Musical Tourettes. What?

My wife thinks that I have Musical Tourette’s. When I put this on my twitter profile I had some tweets and messages asking what I was talking about. So here is my story.

Most of the time I don’t know that I’m doing it. Out of the corner of my eye I will see my wife staring at me with the TV paused and I’ll hear a noise. It’s me! I’m humming along to the theme tune of a programme or an advert or singing something. This happens around the house or when we’re in the car stuck in traffic. And it happens every day. Repeatedly.

You know what it’s like when you have a song going over and over in your mind and I just like to add my percussion or humming or singing along to it. A human beatbox and I can’t help it.

The Urban Dictionary has a listing for Musical Tourette’s that states that it is:

An artificial form of tourette syndrome in which the singing or speaking of a line from a song by one individual produces the spontaneous and not entirely voluntary singing or speaking of further lines of said song by another individual. This phenomenon is most often seen among people in good moods.

The difference for me is that it doesn’t need to be a real song. I will just make a one up.

I have to point out that this is NOT a Glee kind of thing. Not here please! I don’t have any desire to take to the stage: I’m a writer not a dancer. And reading the Urban Dictionary definition, I doubt people I know would use the words ‘good mood’ about me. Oh, no.

Now, there has not been any official medical diagnosis of this compulsive condition. It doesn’t affect my life other than some odd looks from people on the bus or at work. I don’t even know whether there is an official condition, maybe someone can let me know.

Does this help me with Creative Writing? It does seem to help me clear my mind, so maybe it does, in its own weird way. I love music and have never had a problem writing with some noise in the background. Most of the time, it’s probably just me.

Thank you for reading.


About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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9 Responses to Musical Tourettes. What?

  1. Craig Hallam says:

    I do this as well! I’m a sod for it and often catch myself humming some god-awful jingle.
    Just been reading back over your other posts, too. Love the candid horse photo. Let’s hope that ebook gets sorted out soon, eh?

    • petedenton says:

      I think there is probably an epidemic out there of musical tourette sufferers. It’s probably some alien invasion strategy by distracting us all. Invasion by jingle.

      We started the ebook back in 1992. Nearly there!

  2. Lisa Lovell says:

    So it’s a family trait!!! My son does this all the time – from waking (early), in the car, at the toilet!! everywhere! He gets it from his uncle!!!

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  4. Love it!!! I do that really annoying thing when someone says a movie line and then I have to recite the rest of the scene. This is especially bad if the movie is “Young Frankenstein” or “Emma” 😉 Whatever, love our oddities and own them because we’re really the cool ones! 🙂

  5. Personally, I’m partial to singing along and making up the words as I go alone, because the artist never gets them quite right. And I hate those danged earworms….songs that you hear three words from and they get stuck in your head all do and you can’t stop singing them.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Pingback: Blogging Awards. I’ve been bad | Pete Denton - Writer

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