25 October 2008

Vibratory Recall

Filed under: Psychology, Reflections — ktismatics @ 3:11 pm

Our daughter was trying on some zombie make-up, and when I saw her I broke into song: “Hey there, Zombie Girl.” It was a slight lyrical variant on a sixties pop song of a similar name that I hadn’t heard for years and years, a song I never liked all that well but which I heard so often on Top Forty radio that it lodged itself indelibly in my brain. When I tracked down the original on Youtube, I found that I had been singing it in the right key. This happens to me frequently: I remember not just the tune but the key it was recorded in. I couldn’t name the key, but I spontaneously start singing it with the right starting pitch. I don’t know if its an aural memory or whether, when singing an old song again, it just feels right in my throat when my vocal chords vibrate at a particular frequency.



  1. This is Judith Durham and The Seekers. They have some charm, you know.


    Comment by NB — 29 October 2008 @ 11:42 am

  2. I like the way they look in this video, even if the original whistling intro/interlude is replaced by more conventional instrumentation. The Seekers arrived at the tail end of the pop-folk era. Their first hit was Another You, a lovely song which charted about a year after the Beatles first arrived in the States. By the time Georgy Girl came out a couple of years later I was too hardass for the Seekers any more, plus I thought the song had a faux-hippie patina that I resisted. It is a nice ditty though. The movie I think I saw but I don’t remember it.


    Comment by ktismatics — 29 October 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  3. It’s not a bad movie, if you ever get the chance (again), Ktis. And it has Charlotte Rampling, who looks just as good now as she did back then. The movie has a sort of sickly relationship with Muriel’s Wedding whenever I play it back in my mind, come to think of it, the least of it being the sunshine pop /vocal group leitmotif.


    Comment by Halldor — 30 October 2008 @ 9:36 am

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