The earworms crawl in, the earworms crawl out . . .

I watched the Peter Sellars production of Don Giovanni the other night, and other than a craving for french fries (we could have a little quiz! Like in Cosmo! Which Donna Elvira Are You? Are you most likely to a) be pelted with french fries b) end up wearing a Burger King crown or c) have a goblet of shiraz poured onto your lap? If it’s a Cosmo quiz, each of the choices indicates your inadequacy in a distinct way and you probably need to buy a different brand of foundation) the main effect was that I have had “ah chi mi dice mai” stuck in my head on and off for about two days. I expected this. It happens.

It’s familiarity, for one thing. This is the downside to repeated listening to anything. Stuff starts to stick, sometimes more than you would ideally want it to.

But some tunes are stickier than others. Other than famous Mozart arias, my particular weakness is arias by Handel in 6/8.

Like this one:

Or this one!

Or this one . . .

I don’t know whether I’m alone on this Handel problem – anyone else got any specific types of tunes that tend to stick?

4 thoughts on “The earworms crawl in, the earworms crawl out . . .

  1. Sure, this happens to me with Händel all the time, but i haven’t realised that it has something to do with the times…


  2. ha! your videos are blocked in Germany! guess i’ll have to listen to samples when i get back. Bella sorge la speranza i love (think that’s how i originally found your blog), but what’s the first aria’s name? 6/8, i have no clue vhat dat is, but that 3rd link sounds very nice too.


    1. Yeah, that record label tends to make youtube block things. Argh. The first aria is “crude furie degl’orridi abissi” / “cruel furies of the horrid abyss” – it’s from Handel’s Serse, and it’s Serse invoking the furies of hell to spew their venom on her and adding that her anger will cause great destruction.

      6/8 just means basically that the beats come in sets of six (and can be divided into sets of three, sort of ONE two three FOUR five six ONE two three FOUR five six).


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