Is there a word for how a song can, once rattling along in your head, suddenly become another song? It keeps happening to me—maybe it’s an age thing? This morning I woke up with this in my head:
Shoo fly, don’t bother me / Shoo fly, don’t bother me / Shoo fly, don’t bother me — and dance by the light of the moon.
For those of you not familiar with ancient Americana songs, that’s a nonsensical combination of lyrics from “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me,” and “Buffalo Gals.” It’s happened in a hundred different ways. Once it was this:
Angie, Angie — will you still love me tomorrow?
The Rolling Stones and the Shirelles—there’s actually something appropriate about that, isn’t there?
There really should be a word for this phenomenon, so in the case there’s not one yet (and if you know of one please let us know), I’m making one up: Songmanteau. If Lewis Carroll can do it—then so can we. (And you may as well mimic the master.)
Had any songmanteau moments of your own? Please let us know in the valley, er, comments, below.