On my last hiking trip I asked my husband if he has a soundtrack in his head while he hikes. See, I tend to repeat a song in my head, over and over, while I’m hiking. I adapt it to the beat of my steps. I repeat only the lyrics I know or make up my own or listen to an instrumental version. If I’m actively thinking, talking to myself silently, then the music quiets, sometimes. But as soon as my train of thought stops, the music is there again.
I did consider that this might be a natural thing, something that happens to everyone, but I know that I can be a bit strange. So I asked my husband, who can also be strange, but usually in different ways.
Apparently, this is not one of the strangenesses that we share.
And so I shared with him, throughout that trip, the music playing on repeat in my head. I keep meaning to write down all the songs that pop through my head when I’m hiking, but I never get around to it, and I usually forget them by the time I’m home. Talking about them to my husband has helped me retain a smattering.
One of the songs I tend to get when I’m near the beginning of a trip is “Run” by Collective Soul, because it has a line about having a long way to run. And that tries to slip into “Ways to Go” by Grouplove, because I like that song, but I can never remember the tune while I’m on the trail and it fades out.
When I was hiking up the start of the Blackmare No Trail, I had “Frosty the Snowman” on. I don’t know why. There wasn’t any snow in sight. That transitioned, naturally, to “O Canada.” (I do watch a lot of hockey.) That took me through to the next ridge, where, on the descent, I had an elevator music version of “The Girl from Ipanema” going, perhaps as a result of the cautious steps I had to take going down the steep, unkept trail.
And even when we weren’t hiking, I still had songs running through my head on repeat. Sunday morning started with a persistent rendition of “Heartbreak Beat” by The Psychedelic Furs, which only went away when it was replaced by the “Main Theme from Star Trek: Voyager.” (My husband wanted to hear how that one went and I gave him a humming rendition that he quite enjoyed. But I suspect he only asked to hear it because he didn’t believe that I was listening to it in my head.)
On the way back to the car the next day, and I know this was because of the clouds of mosquitoes that I was hiking through (I think I inhaled one), I got Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” going and replaced the words to part of it: “Eaten alive again in mosquitoville/ wishing I had more repellent on me/ some people say that there’s a woman to blame/ well, they’re right/ only females bite”
Mosquitoville doesn’t quite scan, but it got me through the hike pretty well, interspersed with “Little April Shower” from Bambi.
And no. It wasn’t raining. But I may have been drip drip dropping sweat…