Have you ever got a song stuck in your head and could not get rid of it? This can be terribly irritating but sometimes it can be amusing and even helpful.
Last weekend during a torrential rain a silly little song that I learned in church popped into my head and I began singing:

The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky
The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky
Build it out of gopher barky, barky
Children of the Lord.

That song has hung around in my head since last Saturday night. I have tried to eliminate it by substituting the words and music of other secular and religious songs but it won’t go away. I can’t seem to purge it. (And yes, I know the King James Version of Genesis 6:14 says God told Noah to use gopher wood.)

On other occasions the lyrics and tunes of radio and television commercials have lodged in my brain and refused to leave. Every time I see the trucks of a particular plumbing company that are painted pink, the company’s jingle leaps to my mind.

As I drive around Atlanta I often hear the commercial for a local pest control company. The rhyming silliness reminds me who to call to solve my problems with pests.
When I seem out of step with the mainstream but am confident that I am on the right track, I can hear Frank Sinatra sing:

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it my way!

Song writers, entertainers, and advertisers recognize the power of music and have employed it for altruistic and economic purposes.
Oliver Sacks, writing in Brain: A Journal of Neurology, says music has “a peculiar power over us, a power delectable and beneficent for the most part, but also capable of uncontrollable and sometimes destructive force.”

The lyrics or the musical chords can be magical and mysterious. Music can inspire the spirit and incite the emotions. It can provoke action or tears. It can promote a product or produce a sense of well being. Katherine Neville says “music has the power to create a universe or destroy a civilization.”

I suspect that both Neville and Sacks have loftier ideas than I have in mind at this writing. But I think they are right and even simple little songs can be powerful.

I have sung that little “arky, arky” song many times in gatherings of youth and children. Perhaps it is a good thing that it is stuck in my head because the chorus of this energetic tune reminds me to “Give God the glory, glory (because we are) Children of the Lord.”

Jamie Jenkins

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