Part of how you experience music is having your own internal jukebox.
The internal jukebox is that part of your brain that decides which songs are getting lodged there for the duration. Sometimes it’s because you hear a song in some random context and it decides to hang around. Other times a particular experience might conjure a tune for you. And sometimes the bloody thing just likes being contrary and decides to torment you with “Who Let The Dogs Out” on a repeating loop for no good reason.
For most people, the internal jukebox is more an exercise in memory than taste. There are plenty of songs that a particular music fan doesn’t like, necessarily. They can sing all the words to them anyway. Sometimes you get bombarded with bad songs that become hits. And that’s how a snippet of Maroon 5 or “Mambo No. 5” decides to bubble up and torture you as you’re trying to drift off to sleep.
The internal jukebox is a reflection of how music works its way into your life. Associations, good and bad, with particular songs are inevitable. One song reminds you of your college days. Another of that bad break-up. You may not ever want to hear a certain song again, but you just can’t delete it from your personal experience. No matter how much you want to.
It’s why we can all sing along to “Hey Ya,” “Call Me Maybe” or “Teenage Dream.” It’s why some people want to pull over to the side of the road and cry when “Someone Like You” pops up. The internal jukebox is that intricate intersection of memory, experience and inclination. Songs you love and songs you hate are stored there. They pop into your head for various reasons or no reason at all. And can linger a long time.
Sometimes your internal jukebox can get you in trouble. Like when you start humming “Don’cha” at your desk without realizing it. And your co-worker catches it. And you don’t even want to admit what was escaping your lips at that moment.
Or maybe you’ll just be sitting at your computer and “Southern Cross” fires up in your brain for the 3,495th time. Or you’re driving and would give anything for your internal jukebox to please queue up something other than “Clocks.”
But you can’t control it. If you’re lucky, sometimes you can exorcise the latest selection of your internal jukebox. Maybe by listening to it a bunch of times. Or maybe by passing it on to some other unsuspecting sucker.
Because how the hell else are you going to get “I Want It That Way” out of your head?
Originally published at thunderalleybcpcom.ipage.com on June 14, 2016.