There’ll Be a Load of Compromisin’, on the Road to My Horizon

I cannot explain it.

Not only that, I cannot imagine a reasonable explanation.

But for the last twenty-four hours, I have been plagued by an endless loop of Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Ordinarily, I can trace such an earworm to a recent retail experience, or to a television commercial, or to the too-loud stereo of a passing car. But I simply cannot conceive of a scenario in which I would have heard any piece of this song yesterday.

I have, at times, had earworms triggered by odd phrases that somehow mirror phrases in lyrics, that then result in the automatic replay of the song. In fact, I had an example of this that plagued me just last week, which I’m now afraid to think hard enough about even to remember its circumstances, lest I dredge it back up again.

As it is, I’ve got one surefire cure for the earworm — one mental chorus of “Lonesome Loser” always does the trick for me — but I haven’t deployed it yet, because I’m still hoping to trace this one back to its Patient Zero.

So, help me: is there any reason — an odd commercial, a movie soundtrack, an unforeseen return to the adult-contemporary playlists — that you can imagine my encountering this song?


  1. No, I can’t, but now you’ve planted this one in me, dammit!

    And I so loathe Glen Campbell. Just for that, I want you to think long and hard about the Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight”: “Skyrockets in flight/ Afternoon Delight/ A-a-a-a-fternoon Delight. . .”


  2. Touché. You have officially supplanted the song stylings of Mr. Glen Campbell with the gone but unfortunately not forgotten Starland Vocal Band. (Vocal Band? Why did I not think that was weird in 1976?)

    It’s been eons since I’ve thought of that song, and particularly its inimitable closing line:


    …Afternoon Delight!”

    Sigh. I guess I deserved that. But you gotta admit, Glen’s is a pretty good rhyme, to go six syllables deep.

  3. For me, Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” is the penicillin that kills earworms dead. Had to break it out the other day as two of the girls in my neighborhood decided to practice the lyrics to “Oh Mickey” at top volume, over and over and over.

    And the worst part about it? They had the lyrics wrong, and so of course, I corrected them in my head, and once I did, the lyrics were there to stay for hours…ugh.

  4. This is really strange…..I woke up this morning with several lines of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” looping in my brain. So if you do figure out how the Glenn Campbell ended up in your head, do let me know. It is worth avoiding whatever did it.

    For what it’s worth, for the past few days I have mostly been listening to the MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams” (not just the song but the album of the same title), plus various things by the Pixies. Hard to imagine anything less Campbellesque.

  5. Scott — that’s just weird. There must be some sort of bizarre synchonicity between Glen Campbell and the collective unconscious right now. All I can think is that it’s got to do with that concert he played in the Arizona prison last month.

    And Collin — I’m amazed to hear that anything Manilow has such an antibiotic effect for you; perhaps it’s due to overexposure in my youth, but I’m ragingly susceptible to Manilow-infections…

  6. Do you watch Northern Exposure reruns? It was on one from this week. It was the one where Joel has Maggie fly in some bagels; Chris played it as a request for a former Cicely-an for her father’s birthday. I’m not a NoEx expert; I just happened to watch the beginning of this ep today. 🙂

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