Annoying Kids' Songs · 17 April 2009

Songs are amazing. They get stuck in your mind and you need to get rid of them. I actually wrote about getting them stuck in somebody else’s mind as one way to get rid of them, but there are some songs that defy all efforts to rid them from your head.

I am amazed with songs like Found a Peanut. In case you have forgotten, it is that annoying song kids sing even if they only lip sync when they have school concerts. Even if they can barely remember the Pledge of Allegiance, they can remember about 14 verses of Found a Peanut. I can even remember many verses even though it has been years since I sang about finding the peanut, discovering it was rotten, eating it anyway, getting a tummy ache, dying from eating that rotten peanut, and going to heaven. Then starting the whole song over again and adding more verses after meeting other people who died from eating rotten peanuts. Or some such nonsense. The other day, when it got stuck in my head, I could not even remember the name of the song to which Found a Peanut is sung. (My wife reminded me that it is Clementine.)

There are other songs that kids memorize just because they are funny and inappropriate. Like the one about Batman smelling, Robin laying an egg, and the Batmobile losing a wheel (sung to Jingle Bells). Or real songs like Alice Cooper’s School’s Out for Summer, which students and teachers alike sing at the end of the year. With the exception of School’s Out, none of these songs seem to make it into the top 10 on the charts. But they remain in the top 10 on playgrounds throughout the country. (Of course, maybe there are only 10.)

The worst part about these annoying kids songs is not that they are funny and inappropriate. Or that they seem to take on a life of their own not just remaining on the playgrounds through countless generations but growing year by year, verse by verse. Or even that everybody seems to join in when just one person starts to sing. The worst part about these annoying kids’ songs is that even giving them to somebody else can not cause the song to stop in your own brain.

For some reason, I have had Found a Peanut stuck in my head for a few days. I knew that I could not try to give it to my kids because they would just sing along and make up some funny new verse. And I could not sing the real song because I could not even think of it on my own. I could only go to sleep and work and everywhere hoping and praying that the peanut song would just go away. (Okay, it was not quite that bad but the story would not be funny at all without some hyperbole.) So I decided to do what I always do when stress comes my way. I wrote about it.

Now that I have written about the annoying songs that kids sing. I hope that I have rid myself of the Peanut demon. I hope that I am finally able to sleep without hearing about that rotten ole peanut. Or even hearing about somebody’s darling, Clementine. At any rate, I hope that I did not share my misery.

But if I did, hopefully I can say, “Tag. You’re it,” and give it to you, dear readers. (No matter how imaginary you might be.)

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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