Posted in Children, music, parenting

Lyrically Speaking.

The circus is always noisy. Probably not helped by the fact that there is music playing almost continuously, quite often from more than one source.

For example; Radio 2 is nearly always on in the kitchen (who doesn’t love Ken Bruce?! plus I have to brush up on my PopMaster skills), if Circus Husband is home then you’ll be treated to anything from Blink 182 to The Stereophonics streaming from ‘The Office’ (we squeezed two desks into the playroom). As you head upstairs you will invariably be met with a cacophony of melodies, maybe Taylor Swift from one room and some 90’s classics from another (oh yes, Noodle has unearthed all my teenage years albums and can be found wandering around chanting about a boot scooting baby who’s driving him crazy, his obsession from a western, his dancefloor date…..followed by a change of tempo to accompany an enthusiastic rendition of Cotton Eye Joe) and of course, someone, somewhere will be attempting a mashup of Let It Go from Frozen fame and Moana’s You’re Welcome.

So, yes, all in all music is quite a large part of our lives. Fortunately the Monkeys have inherited my ability to not have any idea what day of the week it is but can recall every lyric to a song they’ve heard fleetingly on the radio. I am obviously viewing this as a sign of intelligence even if it does lend itself to slightly awkward conversations; Noodle went through a phase of being obsessed with Bruno Mars, he had the hat and everything, his favourite track was ‘The Lazy Song’ which on the surface seems fine………until you listen properly and have to try and convince a then 3 year old that the lyrics actually say “I met a really nice girl, she had some really nice specs….”

Pickle is the same, loves music, remembers lyrics…………latches onto inappropriate songs! Her favourite is ‘Don’t Marry Her’ by The Beautiful South, fortunately she has only heard the album version but I am not looking forward to the day when she enquires what ‘Sandra Bullocks’ are, there’s also a few minutes panic when she launches into song in the supermarket, the scene goes:

Toddler singing: “You gotta wash the car, take the kiddies to the park, don’t marry her…”

Everyone in earshot: stops, turns and prepares to judge


Everyone in earshot: wanders off disappointed.

Right so now you understand the full importance of music in the circus, I’m sure you will be just as astounded as me to find out that IT IS NOT FUNNY OR HELPFUL if I answer questions in the form of song lyrics. Nor, apparently is it amusing if I interrupt them speaking to carry on with a lyric that they’ve inadvertently uttered (I know, it’s shocking right?)

For example these are some conversational interactions recently that have been classed as ‘annoying’:

“Mummy, you’ll never believe what happened at school today”

” I wasn’t expecttttting that”

“Mummy, How….”

“Do you do that thing that you do to me……I wish I knew”

“Thank you”

“What can I say except you’re welcome”


“in the name of love”

“right now, thank you very much”

“wait a minute, fill my cup, put some liquor in it”

“collaborate and listen”

“Mummy, where should I start?”

“Let’s start at the very beginning, that’s a very good place to start, when you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with Doe Ray Me”

and so forth, I’m proud to say I have many back catalogues worth of these witty comebacks for them to enjoy for years to come. Although Pickle (3) got her own back the other day, she had had a toileting accident earlier in the day then yet again didn’t quite make the toilet, she looked at me and sang “oh my gosh, I did it again, I weed myself, it keeps happening” Look out Little Mix, the next generation is on it’s way!

And that brings us to the less positive side of constant exposure to music. Earworms. You know, when you have a piece of a song spinning on loop in your head for hours. Sometimes, it’s a recognisable part of a well loved song, other times it’s simply random lyrics that you never recall hearing before in your life. You spend all day humming the same tune and trying to block everything else out while you work out what the hell the song even is (or you realise it’s a theme tune to a CBeebies programme and decide to keep that information to yourself.)

I suffer with these a lot. And I have recurring earworms, that can be brought on by the mere mention of a song. I spent three weeks once with the lyrics “where’s your head at <boom boom boom>” taking up all the space in my brain, I came out the other end relatively unscathed but every so often Circus Husband will mutter those words and that’s it, groundhog day. I quite often wake up with songs already etched into my psyche like I’ve slept in an erratic jukebox, this unfortunately means I’m prone to singing short bursts of the song in question out loud at inopportune moments (sorry monkeys!)

If anyone’s curious, my current earworm is the lyrics “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you”, I know the song but I don’t know where I heard it for it to be imprinted in my brain. But, nevertheless, round and round it goes just waiting to be overtaken by the next ready and waiting track of randomness.

Oh and if anyone has never experienced earworms first hand then do let me know, I’m very willing to share, because of course, I cant feel my face when I’m with you.

Welcome to my world



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