Stuff Clanking Around in My Head

I have memorized some things over the years to keep myself company when I get lonely.

The lyrics to the M.A.S.H. theme.

Yep, there are lyrics and I know ’em.

The lyrics to Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” in the original German.

In German it’s called “99 Luftballoons.” The title actually translates to “99 Air Balloons.” In fact, most of the lyrics are changed in the English version so that they don’t translate closely at all. This profoundly useless knowledge is brought to you by my two years of high school German and two years of German at a community college.

“The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, and “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe.

The prologue to The Canterbury Tales in Middle English.

“The Heart” by Stephen Crane.

“Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost.

The first paragraph of The American Crisis by Thomas Paine.

I tell you these things for two reasons:

1. You were NEVER gonna ask me about them, were you?…See? And that sucks, ’cause I’ve been waiting.

2. When I’m kidnapped and they put me into a sensory deprivation chamber to torture me, you’ll know that I still have my Poe and you won’t have to worry so much.

Oh, hey, by the way, do you have some things memorized that are useless and/or obscure that you’d like to share?*

*You can’t say I didn’t ask.

Comments 16

  • I had to memorize the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (in Middle English) when I was in high school. I remember every freakin’ bit of it and I’m bitter. Over the past 40 years there have been lots of times when I needed that brain space. Where are my keys? How do I code that piece again? What is your name???? I mean seriously. I have never ever needed to know when the sura sota – not once.

  • I mostly memorized that one to impress my 60 yr. old Junior English teacher. I had an intellectually stimulated crush on him. I knew that grey haired sex pot would get off on hearing me recite it for extra credit.

    Even so, Susan, I gotta say, I think we’re soulmates. What were the odds that we’d find each other on-line? 😀

    Seriously, though, I do think that’s a hell of a coincidence.

    Or, does everybody outside of hickville know that? I sometimes forget the quality of education in KY leaves something to be desired.

  • You can thank Iron Maiden for this one…

    We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

  • What gets me is the all the unflinchingly BAD song lyrics I picked up through osmosis by not being quick enough to change the channel on the radio. “Achy Breaky Heart” comes immediately to mind as an example.

    There, now I’ve done it! It’s playing in my head even as I type…


    What does that have to do with Iron Maiden? Not one thing. I’m just whining ’cause I like to.

  • I only know the MASH music… and I know how to sing it… “Doo doo doo doo doo doo dah… doo doo…. etc”


    By the way, I’ve been a lurker for a while. Thanks for linking me!

  • I lurk at your place too. You’re welcome. 😀

  • Obscure/useless:
    All fifty state capitals
    All nine supreme court justices
    The ideal gas law (PV = nRT)
    The Mark Antony speech in Julius Caesar
    Lyrics to several 1980s “one hit wonders” which, if I named, will make you hate me.

    Suicide is painless,


  • I’ve got “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” too and it has kept me from going insane in meetings and at the doctor’s office. Lots of times.

  • My first phone number, FL4-3022

    And of course every stupid thing I’ve ever said. And every hurtful thing anyone’s ever said to me.

  • I can’t even memorize my OWN poems, much less someone else’s. I had to memorize things back in high school, but the only thing I can half-remember is the French poem I memorized my senior year for a competition in Orlando. It was a simple poem, too, and I totally blanked while I was reciting it. I almost had a panic attack. So I just stopped and walked off the stage. I received an honorable mention.

  • I’m pretty sure I couldn’t memorize my own poetry even if I tried. I’ve never tried. Mostly because as soon as I write them, I begin to think they suck.

  • bad top 20 stuff always sticks in my head thanks to work, songs that i would cheerfully otherwise burn in the streets. locked in a training room for six weeks with s club 7s “bring it all back” means i can now sing the entire song four years later without problem and probably could do most of the dance moves too. shudder.

  • Late reply…Winston’s speech was the intro to the first song on Iron Maiden’s Live After Death album.

  • Hmm…try memorizing the “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech in Latin for your Sophomore English class (I did it in Latin for extra credit). Ugh… :)Ever since then I have had “Amici, Romani, Cives..” floating through my head.

    Another kicker is “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” by The Offspring.

  • hey, im doing the memorization of friends, romans, countrymen too but i cant find any latin versions… it would be nice if you could send it to me or show me where it is =) much thanks

  • Heaps of poems from LotR, The Raven, The Beaches of Lucannan, The Naming of Cats, the To-be-or-not-to-be speech from Hamlet, Puck’s closing speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Independence Day we’ll-kick-their-martian-arses speech. That’s all I can think of for now. I’d walk for 2 hours every day until I memorized a poem, rest for 3 days or so and then start a new one. I lost 10kg that way lol

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