Do you sing along with running water?
February 6, 2018 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Following up on a convo cortex and I were having on the podcast because we mentioned the YouWHAT page on the wiki: do you sing along with running water?

I have one of those sense-memory things (like whenever you smell baking bread it reminds you of a stop sign when you were a kid or something) where when I am running water to brush my teeth or flushing a toilet there are certain songs that go along with that water-sound that go through my head. Currently that song is "Hey Ya!" by OutKast and it just sort of comes to mind unbidden when I turn on the tap. Do other people have this?
posted by jessamyn to Home & Garden (44 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nope
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:33 AM on February 6, 2018 [7 favorites]


Every time I wash the dishes the scene from the episode of Veronica Mars with the stolen carnival money pops into my head. Only when I wash the dishes, only at my own apartment. I have no idea why, I don't have a tv or monitor in my kitchen so there's no way I would have seen it while washing dishes.

Similarly every time I play Sudoku I get an impulse to watch the movie The Ring. (And have since before I found out the original Bad's name was Sadako, so it's not that.)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by phunniemee at 11:36 AM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Not with running water. But when I vacuum with our Dyson Animal, I hear carnival/circus themed music in the undertones of that white noise.
posted by nobeagle at 11:42 AM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


No, but I do count. I don't know why I'm counting, or what I'm counting to, but I count. I count when I run water, while I'm brushing my teeth, when I'm winding up a extension cord. Anything with a "duration" like that. I have no idea where it came from.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:43 AM on February 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


No, but I am really susceptible to running water triggering a bladder response...
posted by Samizdata at 11:49 AM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have never done this but probably will next time I am near running water.
posted by bondcliff at 12:01 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've noticed that every time I need to do a certain set of actions involving printing a document, scanning it and emailing it, I get the Inspector Gadget theme song in my head.

I think that's kind of the same?
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


No but I hum along with my car engine. No melody though, just a steady hum.
posted by metahawk at 12:05 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Not with running water, but when I go skiing or snowboarding (and that's not very often, tbh) I sing Edie Brickell's "What I Am" over and over. I have done this since 1991.
posted by gyusan at 12:10 PM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Not running water related, but whenever I am waiting for something, either Pennsylvania 6-5000 or Ever So Goosey plays in my head on a loop. I was born in the 70s. *shrug*
posted by pammeke at 12:13 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


no but i do sing TOOTHBRUSH to the tune of p-funk's FLASHLIGHT while brushing. it's as messy as it sounds.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:21 PM on February 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


Some toilets sound exactly like the theme song to the local nightly news in the town where I grew up. I wish I could find it on Youtube.

Also, there's a tone that the Caltrain makes that immediately sends me into this Andrew WK song.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:26 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Not *always* for running water, but sometimes. Like if there seems to be a pitch or series of pitches that match what I'm hearing, and that leads to my brain being earwormed with a song that has that partial melody line, then yes. But I almost always have SOME song running through my head, based on environmental cues. Scrolling down this thread has been a bit mentally chaotic because of that. ;)

(Pammeke, for me, waiting always cues the Final Jeopardy theme.)

... and now I don't have the Final Jeopardy theme stuck in my head, I'm earwormed with The Final Countdown. Brains!
posted by Pandora Kouti at 12:31 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


As has surely been mentioned here before, the E train in NYC puts “Somewhere” from West Side Story in many people’s heads because it sorta sings a minor 7th as it starts up and there aren’t many songs that start on that interval.
posted by Smearcase at 12:34 PM on February 6, 2018 [13 favorites]


Not with running water. But when I vacuum with our Dyson Animal, I hear carnival/circus themed music in the undertones of that white noise.
My experience is more similar to this than that in the OP; when taking a shower at my mother's house, I hear indistinct pop music in the noise of the water.
posted by jeudi at 12:36 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


When I was in Junior High in Home Ec class, I would always do the dishes for my group becuase I would always sing Bugs-Bunny-style riffs on The Marriage Of Figaro while I did. ....But I don't it was because of the water - I think it was because I was twelve and I was weird.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:37 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


I basically have a song running through my head every waking moment of every day. It's not the same song all the time, but if I'm not already listening to something (podcast, playlist) or watching a movie/tv, there's a song in my head.

So, yes? But not the same song every time.
posted by cooker girl at 1:07 PM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


I haven’t noticed this with running water, but apropos of this:

I've noticed that every time I need to do a certain set of actions involving printing a document, scanning it and emailing it, I get the Inspector Gadget theme song in my head.

... I’ve noticed that every dang time I take out a bag of trash, I get the theme from “King of the Hill” in my head. (Especially those striking, staccato, up-beat bits in the middle that give way to some bells (?) before the theme ends.)

Every dang time.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:25 PM on February 6, 2018


I have not experienced this previously, but next time I turn on a faucet I will definitely be singing "Hey Ya!" in my head. So... thanks?
posted by beandip at 1:25 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Not with outdoor running water specifically, but with loads of mechanical things like food production equipment; mixers, coffee grinders, coffee roasters, dishwasher, stuff like that.
posted by furnace.heart at 1:29 PM on February 6, 2018


This is the first time I can really say you WHAT? I don't think I have even heard of this before. So, kudos, weirdoes of Metafilter!
posted by dame at 1:36 PM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


I will say that I often harmonize with appliances or household noises with an obvious pitch. Usually a major third.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:38 PM on February 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


Not necessarily with running water, but I do usually make a tune while brushing my teeth by changing the shape of my mouth (like you do with a jaw harp) as I brush.
posted by bricoleur at 1:48 PM on February 6, 2018


no but i do sing TOOTHBRUSH to the tune of p-funk's FLASHLIGHT

Omg the Cavity Creeps are totally part of the Parliament/Funkadelic mythos! Late 70s villains attacking a utopian city (Toothopolis / Chocolate City), kept at bay by Starchild / Crest.

*shakes stars out of head* Erm, not running water, but when I hear a fax machine trying to connect I immediately start singing the Smiths' "London," which is probably a more literal response than you're asking about.
posted by miles per flower at 1:56 PM on February 6, 2018


Biking in the wind or somewhere fast = humming the wicked witch of the west's theme music.
posted by urbanlenny at 2:22 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm a compulsive shower singer. It's not even a choice at this point. Song varies. Most people I've lived with don't mind.
posted by ipsative at 2:34 PM on February 6, 2018


No, but I do sing the Star Wars theme along with the microwave.
posted by capricorn at 2:36 PM on February 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


Nope, this might be a unique thing that makes you, you! I am the type of person where songs pop into my brain with ease. If I heard just a word, it might trigger a song that has that word in it, even if the word is not a prominent component of the song. I saw only a still photo of that Dirty Dancing parody ad from the Super Bowl and that song "The Time Of My Life" was in my head ever since. But running water doesn't do anything for me.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:44 PM on February 6, 2018


No to water, but yes to household appliances that hum. I even remember trying to find the pitch of some of them with a tuner years ago!

Also my old Jetta's turn signal alternated between two notes that were a third apart. I always used to harmonize with it by singing a simple classical song, I can't remember what it is but I think we might have learned it on the recorder in elementary school.
posted by beyond_pink at 2:49 PM on February 6, 2018


No, but I also have a near-constant soundtrack in my head. It might be whatever I've listened to most recently (currently it is Jeff Buckley & Elisabeth Fraser's "All Flowers in Time", the last song playing in the car) but it changes a lot depending what happens during the day. It is definitely susceptible to housework though, I remember getting Neko Case's "This Tornado Loves You" stuck in my head while I was doing the vacuuming on a fairly regular basis. At some point I realised the model of vacuum cleaner I had was a Tornado. Other times I'm not really aware of what's playing on my mental radio station but when I do notice, it turns out to be a rather pointed comment on what my subconscious makes of current events.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:03 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hum along with grocery-store freezers, but no particular song.
posted by actionstations at 3:04 PM on February 6, 2018


This is chatfilter! What mod let this...oh. (I keed, I keed.)

In all seriousness, I have heard that memory works on an associative basis rather than like a computer retrieving a single file. If this is the case, perhaps the two somehow got tied together in association in your head, so that when you hit the appropriate environment (or perform the appropriate physical motions), your brain retrieves the "play 'Hey Ya' in your head" instructions as well.
posted by WCityMike at 3:07 PM on February 6, 2018


The ticking noise from my ceiling fan always gets "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks stuck in my head.
posted by exceptinsects at 4:18 PM on February 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


it's as messy as it sounds.

You don't have to tell me, I also sing while brushing my teeth but I figured that was just my own personal weirdness and it's not the same song every time. Like literally when I flush the toilet (at home, it's like phunniemee, only at home) I always have this song running through my head because it somehow sounds like it. I also count things (steps usually) but not duration things.
posted by jessamyn at 5:05 PM on February 6, 2018


Hey Ya! or Hey Ya!, because they are the same... but so different!
You're welcome.
By the way, my Youngest Honorable Offspring was singing as she paid for a purchase the other day. We laughed about it.
posted by TrishaU at 6:09 PM on February 6, 2018


No, but I often hear incomprehensible, burbly conversations in the running water, depending on the sink. It makes me think that people with psychoses experience a much stronger version of that.
posted by not_on_display at 6:34 PM on February 6, 2018


Yes! All the time - it’s quite often To Sir With Love (no idea why).
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:13 PM on February 6, 2018


Running water inspires me ti make gargley bubbly sounds. I hum sorta tunelessly along with my toothbrush.

The sounds of my work printer compel me to sing the death aria from " Dido and Aeneas" or the "Song of the Humpback Whale". Either song elicits much side eye from my comrades.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:35 PM on February 6, 2018


I don't actually sing it, but Cary Grant as Mr. Blandings belting out a terrible "HOOOOME, Home, Home on the range!!!" always pops in my head when people start talking about singing and showers.

Yes, I'm a millennial who grew up on public telelvision and VHS tapes from the local library, and thus only knows pop culture references from my grandparents' time, why do you ask?


Oh wait. I've decided that our 8-month old loves sea shanties (which I conflate with UK folk songs, don't @ me), so if he's hanging out in the bathroom while I shower, I occasionally sing I Courted A Sailor or Barrett's Privateers
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:08 AM on February 7, 2018


Turns out I was wrong, I realized when I flushed the toilet this morning, it's singing this song.
posted by jessamyn at 9:43 AM on February 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


Y'all are a bunch of weirdos.

Though I did work at a college for a year and couldn't figure out for about six months why I had "Hungry Eyes' by Eric Carmen constantly stuck in my head since the day I started. I finally realized that the carillon bells on campus played the same notes or progression or something. Bout drove me mad until I figured it out.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2018


I finally realized that the carillon bells on campus played the same notes or progression or something.

One of the subway lines here in New York has a hydrolic system that makes a three-note sequence when it leaves the station - a three-note sequence which perfectly matches not just one, but two different show tunes ("There's a plaaaaaaaace for us....." and "Bali-Haaaaaaaaaaaaai calls you.....")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:05 PM on February 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well as the drain empties out and goes "blup blup blup" I sometimes do a sarcastic "blup blup blup" to go along with it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:09 PM on February 7, 2018


Yes! Though what I sing depends on the situation. When brushing teeth in the morning it's usually Zooropa (U2) - the bit where it gets uplifting two thirds the way through:

And I have no compass
And I have no map
And I have no reasons
No reasons to get back
And I have no religion
And I don't know what's what
And I don't know the limit
The limit of what we've got


When I'm in the shower, it's usually Right Said Fred of course, and any adult who says they have never sung Right Said Fred in the shower I find difficult to believe:

I'm too sexy for this shower
Too sexy for this shower
Too sexy by far
And I'm too sexy for my towel
Too sexy for my towel
What do you think about that?


Like more than a few British people, if I'm on public transport and it starts raining heavily, then I might start singing Sailing by Rod Stewart, changing it from singular to plural as many folk do:

We are sailing
We are sailing
Home again
'Cross the sea
We are sailing,
Stormy waters
To be near you,
To be free


Queuing in the rain (yes I live in England) I've noticed that when singing breaks out, Don't Look Back In Anger has occurred on several occasions of late. It's become one of those rare songs that seems to move seamlessly between generations and has sort of become almost an unofficial anthem this decade in particular. For a number of socio- and political reasons, and because it sounds good when a crowd get into it, can see why:

And so Sally can wait,
she knows it's too late,
as we're walking on by.
Her soul slides away,
but don't look back in anger,
I heard you say.

posted by Wordshore at 11:14 AM on February 18, 2018


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