Did You Get Your Songfluenza Vaccination?

I’ve been humming the theme song from “Gilligan’s Island” all day.  This brain worm reminded me of the time I got Songfluenza so bad, I barely escaped with my life…


I’ve picked up a nasty virus.  It’s just getting started, but I’m already fuzzy-headed.

This is the worst case of Songfluenza I have ever had.  It’s an especially virulent strain involving “The Lonely Goatherd”.

One rarely knows how these things are contracted.  The latent virus may be lying dormant for weeks or months.  Something triggers it, and without warning you’re breaking out in “lay-ee-odl-lay-ee-odl-loo”.

In this case, though, I can pinpoint the precise moment I caught it.    A co-worker passed it on as he walked down the hallway whistling the infecting tune.  Bill is known to be a chronic carrier.  You would think our employer would do something, but their hands are tied.  They are afraid of a lawsuit.  I am not blaming Bill, poor guy.  But why don’t these people just stay home when the virus is active?

At first I didn’t even know I had been infected. I was at the copier and another co-worker said, not quite meeting my eyes, “Um, did you know you’ve been humming that song from the Sound of Music?   Like, all day? Over and over?  ALL DAY?”

If I had just the melodic strain, it wouldn’t be so bad.  But I always get hammered with both music and lyrics.  I cannot concentrate.  It is like having a hole in a tooth that your tongue won’t leave alone.  My brain feverishly puzzles; is it “Soon her mama with a pale pink coat heard,” or “Soon her mama with a gleaming gloat heard”?

The fear, of course, is that the strain will mutate.  Then it is just a matter of time before you’re battling Soundus Musicus.

What if it crosses over to the dreaded Yodelus family?   Granted, such cases are rare nowadays.  But it wasn’t that many years ago that sufferers were institutionalized, poor bastards.  This was both to prevent contagion and to protect them from angry mobs.

We are bound to see more outbreaks with this cold weather keeping people indoors.

The Centers for Disease Control report the Mileyus variant is knocking over victims like a wrecking ball.  But they say there is no cause for concern.  That strain, although annoying, is short-lived.  As with most of the Pop Musicus genus, it runs its course in about 15 minutes.   This is not to minimize the danger.   Some sufferers have been left permanently disfigured, their tongues coated with mange and subject to uncontrollable spasms.  This is a condition the medical community calls “twerking,” and it can be cyrious.


How this poor young lady must be suffering.

Modern science cannot truly eradicate the menace of Songfluenza.  There are, however, steps we can take to lessen the spread.   The most effective is to avoid others when contagious.  If you have to go out, be careful.  For example, when I feel an “odl-lay-ee-hoo” coming on, I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm.

Prevention is especially important when dealing with the most vulnerable in our society – those whose immunity has been compromised by participation in musical theater.

I am trying to look on the bright side.  This bout should boost my immunity to Soundus Musicus, and possibly the entire Rodgers & Hammersteinus order.

For now, there’s nothing I can do but let it run its course.  Maybe I should just go home.  I’m sure in a few days I will be as right as rain.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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66 Responses to Did You Get Your Songfluenza Vaccination?

  1. idiotprufs says:

    I get the SpongeBob song stuck in my head.


  2. susielindau says:

    This is hilarious!
    I am going to stay in to avoid these horrid strains. My roommates in college were all performers and I had one songgluenza after another. It wasn’t pretty especially since I was an art major.


  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    Hmm, I think I just found the topic for my next outbreak novel–a yodeling pandemic. 😉

    Of all the songs to get stuck in your head. Of course, now the rest of us will start singing it, too, so, thanks for that…

    Fun post!


  4. momshieb says:

    Your timing is perfect, Peg. I sing in a community choir (I know, I know) and we’re doing Broadway Showtunes this season. At this very moment I am battling a raging case of “Steam Heat.”
    You can only imagine the agony.


  5. Margie says:

    You are absolutely brilliant! A virus makes perfect sense. Does this also explain why Americans would like to deport Justin Bieber, or is that about an entirely different disease?


  6. Damn you. Now the Lonely Goatherd song is stuck in my head! I thought internet viruses only infected computers, not people. Guess I was wrong.


  7. I actually quite enjoy catching this virus! (Does that mean I’ve progressed on to the next, more dangerous phase that you didn’t dare speak about?). But seriously, show tunes and catchy pop songs going round in your head, what’s not to love? High on a hill…la la la la…


  8. Lucky for me, I still have a bit of a cold, so I can’t sing anything. It messes with my breathing.


  9. The cure for the theme song from “Gilligan’s Island” is to sing the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” to it. It works.


  10. Pingback: Did You Get Your Songfluenza Vaccination? | HIGH ANXIETY

  11. franhunne4u says:

    That is the cure for every nasty “earworm” as we call those sticking tunes in our heads over here – just sing another catchy tune – like “Somewhere over the rainbow” or “Always look on the bright side of life” – and your first “earworm” will die of starvation. Sometimes you are even lucky and the new one does not stick …


  12. I’ve had show tunes on the brain, specifically Liza Minnelli singing Cabaret. I don’t even know how that happened. Sigh… How do I get that one out of my head?


    • pegoleg says:

      That’s a tough one. Not only do you get it stuck in your head, but that’s one of the genus you can’t help singing out loud…with dance moves…in the grocery store!


  13. Oh you’ve got it bad. “I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm.” Look at the bright side. At least you know the words, even if they are oldies but goodies. It seems I’m struck by chronic “olefluenza” and cannot learn a new song. If I didn’t learn it years ago, I just can’t sing it.


  14. Blogdramedy says:

    I hear drinking until you pass out works.
    Not that I’ve ever done anything this extreme.
    But it seemed to work really well for my mother-in-law.


  15. BillThePraiseAndWorshipGuy says:

    It happens to me a lot, especially in the winter when I am cooped up. However, we’re having a bit of a warm – up, kind of a silver white winter that melts into spring —– oh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  16. There are people who think I’ve had a terrible life because I’ve never seen the Sound of Music. Maybe I’ve been robbed of the visuals of Alpine vistas and Nazi’s, but I’ve never been exposed to that music, either. I haven’t gotten away unscathed though, as the proud owner of an AM radio back in my youth, I heard Terry Jacks’ classic “Seasons in the Sun” one or two hundred times too many.


  17. Al says:

    This is ridiculous! To think that a virus could cause something like this…..doe, a deer, a female deer…..I’ve heard some preposterous things in my time…..re, a drop of golden sun……but this is beyond the pale. I think it’s time…..me, a name I call myself…..for Peg-o-leg to go visit a shrink…………fa, a long long way to run……OMG!!


  18. I wake up sometimes with an earworm and no idea where it came from. I’ve heard that singing it very slowly can help kill it, but I haven’t been able to slow it down enough to make a difference.


  19. Pleun says:

    Thankfully I have only seen Sound of Music once and therefore cannot remember how that song goes. haha, I feel like I escaped a bullet. I do have a little problem with the song ‘My way’ which apparently is one of my current guest’s favorite. Hope you feel better soon!


    • pegoleg says:

      Click on my link and you will hear that song. Click. cLICK. Your hand is moving over the highlighted area…you cannot help yourself…you’re getting sleepy, so sleepy…


  20. Oh Peg. Those earworm songs are such a bother, aren’t they?
    So sorry you have the sniffles and cruds. Feel better soon!
    Love ya, T


  21. PinotNinja says:

    Now I have the goat song stuck in my head! And I was just about to go to sleep!

    Is that your wily plan for world domination? Distract the entire human population with irritating show tunes and then take over when they’re not paying attention?

    You are a crafty one, Peg.


    • pegoleg says:

      That WOULD be a great plan for world domination. The problem is different cultures don’t know the same show tunes. I don’t know if THe Lonely Goatherd would have quite the same impact in Cairo.


  22. lisaspiral says:

    YOU HAD TO END WITH RAINDROPS! I’ve got, not raindrops on roses but Raindrops keep falling on my head. Calamity Peg you are! 0h and you know that both verses are correct as it changes each time. 🙂


  23. The one thing about this “Melody Malady” that baffles me (and please someone else tell me they have this symptom as well!!) is that once the particular tune wedges in your mind for the day, whenever you turn on the car radio (or the clock radio by your bed goes off with an alarm) THE SAME FREAKIN SONG IS PLAYING ON THE AIRWAVES TOO! How does that even begin to happen??? Anyhow, love this post! My creative comic fix for the night!


  24. Laura says:

    I have this weird issue with the theme music from Downton Abbey. Sometimes it’s an earworm; sometimes I can’t remember it at all. But it’s never a piece of music that I just know.


  25. Sandy Sue says:

    There’s nothing worse (ok, there is, but work with me) than songfluenza while really sick. The fevered brain messes with that internal soundtrack until whatever rest you hoped for gets yodeled out of you. Poor Peg! Blow your nose to the beat, baby. It’s the only way out of that nightmare.


  26. I’m right there with you, Pegomine. I’m sick as a dog with bronchitis and on top of THAT, my daughter gave me the Frozen movie virus. Yes, I’ve had the song Let It Go replaying in my head on a continuous loop for days now. I’m almost wishing I’d get pneumonia and die just to get rid of it.


  27. Elyse says:

    Peg, I will have to confess that I am a carrier. Although not of SoundofMusicic. I get songs stuck all the time and always ones where I can remember only one verse. The very best verse, but still. It makes my husband crazy.

    I found earphones tapped into a varying source of music to be the only cure. Until I remove the headphones, that is. Then the best verse of that last song stays with me. And with you.

    One of your best posts ever. FP’d?


  28. I’ve been humming the Pomp and Circumstance graduation marching song since my son graduated from high school in 2012. I literally will do it without realizing it and my daughter reminds me of how crazy I am. The good news is that she graduates this June so I can just keep on humming.

    Great post! Hope you recover quickly!


  29. amelie88 says:

    I think we all suffer from Song Stuck In Head Syndrome at some point or another. I can go a few days with the same song stuck in my head. I literally will wake up to it playing in my head and fall asleep, it’s kind of ridiculous. I once had Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” stuck in my head for a good week (and it seems to be a repeat offender), I thought I was going to go insane.


    • pegoleg says:

      There are few things that will drive one crazier than a song that just will not exit. Sometimes all you can do is substitute a new annoying song for a change of pace!


  30. pattisj says:

    Lalalalalalala–I can’t hear you. See? I got my vaccination.


  31. Dana says:

    I might be the only person who is immune to Sound of Music ear worms– because I’ve never seen the movie. (I KNOW!) If the virus ever rampages the planet, I’m sure the antidote is in my blissfully ignorant brain somewhere… (But that doesn’t give the world permission to go rooting around in there! I don’t want to chance getting infected with some OTHER ditty in the process of possibly saving the world from The Sound of Music.)


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