The Everyday Lore Project

5 May 2020 – Elevator Music

5 May 2020 – Elevator Music

Today I’ve been trying to focus with little success. Recently, my concentration has taken a bit of a battering even without the lockdown, so I thought I would try a spell to bust the brain fog: Part the Clouds in Your Head.

It’s very easy. Sit up, hum the Girl From Ipanema, sweep your head slowly from left to right while tapping your forefinger. Then engage your core muscles for five beats. And if that doesn’t work, do it all again after a one minute jog until you do. It’s also said the spell can clear your brain of earworms, unless that earworm is Peggie Lee swooning  ‘And when he passes, each girl he passes goes, ahhhh.’ I hummed the male version, obviously.

I did it just the once though, as I felt a little faint after all the swivels. Also, as with all spells, I wasn’t completely sure of my interpretation. How many verses was I supposed to hum? Was the humming meant to include scat à la Ella? Was I supposed to tap in rhythm or keep to the 130bpm? In the end I did as many verses as I could remember, syncopated my tapping, and tried not to laugh when the humming rattled my teeth.  

I’m not saying it completely parted the clouds, but it didn’t do a bad job of it. Usually it takes quite a bit of chocolate to make me sit down to write one of these posts but I managed tonight without. Having said that, I did spend rather a long time rating the various ahhs from the various artists (Lena Horne: too predatory, Petula Clark: too knowing, Julie London: too obvious, Shirley Bassey: almost perfect, Eartha Kitt: me after a couple of gins). But surely that’s just research, isn’t it? Either way, I’m now off to brandish my maracas at the gaping memory chasm of unrequited love that’s suddenly split open. Ahhhhh…


Header: ℗ 1966 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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