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Ultimate Earworm

Before a few weeks ago, the ultimate earworm was (not an obscure pop-rock’n’roll band from the early noughties, as I’ve speculated before, although the YoYos deserve at least an honourable mention), without any doubt, Bonnie Tyler’s glowing-eyed, supermassive-haired, naked dancered, stone-cold-classic Total Eclipse Of The Heart. It was no question: every time I came across the expression ‘turn around’ – in pretty common usage I’m sure you’ll agree – I heard Bonnie Tyler responding in her Welsh caterwaul. It’s awful every time I drive down Green Lanes, or up Tottenham High Road (for instance) and see the advertising banners for Sainsburys telling me to turn around and go back for my nearest Sainsburys.

But of late, a challenger has risen. Stupid X-Factor. In so many ways I completely disapprove of its ethics, manipulation and output. But darn it if I don’t get addicted to some extent every time – this year more than most. The battle in my affections between the early front runner Rachel Hylton and the plain awesome Ruth Lorenzo is really heating up now. Rachel has to be the most naturally gifted of any of the contestants: she’s raw, sometimes painful to listen to (in a good way!), emotional and has the potential to blow your goosebumps to the size of mountains. However, she’s yet to deliver in the finals: there’s tingles, but she’s capable of more, and the pressure seems to be getting to her.

Ruth, on the other hand, was not really a favourite from the beginning, but has blown me away in the last few weeks. Twice she’s been voted into the lowest two and has had to earn her survival by singing a song of her choice. And here’s the rub, and here’s why Bonnie should be worried. This weekend she sung Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door; a couple of weeks ago it was Purple Rain. Purple Rain? Purple Rain! I only want to… 

Aargh! It’s there on the back of every tune I hum, every move I make, every breath I take, and so on. It’s there when I wake, when I’m lost for something to look at on the internet, when I’m cooking my dinner. Just the chorus really, and maybe the “I know, I know, I know” bit, all of it. It’s ruining my life, in a rock ballad kind of way.

Frustratingly, the midget currently known as Prince has taken a break from hunting jockeys and gone around making YouTube and the like remove the video. But, you can still find it if you want it, for example here:

Or try this if the embedded player doesn’t work.

You come back in a week and tell me you haven’t been humming it to yourself, I dares you.


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