Every now and then, we hear our song

Caitlin Brown

They’re everywhere.

In the dentist’s office. On the radio. In stores. In the voice boxes of little singing stuffed animals some of us get for Valentine’s Day.

“Ain’t too proud to beg, sweet darlin’/Please don’t leave me girl, don’t you go.” Don’t worry — we won’t leave you, because we can’t. You are stuck in our heads as permanently as the stickers we put on our headboard when we were five.

I’m talking about the songs. You know, the ones that are nostalgic and irritating at the same time. Nostalgic for memories that you don’t even have &dmash; but your grandparents do, and so you feel connected somehow. Irritating because you know it’s so catchy you’ll be humming it three days later.

For the past two summers I’ve worked at a small hometown store that fed these kinds of songs to the customers like the cans of prunes they were buying, on sale this week, three for a dollar. The songs shimmied their way inside your mind, sometimes smooth like the metal of a shopping cart, sometimes rattley like a little kid with his action figure, playing on an empty shelf. I guess a lot of the reasons these particular songs were played was to cater to the elderly customers, of which there were many. To my high school mind, however, these songs were a blessing and a curse. They were my companions as I power-walked all over the store to find a certain kind of, “you know, that thing you put under your sink, it does . um, it helps with the .. I think it’s like, gray . and rubbery . you know, the other store had it . ” The same songs mocked me as I tried to install a heavy shelf for a new display. “Things’ll get brighter .”

This little store is closing now — making way for bigger plans and bigger businesses. It was my first job: the one job everyone remembers. The songs aren’t dying with it, though. Far from it. Like I said, they’re everywhere. They’re recognized, familiar; everyone can relate. Sometimes we may feel encumbered with the past, but more often than not, these songs wrap us in their spell — giving us that loving feeling we don’t ever want to slip away.

Caitlin Brown is a freshman nursing major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].