I was sitting there, trying to work, when the voice started again.
"If you're goooooiiing to Saaan Fraaan ciscooo. ..."
Please. No more. Make it stop.
Ever since 1960s folk singer Scott McKenzie died earlier this week, I've had his one big hit, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," stuck in my head.
And, to put it bluntly, I'm in hell.
I'm not trying to pick on the guy -- especially just after he died -- but as far as '60s songs go, this is right up there with Donovan singing about Atlantis.
Don't launch that angry email. I get it: "San Francisco" was a well-sung, gentle anthem that may have summed up the vibe of what was happening at hippie ground zero during the summer of love. You may have a connection to all that, therefore you may love that song.
I understand. I was in high school during the '80s. Do you have any idea how awful it is to owe warm, fuzzy memories to the terribly pretentious strains of White Lion?
I don't even know how I know "San Francisco." It was released three months before I was born. I only remember the chorus (yes, YES, I'll wear flowers, now ... get ... out ... of ... my ... MIND). It was probably on one of those K-tel compilation albums that were always advertised on TV.
The point is I need to know what part of my brain traps music I don't like. Then I'll get surgery to have it removed.
We all get songs stuck in our heads. When I was a metro reporter
It's probably no coincidence he quit journalism shortly after I countered with "Seasons in the Sun."
I ran this by some people, as I was curious to hear what songs caused others pain and irritability. As I did this, not coincidentally, the theme from the film "St. Elmo's Fire" began looping through my consciousness.
The theme from the Disney ride "It's a Small World" was easily the most mentioned. Go ahead, let that simmer in your memory for a while -- you're welcome.
In second place was "Call Me Maybe," by Carly Rae Jepsen. My terrifying association with the ubiquitous single isn't of the actual song as much as the memory of being stuck in a car on Interstate 5 for six hours, while three little girls sang the chorus over and over at the top of their lungs. I started hallucinating and almost bailed out somewhere around Buttonwillow.
Commercials are the worst because the evil advertisers are trying to stick their rotten little jingles in your brain. Sing it with me: "I-877-Kars 4 Kids ... K-A-R-S Kars 4 Kids. ..."
Someone on Facebook mentioned Tony Basil's 1981 repetitive cheerleading nightmare, "Mickey," which had the double whammy of not only being as sticky as audio crude oil, but came with a video that showed Basil bouncing around making terrible stretchy faces.
The '90s gave us the horror of Billy Ray Cyrus and his mullet croaking bad country on "Achy Breaky Heart," plus the audio blotch that was the Spin Doctors (take your pick) and the Proclaimers walking 500 miles so many times in our heads they practically left footprints. Which still wasn't as bad as Phil Collins smearing our minds with "Groovy Kind of Love."
That's enough suffering for one column. And if you're feeling down after being assaulted with all these ear worms, all I can offer is -- don't worry, be happy.