AN EARWORM CALLED LES MIS

~ Posted by Samantha Weinberg, January 22nd 2013

I am a fan of "Les Miserables", though in no way a fanatic. I saw it in the West End in 1986 and bought the tapeit was that long agoand must have listened to it quite a bit. When I saw it again, just last year at Erlestoke Prison, I could hardly stop myself singing along with the cast. But the after effects of that show were nothing like this. 

Last weekend, our family went to see the film version of "Les Miserables" at Swindon Cineworld, and I’ve been suffering from the mother of all earworms ever since. Take yesterday: I came downstairs to find my daughter wearing red boots instead of school shoes. "Red…the blood of angry men?" "No," she replied, "the school said we could wear wellies because of the snow." We started discussing her final preparations for her exams: "I’ve only got one more day to revise!" she wailed, to which I replied: "One more day to revolution, we will nip it in the bud!" This was still on repeat as we arrived at school, where it was neatly replaced with: “Right my girl. On your way!"

I arrived home to the remains of a rushed breakfast in the kitchen, "Empty chairs and empty tables, now my kids have come and gone". As I cleared up, the voice inside my head segued into: "It only goes to show what little people can do," moving on to my favourite couplet in that song: 

A flea can bite the bottom 
Of the Pope in Rome!

The day passed with "Les Mis" revolving in my mind. On the radio, a discussion of the horseburger scandal prompted an hour of "Master of the House…Food beyond compare. Food beyond belief. Mix it in a mincer and pretend it’s beef". In the evening, a glass of wine was toasted with "Drink with me, to days gone by." Last thing at night, when the medley might have run its course, that damned worm was incanting: "At the end of the day, you’re another day older."

Samantha Weinberg is assistant editor of Intelligent Life. Her recent posts for the Editors' Blog include James Bond's office flirtation and The chili cook-off