Linger was just the song to work out my feelings in the shower…and the car…all over the tiny apartment. And though I’m well past that time and I know it wasn’t the right thing for me, if I hear one note of that song, I will do anything I can to get out of the listening area immediately.
So what’s your song, Pajibans? What are those opening notes that cause your mouth to drop open, the lower lip to tremble, your stomach to churn and your legs to turn jelly-like? Share your story and we can gather up a Pajiban-repellent song list.