Did you ever get a song stuck in your head for days at a time?
Most of us have.
Why is it that it’s always the dumbest song? “It’s a Small World After All” comes to mind.
NOT THAT SONG AGAIN!
Or the Monty Python “Spam Spam Spam Spam” song.
But it goes away eventually. Except for a few unlucky enough to have…musical hallucinations.
It’s an actual diagnosable disease that doctors are studying. The conclusion by the boys the white coats? The brain in folks who hear Christmas carols and Cabaret songs with no radio in the room is malfunctioning. Gosh it’s good to know we have Doctors to figure that one out.
The Docs also have decided that this phenomenon has been around for many years. Towards the end of his life, composer Robert Schumann wrote down the music he hallucinated. He thought he was taking dictation from Schubert’s ghost.
To give you the readers digest version of the medical research, there is a part of the brain that turns sounds into music. It’s always trying to do this and when it doesn’t hear any in some people it makes up its own. Even deaf folks, especially deaf people are not immune.
This problem is not the same as hearing voices in your head. Or like David Berkowitz, the son of Sam killer, thinking that the neighbors German Shepard is giving you orders to kill people. That’s just schizophrenia. Whew!
The Doctors have also found out that the tunes people are most likely to hear on the private radio station in their head are those that they have heard repeatedly or are emotionally significant to them. Often the music has religious overtones.
It happens most often to folks in their 70’s.
This is going to be interesting. An entire generation of baby boomers in the nursing home, listening to “Stairway to Heaven” in their heads.