word association football

I seem to have a very associative mind. I recently ordered a copy of the literary magazine, The Wolf, and now every time I see its cover I hear the Duran Duran song ‘Hungry Like the Wolf”. I observe that it’s raining (a not infrequent occurrence at the moment) and straightaway Nick Cave booms ‘And the rain it raineth down’. (And now this is bugging me – which song is this from? I thought ‘Saint Huck’, but it’s not.) A headline or a poster on a bus can trigger a line from a song that then plagues me all day. I get names on the brain, too. Once, apparently, I said ‘Lester Piggott‘ in my sleep. I have no interest in horse racing or jockeys but I must have heard the name on the radio and it stuck. Say Steve McClaren and I’ll think Steve McQueen. Or the Wally with the Brolly. Which brings me back to rain, and puddles, and Jemima Puddleduck. Who prompts Jemima Khan. No relation to Oliver Kahn, the German goalkeeper, but I’ve just made the association.

I am also very prone to earworms. I prefer the German phrase Ohrwurm, which somehow is warmer and rounder to my ear. Right now, a snatch of Schumann‘s ‘Arabesque’ is dancing about in my mind and keeping my spirits up. The other morning I woke with Howard Skempton‘s ‘Resistor’ running round my brain, which I was rather chuffed to recognise. A definite improvement on a certain 1980s band. All of which is apropos of nothing in particular (ah, echoes of a Morrisey lyric there, from ‘How Soon Is Now‘, an altogether bigger topic). I don’t think my mind is ever very quiet, but/and I wonder how much this feeds into (or is fed by) my writing. Now, briefly, the sun has come out, and The Beatles are jangling the intro to ‘Here Comes the Sun’.


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