Making Crazy

It's no secret that music lyrics permeate pop culture, expanding, shaping, and changing the lexicon—whether momentarily or forever, expressions finding their way onto T-shirts and into movies, becoming inadvertent fulcrums for ad campaigns, sports team rallying cries, and personal anthems. This pattern of appropriation happens almost seamlessly. Maybe there's a slight irritation at its onset. But once it has become mainstream we often forget its source or even secretly acknowledge the brilliance of the lyricist. Possibly it's the way that language absorbs these new words so organically that makes the process benign. It feels less like appropriation and more like invention. But the innocuousness of this process is partly due to the fact that people aren't necessarily singing these lyrics or words; they are speaking them, or wearing them on their clothing.

So, what about those lyrics, those catchphrases from songs, that have become inextricably tied to melody, so much so that when someone utters the word or phrase in conversation it only takes a few seconds before someone else busts out the tune? This phenomenon is far more pernicious and annoying: words ruined by songs, or words ruined by songs as sung by our friends. Take for instance the word "ironic." I can't even count the number of times that someone has uttered this word and it is closely followed by the Alanis Morrissette tune. Other words or phrases that seem to inspire spontaneous singing: "Makin' Love"—this can lead you to any number of songs, from "Cecelia" to "Feel Like Making Love," to "Making Love Out of Nothing At All". All which prove that maybe people shouldn't say this phrase very much in the first place. Sometimes it's the rarity of the utterance that inspires the singing. Like the word "Flash," which will illicit someone to sing the Queen song maybe one out of ten times. And, for a while, any mention of "Crazy" was followed by an impromptu version of the Gnarls Barkley tune. "Crazy" is an interesting one because it changes associations every few years. From Ozzy to Prince to Beyonce, etc. Often, it's not the words themselves but their delivery. For instance, "Damn," when stated with a certain intonation, can bring about one of the worst examples ever, as in "Damn! I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins. (Apologies to anyone who is now humming this tune.) Lastly, there are song lyrics that add a strange, almost surreal association to certain words; the other night in a sushi restaurant we were serenaded by "Africa" on tinny speakers. How wonderful for the continent of Africa, I thought, that a Google search of that word brings up Toto in about two pages.

Not all the songs have to be annoying. In fact, sometimes the singer or band will have given new life to a word. "Nevermind," for example, went from a flippant or dismissive response to bearing the weight of an existential crisis once Kurt Cobain uttered it. Same with "I'm A Loser," (Beck). Instead of a literal statement of self-pity, it suddenly embodied a generation. Yet despite being from great songs, these phrases also cause melody to rise from within us until we are forced to let it out.

So, what words or phrases from songs have you been the victim of? Either by self-inflicted wounds or as inflicted upon you by the voices of friends or co-workers? And what words that are associated with songs are certain give you the insatiable urge to sing?



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Stop... ..."in the name of love"

Any three letters I have to sing to the tune of "PYT" or "OPP"

Whenever I talk about bike's I must sing Queen's "bicycle biiicycle"

When doing laundry I often sing "these sheets are dirty"

And I too am guilty of saying "a little too ironic" after someone says ironic. Eww.

I'm sure there's plenty more...

Sent by esme | 2:48 PM | 5-14-2008

In college, I had a friend who, upon hearing the word "insane," would immediately launch into Cypress Hill's "Insane in the membrane/Insane in the brain."
Needless to say, we're no longer friends.

Sent by boo | 2:51 PM | 5-14-2008

" in "Damn! I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins. (Apologies to anyone who is now humming this tune.)"

Ugh. Apology accepted, I guess.

Among my girlfriend and I, one phrase that always elicits a duet of our best tuba & trombone impressions is the typical response to the question, "how're you feeling?" ["Feelin' Good." the Nina Simone version, of course.]

Also, I think that "ironic" thing happens EVERYONE, at least in my experience. It's inescapable and weird, because though everyone seems to kinda hate that song and hate when people do that in mid-conversation, people still do it all the time.

Sent by nikki | 2:57 PM | 5-14-2008

i tend to be the victim of radio and/or television jingles. (that's the point right?)

the new subway "$5! $5 footlong" tune will pop out of my mouth at any moment these days. Even driving by a subway and seeing the banner hanging in the window will start the jingle rolling from betwixt my lips.

i used to sing out loud at work, any number of song tid-bits. my office mate has now forbade it citing her paper thin concentration is too easily broken. Only while she is out of the office may my song be freed!

Sent by m-lu | 2:58 PM | 5-14-2008

Being named Carolyn, I used to get a lot of, "Sweeeeet Caroliiiiine!" Which is sometimes cute and sometimes not, depending on its source. As a woman (and a gay woman to boot) it can be a little annoying coming from a certain male-type. But I myself am totally guilty of singing names. But I can recall singing "Walk away Renee" and "Ruby Tuesday" to some poor acquaintances. To my defense, I recently met a Jolene and totally bit my tongue.

Sent by Carolyn | 3:04 PM | 5-14-2008

Of course, the irony of the Alanis ownership of "ironic" is that the song evinces a profound ignorance of what constitutes irony.

"Crazy" still clicks that Fine Young Cannibals song in my head (not out of my mouth, though, I swear).

"Loser" triggers Neil Young's "Tired Eyes," with its strange, sad aside: "Tell me more, tell me more, tell me more. I mean was he a heavy doper or, or was he just a loser, if he was a friend of yours?"

Along the lines of your "Africa" comment, whenever I hear "St. Petersburg" (Russia or Florida) I think of Tom Waits' "Falling Down": I come five hundred miles just to see your halo/ Come from St. Petersburg..."

A lot of my vocabulary is colonized by music, and I seem to have a pretty good ability to control it, so I'm okay with it.

Sent by piggy | 3:23 PM | 5-14-2008

I always call in the crickets whenever I repeat a phrase from one of my favorite indie/underground songs.

However, when a fifth-grade student in one of my classes used to talk about her brother Geddy, I'd always bust out "What about the voice of Geddy Lee? How did it get so high? I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy." You know, it's from a Pavement song.


Eventually, I was able to get her to say "I know him and he does."

"Then you're my fact-checking cuz."

Sent by comoprozac | 3:27 PM | 5-14-2008

I spent much of my teen angst years reveling in the eloquence of Neil Peart's fantasies and beliefs woven through music. No single one there, but what Rush fan doesn't think Neil is the greatest lyricist of all time? (yes, I realize that many outside of the fanbase do not).

But for lyrics that really stopped me in my tracks - Husker Du's Candy Apple Grey album, two back-to-back songs still get to me today

Too Far Down and Hardly Getting Over It. It was then that I realized that being a rock star meant different things to different people and for some of them it *wasn't* an act. It was a release.

(Bob - glad to know you are doing better today!)

Sent by Bill | 3:30 PM | 5-14-2008

This isn't quite the same as hearing a word and then responding with a song, but, if I look at a digital clock and see that it's 5:15, I automatically think "Why should I care, why should I care?"

Also, even though it's been years since the song came out, I still really, really resent Alanis Morrissette, not so much for writing a song that is terribly irritating, but for not even managing to use the term "ironic" properly. Apparently time does not heal all wounds.

Sent by Esmeralda | 3:50 PM | 5-14-2008

Yes, I do have "Damn, I wish I was your lover" in my head now.

My family knows that it only takes one word to really irritate me..."Bermuda"...then I'm stuck with days of torment from the song "Kokomo". Maybe I shouldn't have revealed that.

Sent by Carmel | 3:55 PM | 5-14-2008

I do not like that it happens, but it is difficult for anyone to say anything about a room getting "hot in here" without that Nelly song coming to mind. I try to hold it in, but sometimes I am not able. Thanks for nothing, Nelly.

Sent by kf | 3:58 PM | 5-14-2008

I literally just got off the phone with a coworker, prior to reading this, that starting singing "Jo-aaaaaa-nnnnaaaaa..." to me. I get that a lot. When I think of my name, I refer to Dylan's "Visions of Johanna".

If I hear/say the word 'pony', I start to sing (usually in my head) "Birthday Pony" by Fugazi. If there's a known Fugazi fan nearby, I tend to sing it out loud. You know, for street cred.

I could list several more similar examples as music is important to me and I'm a lyrics junkie. I'm surprised the word 'and' doesn't make me think of a specific song.

I'll close with one of the most annoying examples of all: When someone says "So, tell me what you want". I'm sure you can figure that one out. Gross.

Sent by johanna | 4:11 PM | 5-14-2008

"Who you gonna call?" Just try to say it without someone yelling Ghostbusters at you or rolling their eyes.

Sent by e | 4:25 PM | 5-14-2008

Are you ready?......yes I'm ready

Sent by Jose Jones | 5:11 PM | 5-14-2008

Reading the word "Flash" in your article didn't make me think or sing a Queen song. However it did bring to mind a line in the Buffalo Springfield song "Burned". Specifically the lines "Flashed and I think I'm fallin' down/Crashed, and my ears can't hear a sound." Which I ended up singing, along with the words proceeding it.

I'm sure this song will now be stuck in my head all day, fortunately it is a good song. When a word brings a song to mind it is not always a good one.

Sent by Aaron | 5:18 PM | 5-14-2008

when i get my hair cut i always start hearing "cut yr hair" by pavement in my head.

Sent by rz | 5:25 PM | 5-14-2008

The one that I am most guilty of is when someone utters the words "I'm so bored". I immediately think of the song "I'm so bored with the USA" by The Clash. It's just so damn catchy.

Sent by ryanjohnson | 5:34 PM | 5-14-2008

war......what is it good for?

Sent by james | 6:03 PM | 5-14-2008

I can't hear he word "chinchilla" w/o the Cub song "My Chinchilla" bursting through my public self control barrier.

Sent by James | 6:25 PM | 5-14-2008

Well, I just came back from a vacation in Panama, where I stayed at a hotel called Cocomo, so as you might imagine my friends and I were (involuntarily) humming Van Halen and the Beach Boys all week!

Sent by Emily | 6:43 PM | 5-14-2008

My dog often gets not one but two songs when we're about to take a walk. I never mean to sing them, they just burst forth from my lips. The call: "Should we? Take a walk?" a la Cat Power; and the response: "Let's do it," a la Louis Armstrong.

I am so ashamed.

Sent by CJ | 6:46 PM | 5-14-2008

Whenever I hear someone say "Run!" I secretly start to sing "run, run run, run..." from the song Back In Your Head by Tegan and Sara

Another T&S song I find myself singing would be "I Know I know I know" If I say "I know, I know" I finish it off with "Be still my love..."
When someone says "Hey, remember that time...?" I'll immediately think "That Time" by Regina Spektor..
The other day while I was standing in line for my lunch I couldn't help but think about the song "Soul Meets Body" By Death Cab For Cutie. It never really felt like a "standing in line" song, but for some reason it did on that day..
Someone says "ooh girl" I think about Northern State's songs.

Sent by Nichole | 7:11 PM | 5-14-2008

I grew up in Nova Scotia, where it would sometimes rain in short bursts. After each shower the sun would come out, but before long I'd see more clouds coming, and before I could stop myself I'd say, "Here comes the rain again." This would invariably bring on a fit of Eurythmics.

Good thing I didn't mention the sun each time, or I'd hate the Beatles today.

Sent by Lt. Dan | 7:39 PM | 5-14-2008

For about a year I couldn't figure out why I always arrived home from work with Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" in my head. Then I realized that at a certain point of my my bike ride home I would inevitabley think, "I'm half way there..." and immediately the "Whoa oh..." lyric would follow.

Also I have the Beastie Boys to thank for the "I think I'm losing my mind this time, this time I'm losing my mind" that plays on repeat in my head during rough days at work.


Sent by Jo | 7:56 PM | 5-14-2008

Stop... collaborate and listen, ice is back with a brand new invention

Stop, right now, thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch

Stop... Hammer time

Sent by Natalie | 8:02 PM | 5-14-2008

I still have problems when someone asks me "what's happenin'?" and I respond "oh, I don't know" in a Dead Milkman-esque voice and my expectation is that the other person will launch into the full intro to Bitchin' Camaro. I invariably start going on about going down to the shore and buying Def Leppard t-shirts...I had a friend who would go through the whole conversation with me.

Sent by lidia | 8:56 PM | 5-14-2008

This is even more esoteric on the baseball scale than the music one and the second "Cut Your Hair" (by Pavement) reference in the comments...

There is a middling pitcher for the San Francisco Giants named Kevin Correia. Every time I hear his name, it makes me hear Malkmus in my head sing "career, career, career" like Korea, or well, Correia. Inevitably, I then bust out with a hum of the song's guitar line to the confusion of anyone around me. What's worse is that the song is one of my least favorite Pavement tracks.

Sent by Sean | 9:06 PM | 5-14-2008

ha! "damn i wish i was your lover" is totally my ringtone. and you know you love it.

Sent by asher | 9:18 PM | 5-14-2008

I will break into song with any number of random words. It's frightening. I frighten even myself. Sometimes I just sing-speak everything I say. I've got all of my co-workers doing it, too. It's like a rock opera.

But I have my share of words that break me out into song. They are countless. Case in point, one night at work I was loading trash bags and thought about how trash bags can become very cumbersome when they are too full. "I have become cumbersome to my girl." I HATE SEVEN MARY THREE, but I sang it anyway with the appropriate hell yeah gravel in my voice. I had to. I always have to. It's a disease.

Sent by Nick L. | 9:22 PM | 5-14-2008

It isn't a word, but the sound my telephone ring made at my last job always reminded me of the music to "I'm Slowly Turning Into You" by the White Stripes.

Sent by Laura E. | 9:27 PM | 5-14-2008

Unfortunately it's TV ads that stick in my head too. I never manage to stop myself singing "Mmmm Danone" which is bad enough, but even worse is, "Wooooaaaah Bodyfor-orm, Bodyform for yoooou".

and this isn't even a song but who can resist, "I'm Barry Scott...BANG! and the dirt is gone"?

Though some fool did do a techno remix of his yelling

Sent by Julia | 9:37 PM | 5-14-2008

The sight of George W. makes me think of "Mr. November" by The National.

I'm pretty sure that song is about him. And if i'm wrong, i've already made it about him.

Sent by Jason M. | 9:51 PM | 5-14-2008

baby - almost definitely brings to mind any song by ashanti.

i am... - i am human by the smiths

tall or tan or young or lovely - any of these words of course bring to mind the girl from ipanema

again - the ever so catchy again & again by bird and the bee

Sent by rae | 10:19 PM | 5-14-2008

Straight up... now tell me are you really gonna love me forever?

I once spent an entire month of my life waking up with that damn Paula Abdul song stuck in my head every day. Every day!

Sent by stephanie | 10:23 PM | 5-14-2008

As the product of a musicals loving mother, not a day went by without her breaking into song, a trait I inherited.

My fave: So...a needle pulling thread

Sent by c | 10:50 PM | 5-14-2008

Ok, I just have to comment again to say that CJ's response is the cutest thing ever.

Sent by esme | 10:51 PM | 5-14-2008

Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
Run run run run run run run away!

Sent by David | 10:53 PM | 5-14-2008

When I select "Empty Trash" on my computer it will bring to mind the Bob Dylan lyric "and along came Jones, emptied the trash." Whereas the "Shut Down" command tends to evoke the Soul Asylum song of the same name.

When I hear the phrases "Call the doctor" or "Thurston Moore"...well, Carrie, I'll leave you to guess what songs come to mind. But I'm curious: do the same ones occur to you too?

Sent by Dave | 11:42 PM | 5-14-2008

not musical lyrics...
but when I took accounting in college every single time someone said "Debit"
My mind would wander to
"Ah yeah, dat's da butt. I also enjoy tennis."

Sent by JJ | 11:47 PM | 5-14-2008

My sister loves to tell me that I'm no rock and roll fun.

No thanks to being Canadian with our Canadian content laws, the word "complicated" has been forever ruined by Avril Lavigne. Ditto "Girlfriend".

Depending on the pronounciation of "Sweet!", I'm reminded of "Sweet Caroline", no thanks to my eighth grade social studies teacher who would occasionally make us sing the chorus before letting us leave at the end of the day for his own entertainment.

Whenever I see "Your happiness is guaranteed" on, say, a travel insurance poster, I immediately begin humming "Our Happiness is Guaranteed" by Quasi.

Finally, my mother has forever destroyed the Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want". This is primarily because throughout my childhood and teenage years at home, whenever we got into an argument, she would attempt to win by singing the chorus to that freaking song.

Sent by Kirie | 1:23 AM | 5-15-2008

My good friends have an 11 month old daughter named Ruby and every time they say her name- in my head I continue with "oh baby don't you know girl, your silence hurts me so are you listening" Courtesy of Apples in Stereo. I am hoping that once she becomes verbal and the lyrics no longer pertain, I will stop singing it in my head. But really, it will probably only stop once she changes her name.

Also, every time I say "vamos" I always feel the need to follow it up with saying "Jose's on his way" and I get a lot of blank stares. Apparently quoting Jay and the Americans just doesn't cut it these days.

Sent by sb | 4:02 AM | 5-15-2008

"I must have" automatically prompts "GOT LOST?!?!" followed by rhythmic gyrations to J. Geils-inspired howling... Sad but true. ...Ouch. Actually, I just stumbled across another. "Sad But True" is an awful Metallica song. And whenever someone (including myself) says that phrase, I'm lost in bad Metallica for a minute or two that I wish I had back.

Sent by Nick | 8:49 AM | 5-15-2008

Oh, and "Damn it" ..."Janet, I love you." Just tragic.

Sent by Nick | 8:59 AM | 5-15-2008

I'm ashamed to admit this, but every time someone asks "what time is it?" I can't help but respond with the Spin Doctors' "4:30! It's not late! No! It's just early"

This started as a running joke with a few friends when I was in college... back when the scars of the Spin Doctors' inexplicable popularity were still fresh. Believe me, it was even more irritating back then. Now it mostly just elicits blank stares... especially when it's not actually 4:30.

Sent by Mike M. | 9:22 AM | 5-15-2008

I can't say, or hear anyone say, "to the left" without that song starting to blare in my head.

Sent by Kari Tulinius | 10:35 AM | 5-15-2008

my name is celia
when i meet new people and introduce myself, they sometimes sing "you're breaking my heart" from the song "cecilia" as if i have never heard that joke before.
i've come to terms that when some people first hear my name, they instantly think about that song about a cheating woman with a man too weak to leave her.

Sent by killabot | 10:48 AM | 5-15-2008

Its funny you mentioned Ironic...cause it causes a chanin of events. First, someone starts singing Ironic, and then someone HAS to bring up that it's not a correct use of the word ironic.

I find both rather annoying...though the song a little less.

For me, anytime I see "red beans and rice" on a menu, I'm mere seconds away from following up with "didn't miss her"...and sometimes even more of Baby Got Back

Sent by Clemente | 10:58 AM | 5-15-2008

Actually, there's this chain of events taking place of late. First: things are going well in the course of my work-day. Everything's falling into place; I want to give someone verbal judos. So, I utter an expression that's become caught in my personal vocabulary loop: "Rock it." Which causes the tune that opens This is Spinal Tap to come barreling into my mind. You know: "Tonight, we're gonna rock it, to-night we're gonne rock it. To-niiiight!"

You're welcome.

Sent by Kate | 11:05 AM | 5-15-2008

Almost every time someone asks, "Does anybody know what time it is?" I'm tempted to reply, "Does anybody really care?" (from the Chicago song "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?").

Also, occasionally when I'm listening to someone's recorded voicemail message, I get No Doubt's "Spiderweb" stuck in my head ("Sorry I'm not home right now...leave a message and I'll call you back").

And finally, anytime someone says, "Touche" I have to refrain from saying "Take your AZT". This is from listening to RENT too much - thanks, Jonathan Larson.

Sent by Jenny | 11:15 AM | 5-15-2008

Every time I watch the L Word or see a picture of Leisha Hailey..."Favorite song on the radio good"...from the yogurt commercial pops in my head and I inevitably sing it out loud.

Sent by Jen | 12:00 PM | 5-15-2008

When I was in college in the mid-90's, I took a class I separation processes (I'm a nerdy chemical engineer). Whenever I mentioned that I had separations homework to do or a separations exam, my friend, Erik, thought that it was hilarious to chime in with "You gotta keep 'em separated..." Not being a fan of The Offpsring, it was a long semester.

I do find myself doing the same thing, though... Whenever anyone says "I'm bored," I immediately hear Iggy Pop in my head with either, "I'm bored. I bore my self to sleep at night. I bore myself in broad daylight. 'cause I'm bored" or "I'm bored. I'm the chairman of the bored..."

The worst is whenever I see my friend, Randy, I want to say "Randy, He's rockin' the mic, you know..." from that old song Jam On It by Newcleus. You know, the "wikki, wikki, wicki song..."

Sent by kj | 12:18 PM | 5-15-2008

Unlike Jenny, I succumb to my temptation to say "Does anybody really care?"

I also share Nick's problem with "Damn it!"

But when someone says Crazy I get the eponymous Willie Nelson tune in my head. Usually Ms Cline's version.

I'm probably just old and unhip and stuff.

Sent by Howlin' Hobbit | 12:37 PM | 5-15-2008

And I'm a creep...

Sent by Nick | 12:38 PM | 5-15-2008

Do you mean songs that actually change our concept of what a word means? Here's one great one:

"So you want to be entertained?"

"Please look away."

Sent by Kikuchiyo | 12:52 PM | 5-15-2008

Any interjection of "Hey now!" is immediately followed in my mind by either Crowded House or Smashmouth, with Crowded House being the far FAR less horrible of the two possiblities.

Sent by Lauren | 12:55 PM | 5-15-2008

billy joel songs are the worst of this for me. "for the longest time" is one that pops into my lyrics-obsessed brain whenever someone says that phrase. and high school history classes were absolute hell when we covered the later half of the 20th century; mention harry truman, and "we didn't start the fire" would pour out: "...doris day, red china, johnny ray, south pacific, walter winchell, joe dimaggio." nearly every class triggered a new verse that i never realized i had memorized...

also, my name is sarah, which sets people off on all kinds of songs when they see me. the dylan i kind of like, but you can keep the hall & oates and the jefferson starship, thanks.

Sent by sarah | 1:36 PM | 5-15-2008

I'm definitely a big fan of the words or phrases that can bring out a couple of different songs.

Even though these are both takes on the same song, when I hear "Believe it or not" my mind goes right to "I'm walking on air" or "George isn't at home."

Sent by GregoMyEgggo | 2:26 PM | 5-15-2008

me and my co-worker one night, went back and forth having a conversation using nothing but song titles... went something like this...

Youve Lost that Loving Feeling
Loving You
You Oughta Know
I Dont Know You Anymore

Had to use one word from the previous song, (excluding and or the) we went for a good hour, but ever since then, were constantly answering each other in song titles...

some other song / fraises

Beat It - MJ
the word "FIRE" will insprire any number of songs... Sleep Now in the Fire, Fire, The One I Love, Paper and Fire, Burning Love

and unfortunetly, a stupid song that became popular (i believe) simply because of a catch phrase...
"she f***ing hates me la la la la"

Sent by Kramer | 2:29 PM | 5-15-2008

Names always do it for me. I have a co-worker named Jackie, and "Oooo-hoo-hooo Jackie Blue" pops into my head all the time. I don't mind though, because I love that song.

Not quite on the same subject, but during the Florida recount from the 2000 election, I would get the:

hanging chad
swinging door chad
and (my favorite) pregnant chad

Sent by B to the L to the Y | 2:37 PM | 5-15-2008

I'll admit that I quote "all the company calls amount to one paycheck" way more often than I should.

Sent by Jack | 3:58 PM | 5-15-2008

Whenever someone says, "Conduit for Sale!" I get the Pavement song of the same name in my head.

Sent by MattG | 4:40 PM | 5-15-2008

Last year I found myself humming "Sexy and Candy" almost every day. Couldn't figure out why, since I don't have that song on any of my music-listening devices. One day, I realized that it was triggered whenever I recieved an email from a client named Marcy. Weird.

Sent by tom | 5:20 PM | 5-15-2008

i was also a victim of the musicals-loving mother. to this day, she still has an appropriate song for every word you could possibly utter, and the older i get, the more i start to do the same (though most people aren't as well-versed in musicals, so it doesn't go over the same way). and the whole "so...a needle pulling thread" was a big hit in my family, too.

also, my middle name is cecelia, which of course suffers the "you're breaking my heart" fate every. damn. time.

Sent by anne | 5:47 PM | 5-15-2008

>I can't hear he word "chinchilla" w/o the >Cub song "My Chinchilla" bursting through >my public self control barrier.

>Sent by James | 6:25 PM ET | 05-14-2008

James -- how often does the word "chinchilla" come up in your conversations?? But, anyone who name-checks cub gets an A+ in my book. Satan sucks!

Sent by Tim F. | 6:12 PM | 5-15-2008

When my wife asks me "What's the time" I gotta respond, "It's time to get ill!".

When I ask her the time I'm always disappointed when she actually just gives me the time...

Sent by Shannon | 6:48 PM | 5-15-2008

Pavement's Trigger Cut has totally ruined fruit-covered nails for me.

Sent by Rick | 7:53 PM | 5-15-2008

my name is renee.
anyone familiar with '70s cheese understands my plague. mr. hoga, my 5th grade teacher: biggest offender. and i must respond to sb's comment, as i am the mother of the ruby she mentions, if only just to say: if she changes her name, it will be to amanda emily stacey brownlak. betcha don't have a song for that, SB.

Sent by renee z | 9:20 PM | 5-15-2008

MattG--when requesting that song at Malkmus events I've taken to re-titling it 'Condiment for Sale' and tossing ketchup / Taco Bell 'Fire' packets his way.

Which he has yet pick up, rip open and eat enthusiastically. (Sigh.) I make sure not to hit his new drummer w/ them, though. Janet deserves far better fare.

Sent by snf | 4:51 AM | 5-16-2008

While planting some shrubs in my front yard last night, I stumbled across another of my frequent trigger songs... Roooots, bloody rooooots! (y'know, from that old Sepultura song?).

I also tend to bust that one out when someone comes into my house wearing booots, muddy boooots.

Sent by Mike M. | 8:40 AM | 5-16-2008

When someone says "Pavement", I think of all the Pavement lyrics mentioned above.

Sent by Brian A. | 9:29 AM | 5-16-2008

"Let's Get Lost" whenever someone says something like, "I think we're lost" or variations thereof. It's a great flirty song. See also Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". Speaking of which, my primary "crazy" song is the one written by Willie Nelson, made most famous by Patsy Cline.

My number one catchphrase song, though?

Everybody plays the fool (sometimes)
There's no exceptions to the rule (listen baby)
It may be factual, may be cruel (I ain't lying)
Everybody plays the fool

Sent by Halloween Jack | 11:58 AM | 5-16-2008

"what time is it?"

"it's nine o'clock."

"it's nine o'clock on a saturday. the regular crowd shuffles in. there's an old man sitting next to me, makin' love to his tonic and gin."

yes, i am that person. i will sing that song. and any other song that comes to mind. no matter the cheesiness, it'll be sung.

Sent by megan m. | 12:47 PM | 5-16-2008

my name is also Sara, and i'm also a victim to all of the "Sarah" songs out there. in addition, tehre's a song by the Slackers (i think) about a girl named sara he adores from afar. "Sara-ha...i know i'll never make you my wife, in this life" my boyfriend sang that to me for years. and lo and behold it's been 10 years and we have not gotten married. coincidence?

i also must take this ooportunity to anyone i've ever met named Rhiannon or Mandy. you poor unfortunate women.

and finally, anytime someone says "i can't go for that" i immediately follow it with "no way" from Hall & Oates. so sad.

Sent by jane birkin | 1:45 PM | 5-16-2008

This is really embarassing, but every time I see the phrase "Teriyaki Marinade" written out, I sing it in my head to the tune of "creole lady marmalade."

Sent by Matt | 2:15 PM | 5-16-2008

gut feeling--> "i've got a gut feeling!" devo
in certain situations, girl--> "girrrl, why you always gotta be hella flashin on me, girl?" oh, gravy train[!!!!]
cut yer hair--> we all know by this point
ohio--> "ohiiii-o" old modest mouse
changes--> "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" david bowie


Sent by a.e.h. | 3:43 PM | 5-16-2008

Operator = Smooth Operator

Maria = The most beautiful sound I've ever heard, maria, maria, maria.

Sent by mikeyj | 4:57 PM | 5-16-2008

With wits addled by wisdom extraction and ample codeine supplements I suppose I'm in the ideal state of mind to address yer inquiries.

First off, I'd like to mention an incident that occurred a few mornings ago in which I was accosted with music video footage of none other than Justin Timberlake. I'll admit, I'm as susceptible as anyone when it comes to succumbing to addictive beats, but the ones pulsating from this computer's speakers sounded too much like--no! it couldn't be--a McDonald's commercial. There it was, the pesky, unmistakable refrain: "I'm lovin it." After I overcame my initial astonishment, my thoughts began to congeal. Who else besides Sir Timberlake could craft such an ubiquitously simple phrase? He is as much a product of consumer culture as Mickey D's.

Secondly, I've noticed a number of bands that I appreciate, for example Shocking Blues and Devo, have forayed in the muddled realm of the television commercial, thereby nearly obliterating the original context of their songs. For the longest time I assumed "Venus" had been inspired by a voluptuous shaving implement and "Whip It!" by the creamy depths of a branded pie topping. I have since seen[heard?] the light, but alas it's too late to undo all of the auditory damage.

Sent by Zia | 5:02 PM | 5-16-2008

superman... "YOUUU!!!"

(sad, but true... it's our generation. i'm that stupid white guy dancing and spitting the rest of the song)

then, of course, "Let it be" has entered into our lexicon (which reminds me, I once had a friend who had the misfortune of being named "Jude," which would make anyone burst into a rousing chorus of 'hey jude, don't be afraid..')

Sent by sonokrug | 5:10 PM | 5-16-2008

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if my phone number is 867-5309. (It's not, too bad.)
I have a daughter whose "name is Veronica."
I often weed the garden or mow the grass to the tune of "Gardening at Night" in my head when the sun is setting.

Sent by Jennie | 5:34 PM | 5-16-2008

Use of the words "I wish" brings to mind the mid-ninties Skee-lo song of the same name. "I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller, wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her."

And thanks to whoever mentioned the subway jingle....its now running through my head.

Sent by Breezer | 11:15 PM | 5-16-2008

There was a guy I used to work with called Mike D (retail paging shorthand name) who didn't find it endlessly hilarious that I used to skillfully rap "I'm Mike D and I get respect, your cash and your jewellery is what I expect" every time I saw him.

Sent by Planet Claire | 1:38 AM | 5-17-2008

Whenever I open the shutters in the morning and see a blue sky I sing "another sunny day" from the song of the same name by Belle and Sebastian. It's making me happy because of the unusual amount of sun in Scotland just now.

Sent by GMH | 1:13 PM | 5-17-2008

it's more of a rhythm-based one this, but I had a job which involved giving cases 7-digit codes eg. 1010572
Being the same number of digits as the B-52s '6060-842' kind of compelled me to sing all the codes to that tune, and follow it with '...and I'm waiting for you!'
Also - many ladies called Maria at work, who must constantly contend with Blondie, Santana and West Side Story

Sent by curiousbells | 2:46 PM | 5-17-2008

yeah, and every time someone says "desperado"...

oh wait, no one ever says "desperado". thank god.

Sent by asher | 3:47 PM | 5-18-2008

My name is Angie, or "Angie, Aaaaaaangie. You can't say we never tried...." ugh.

I tend to sing (usually in my head) "let's go to fucking Hawaii" by the Young Canadians whenever someone mentions Hawaii.

Thanks to earlier comments, I now have "Chinchilla" in my head, and will for days. I'm actually surprised at how often chinchillas are mentioned.

Whenever someone says bobby pin, I get this song with a chorus that goes, "Bob??pin(e)! Bob??pin(e)!" by Quebec rocker Eric Lapointe in my head. A strictly regional thing, I'd guess.

If someone tells me they are waiting for a bus, I think of the Violent Femmes-- "Looks like somebody forgot about us/ Standing on a corner waiting for a bus"

Supermarket = "I'm all lost in the supermarket..."

Whenever I'm having insomnia, I get the song "Tossing and Turning" in my head: "I couldn't sleep at all last night...", which makes it much worse!

For me candy= "I want candy"

"I wanna be sedated" totally changed that word too.

And my friend Rhonda hates the Beach Boys, understandably.

Sent by Doubledutchess | 9:17 PM | 5-18-2008

"I'm so excited" ("and I just can't hide it").

Sent by johnny | 8:13 AM | 5-19-2008

Please don't shout "Freebird"!
Please don't shout "Freebird"!

Also, since my name is Maria I hated it when the other kids sang "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" Now I love it and return a mischievous smile to the singer. Even my own daughter sings it to me.

"Maria" by Blondie - fun song

Sent by Maria Brown | 10:09 AM | 5-19-2008

i know someone who often says "i gotta hit the road, jack" when leaving. also sometimes when i hear someone say, "did you let the dogs out?" i'll hear in my head that barking noise from that song or that line "who let the dogs out."

Sent by ld | 12:44 PM | 5-19-2008

My name is Alison and there have been countless times in my life when upon introducing myself, the person sings the Elvis Costello tune, "Alison".

Well, I dislike the song so much because of this and usually I tend not to be pals with the person who busts into song.

Sent by alison | 3:08 PM | 5-19-2008


Sent by Marissa Dailey | 3:41 PM | 5-19-2008

flash! .....ah aaaaa!

savior of the universe

Sent by jenny | 5:35 PM | 5-19-2008

its not songs so much with me but lines out of films especially when someone says 'its huge' i break into (complete with poor scottish accent) "its huge, i'm touch'n it. his penis"

from 'breaking the waves'

Sent by blackey | 7:37 PM | 5-19-2008

everytime someone says 'phone is ringing' i say 'oh my god'. beastie boys feat. q tip. i've noticed others do this as well.

Sent by leeann | 12:16 PM | 5-20-2008

Whenever I meet someone named Diane (not too often in France, happily), or hear the name mentioned, there's the chorus from the Grant Hart/H??sker D?? song (actually, the Therapy? cover of ???Diane") ringing in my head, and it's somewhat creepy. I mean, great song, but in a frightening way.

Sent by Thierry | 2:44 PM | 5-20-2008

ha ha ha i broke up with a girl because she put "damn i wish i was your lover" on a mix tape (well, there were probably other reasons, but that was the straw)

whenever anyone ever says/sings "Don't Worry Be Happy" I want to boot them in the lip.

Sent by kori | 6:24 PM | 5-20-2008

Not exactly a lyric but if there's a group of people around and the phone rings someone will invariably say, "phone is ringing" and just as invariably someone else will respond, "oh my god".

And now I too have My Chinchilla stuck in my head.

Sent by DuMaurier | 6:56 PM | 5-20-2008

Whenever I take the bus from Montreal to anywhere else and have french-speaking bus drivers, they usually ask me if I'm going all the way to the bus station on the other end-- the "terminus" (pronounced "tear-me-noose"), which inevitably and to my constant horror strikes Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose" into my head. It's awful.

Sent by Jesse B. | 11:13 AM | 5-22-2008

The next person who says "ella, ella ella" after someone else says "umbrella" may find themselves at the pointy end of my umbrella.

But I am very guilty myself - if anyone ever says, "What's the time?" I have a pathological inability not to say, "It's time to get ill!"

Sent by akc | 11:19 AM | 7-22-2008

I moved to NYC three years ago, and every time i see a sign for a train going "uptown" i get "Uptown Girl" in my head. embarrassing. but true.

Sent by tasha | 12:37 PM | 8-2-2008

Not to beat a dead horse, but maybe the fact that you would expect a song entitled 'Ironic' to be about irony, but it's really not, is the actual 'ironic' thing.

Sent by Kyle | 12:52 PM | 8-2-2008

"Red beans and rice did miss her!"

Thanks, Dad. Last time I take you to a Cajun restaurant.

Sent by Kyle L. | 11:15 PM | 8-17-2008


Sent by Jesse | 3:18 AM | 8-27-2008

turn it on is the worst for me: )

Sent by amelia | 1:29 AM | 8-29-2008