Residence: San Jose
Date of Performance/Collection: April 5th, 2014
Primary Language: English
Information about the Informant
My informant is a college student at a community college in San Jose. He’s an avid amateur photographer, and we know each other through going to the same online high school. His family’s very closely-knit, with his parents very involved in the lives of their children. I collected this piece of folklore that him while he was visiting me on campus at USC. I mentioned having a song stuck in my head, and that reminded him of this piece of folklore that he had heard from his father.
“My dad has said that, uh, the cure to having a song stuck in your head is the Beatles. It might have been because…that’s an easy one to get stuck in your head and replace whatever else was there before. And it…it’s good, but I’m not actually sure.”
Collector: “Did he just make that up?”
“I don’t know. I think so, but he might have gotten it from one of his more-musical friends.”
My informant and his father share a common interest in music, largely fostered through his father sharing his collection of CDs and records with him since my informant was a child. His father constantly shares interesting music and trivia about music with my informant, and this piece of folklore is one of them. The Beatles, in addition to being an English band that’s well-known in America, is also a band that both my informant and his father enjoy, which is probably why my informant’s father decided to share this with him. There are various supposed “cures” for a song that’s stuck in one’s head, usually involving engaging oneself in a mentally strenuous activity, such as a sudoku puzzle or a crossword. This “cure” however isn’t really a cure at all, as it merely replaces one song with another, making it more of a joke with regards to how easily Beatles songs will stick in one’s mind rather than an actual cure.