Picture of a judge's wigThis Is Not A BLOG!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 23/01/14

Name That Tune...Please!

The German language has provided us with many useful and compact terms for some quite complex concepts.

For a start, there's Schadenfreude, summed up by the feeling you get when you see the bastard who just beat you to the last parking space half an hour previously reversing out of it into a passing police car.

Then there is Zeitgeist, which uses a mere two syllables to describe the phenomenon whereby people appearing in - and writing for - Sunday colour supplements arrogate unto themselves a mystical insight into what is au courant based on a deep and intense examination of their own navel fluff.

And of course there is Sagihmnichtpeicklichkeit, a concise term for the act of doing something that you have just expressly ordered someone else not to do.

Perhaps the most useful, however, is Ohrwurm ("Ear-worm"), referring to that annoying phenomenon whereby a tune suddenly appears in your head, takes up residence, makes itself good and comfy and refuses to leave. You can do anything short of inducing permanent unconsciousness, you simply can not shift it. Until, of course, it decides to leave of its own accord, at which point it invites one of its many and varied relatives to take its place.

I suffer from Ohrwurm on a regular basis, and there is no telling what tune, from what time or what genre will move in next.

There is one category which is especially enraging - what one might term an Überohrwurm, perhaps - which isn't a whole song, but merely a snatch (if you'll pardon the term) or snippet of a few bars which, whilst being recognisable in itself, does not give you enough of itself to enable you to identify it, with a view - hopefully - to exorcising the bastard.

I have one such Überohrwurm in particular which has been a regular visitor for many years and which has, so far, eluded all attempts at recognition or eviction.

I can vouch for the following facts in relation to it:

And that is as far as I have got. My search engine of choice hasn't been my friend, and this is one area of research for which Teh Interwebs seems less than useful. I have tried the wise heads of alt.fan.pratchett, who drew a collective blank on it; I have been directed to an 'app' which might tell me what it was, if I only had a phone to use it on; and I have tried just about every option available at Musipedia (except the one where you whistle the tune; I can't whistle, and my old man used to tell me that when I tried my face looked like the south end of a northbound duck). Nothing.

Which is where I turn to you, Dear Reader.

If you click on the ear icon below, you will hear a small .mp3 file of Yer Judge humming the lines in question, more or less in tune.

If by some wonderful chance you should be able to put a name to it, please let me know by going to the Home page and using the E-mail button at the bottom (*). My gracious benefactor will receive due and grateful credit.

Update: If you click on the follow-up arrow at the end of this paragraph, you'll see that I finally tracked it down, so I've removed the sound file of me trying to hum it. an arrow to click on to take you to a follow-up item