Saturday, July 16, 2011

Subconscious shower songs

It occurs to me that the habits we humans develop take many forms. We fold the laundry a certain way, we read the newspaper in a certain order, our path through the supermarket is tried, true, and predictable.

Habits become so ingrained that they become part of our subconscious. Have you ever arrived at work, for example, and realized as you pulled into the parking lot that you'd been daydreaming and had no recall of making the familiar turns along the route?

My subconscious apparently chooses songs for me to sing in the shower. I may start out, consciously, singing snippets of something I listened to earlier in the day, but as the water falls and the lather builds up, I become relaxed, my mind begins to wander, and the next thing I become aware of is that I'm singing one of my old-standby shower songs.

There are three of them, all songs I like, but none that I'd call a favorite. And they're old. I have no idea when, why, or how these songs became part of my shower repertoire, but I've been singing them for a long time. Ironically, after all that time, I still don't know all the words to any of them. I just sing what I know and hum for a while until it's time to sing that part again.

Here are the songs (with thanks to those who posted them on YouTube):

My third-most-sung shower song:
From 1955, "The Man in the Raincoat" by Marion Marlowe. So mysterious, with the whistling and all. (I can't do the whistling part.)

My second-most-sung shower song:
From 1961, "Joey" by Shelby Flint. I remember thinking this song was soooo romantic.

And (drum roll, please) my number-one-most-sung shower song:
This one is from 1968: "Les Bicyclettes de Belsize" by Engelbert Humperdinck. Why?? Couldn't tell you. (Sorry, but when you click to play this, you may get a "restricted" message and have to click on the "Watch on YouTube" link to hear it.)


Now, then, I hope you'll tell us if you have shower songs of your own. I'm willing to bet yours are way cooler than mine.


  1. I've always said I can't carry a tune in a bucket. I can't carry one in the shower either! I have a voice that makes dogs run and hide!

  2. Holly, there's just something about bathroom acoustics that makes every voice sound better, so you might surprise yourself.

  3. Oh...that Englebert Humperdinck is one I could listen to forever...each time I hear it on the radio it's in my mind for a good long time, as it will be today!

    The shower is the best place on earth to sing, I think. Now that I've listened to Englebert I can't think of a single song other than this one, but Lady In Red comes to mind...xx

  4. Marion, the pronounced waltz rhythm of "Les Bicyclettes..." always makes me imagine dancing to it. And I adore "Lady in Red," though it's never appeared on my personal shower-song list.

  5. Linda, I am laughing SO hard right now that I am crying. I love the Englebert Humperdinck song, though I've never sung it in the shower. I have only heard it on the radio when I was young and tried to sing along, which was difficult because I had no idea he was speaking French. Until I listened to your link I always though he was saying "Lady Bezclay del Versailles" and pictured some French aristocrat!
    Now, if I can focus my teary eyes, I will tell you that my number one shower song comes from my Pentecostal childhood - "Are You Washed in the Blood?" (Which, if taken literally, is really gross.) I know all the verses and on the chorus there is an echoing bass line. I sing both parts.

  6. Okay, Annette, now you have me laughing just as hard as you were -- first about "Lady Bezclay del Versailles" -- and then because it never occurred to me that anyone would have a less cool shower song than I do. Although, on some level it makes sense that being in the shower might trigger the firing of some synapses that would connect to all those "washing" and "cleansing" lyrics. LOL!!


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