Mason County News
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010 • Posted January 27, 2010

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody

A pretty girl is like a melody that haunts you night and day

Just like the strain of a haunting refrain she’ll start upon a marathon

And run around your brain.

You can’t escape she’s in your memory

By morning night and noon

She will leave you and then come back again

A pretty girl is just like a pretty tune.


Isn’t it a shame that our minds do not hold our memories in the exact way that the computer holds a memory. Now persons who have never messed around with a computer might ask "What do you mean?"and I will say "All right, let’s take your mind for instance. Suppose you hear a pretty song, memorize it and commit it to your memory. As long as you maintain frequent reference to that song you will always know every word in it but if you seldom refer to it through the years your memory may become rusty, so to speak, and may remember only a few of the words which may often come in gaps. Now the computer’s memory does not get rusty or gappy and does not require frequent usage to maintain perfect recall of every word put into it.

I recently taped an old Lawrance Welk program in which his singers sang that famous old tune "A pretty girl is like a melody". In listening to this song I was unable to make out all of the words and in playing it over and over there were still two lines where I was still unable to understand all the words and so I knew at once that the musical malady I had suffered with for over 70 years would take over. To explain this malady let me go back to an article I wrote years ago entitled "Where has the music gone" in which I tell of the following musical affliction which has been my cross or pleasure to bear since my high school years:

"For decades my every waking moment that was not engaged in some absorbing activity my mind was filled with music and songs from the past. In Some cases even though my mind might be occupied by a thought, the songs were there in the form of soft background music.

Every night when I would arise for my frequent trips to the bathroom the music was there waiting for me. After returning to bed that song would remain in my head until I fall asleep again."

I found through the years that the songs that remained with me the longest were those I remembered only a few lines of the words. Songs appearing in my mind for which I remembered all of the words were soon replaced with others containing lines recalled only in fragmented snatches. The consistency of the appearance of the words and music throughout my days and nights has amazed me for all of these years."Now, while in the throes of this malady, because of not being able to find the missing words to this Pretty Girl tune I called upon my good friend Evelyn Pitcox (high sheriff and ramrod at the Brady Senior Citizens Center) who had previously helped me find the missing words to an Eddie Arnold song that had been haunting me. "Bill" she says in her usual pleasing tone, " I have never heard of that song". "Good lord Evelyn" I said in utter disbelief" everyone should know that song"

And I continued thinking that unil I learned that Irving Berlin wrote that song in 1919 and then I said "Well bless your heart Evelyn no wonder you didn’t know that song, you are just too young".

I was telling my neighbor about this affliction and my inability to find the missing words to this song and she told me to put the name of the song into my computer and it woud give all of the words to that song. Well sir that sucker not only spit out all of the words to that song it also told me who wrote it and when.

Now I am happy to know that I will no longer be bothered by not knowing the words to any song. For while I may still carry the tune in my head I will no longer be in doubt of the words.

A s I listen to the words to this song written by Irving Berlin in 1919 I see that he must have suffered from the same musical malady as myself. He would get a tune in his head and it would perhaps remain there until it darn near drove him crazy.

You don’t think so? Lets check his words and see: that tune he says "haunts you night and day", "it (she’ll) start upon a marathon and run around your brain." A marathon is a long, long race so he says she will be running around your brain for a long time. Remember now you "can’t escape" because "she’s in your memory by morning,night and noon", and then he hits the nail on the. head, he tells you of my exact problem: "(it) she will leave you and then come back again", how true,how true. And quite often that tune will keep coming back until I get so tired of it that I force it out of my mind by starting to sing another song.

I tell you that you will never convince me that Berlin did not write that song just for me even though at the time I was only eight years old. However there is one thing you can be sure of and that is that I will be singing a song in my mind every morning and if you don’t believe it just ask me the next time you see me "What are you singing today Bill?"

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