The Real Reason That Love Song Gets Stuck In Your Head

If you know why a certain love song keeps playing in your head, then my words won’t come off as a shock to you. But for those who don’t, then maybe you should consider this huge possibility:

Maybe your brain is dedicating that love song to someone.

Most of us have been there, right? Often, I would stumble upon love songs and think to myself with a heavy heart, “This song is hauntingly beautiful.” And I would listen to that song for weeks. If I weren’t listening to it, it would be playing in my head, just like that phenomenon called last song syndrome, only this is strictly a love song and it may not be particularly catchy enough. The LSS would only end after a time when I would finally reflect on the lyrics.

That is when I make deep associations in my brain.

Lately though, I’ve realized that if you’re dedicating a song to someone you love, it doesn’t even have to be a love song per se. I think that when you’re in love, your feelings have the capability to transform any song into something deep and meaningful and heart-wrenching.

And yes, lately I have been in love, with someone who will hopefully never find out that this is all about him.

And yes, lately, I’ve been listening to only one song. I always thought it was purely the melody and the beauty of Semisonic’s Closing Time that tugged at my heartstrings, but I pieced it all together and discovered that my suffering from LSS was because of him. This song was made for me and him.

It’s not a particularly romantic song. Actually, come to think of it, the song simply talks about meeting fascinating people at bars. I was drawn to the song at first because it was a popular song among our group of friends, but I didn’t imagine that it would turn out to sound like a love song to me.

Closing time, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

What’s funny is that although I listen to Closing Time as a love song, it is not at all affectionate and warm; in fact, it sounds sad and poignant. Not to me though. I feel only a hint of sadness when I listen to that line because a great bulk of memories invades my brain and leaves heavy footprints everywhere. But thinking about those memories makes me feel light, makes me feel like my heart is soaring. The entire song is somewhat bittersweet, but I have read every line there and it completely suits me and him, and the way we were with each other.

I really did think I just liked the song. Until I read the lyrics and found myself agape.

This song was telling our story.

Now here I am with my heart constricting, like I can’t breathe again the way I couldn’t breathe back then, because I’ve realized through merely a song that I have been falling for him again all this time.

I confessed my realization to my best friends, and they weren’t surprised. They knew all along. I was just blind – blind because I didn’t want to ruin the image of the present. I wanted the present to be our true story, wherein we were just good friends with a secret language that no one understood and a silly, twisted sense of humor that people raised their eyebrows at. I wanted it to be true because it felt uncomplicated.

But love songs are stories of your own that you don’t want to tell, even though they’re true. They’re stories that you keep in your heart, and they can haunt you for weeks until you are moved to the life-altering realization of love. It may be the worst love song known to man, but it nonetheless speaks to you, for you. You’ll hate that it can do that. I hate that it can do that. Closing Time is still playing in my head right now, even when I try my best to purge all my thoughts about him.

But maybe love songs don’t play in a loop in your head just to tell you that you’re thinking about someone or falling for someone. Maybe they’re also urging you to reveal your true feelings for them. Maybe they’re urging you to take a leap and confess your love.

It’s a huge possibility. So I’m taking a leap.

Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

So to that emotionally unavailable guy in my life with the weirdest sense of humor and the wisest advice, I’m dedicating Closing Time to you, because even when the school nights end and we have to go home, I still want to be with you. I miss taking long walks with you in the middle of the night, even though I actually hate walking. I miss the times when it was just us two because I get to see the real you, and you kiss me and kiss me like I’m more than just that girl from the bar. I miss our quiet, passionate kisses in the rain. I even miss you talking about your ex because I fall for you more when you open up to me and I cannot fathom why on earth that is so.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” We always ran to each other for solace or advice after a harsh breakup. But where are you now? It is only this song that momentarily but weakly instills your presence in my life right now. Maybe you have found your new beginning and we have finally reached our beginning’s end. That’s how it always seems to be with us.

What brings me comfort is that our relationship has always been that of the push-and-pull sort. Someday, we’ll reconnect and act like nothing has happened.

I know who I want to take me home.

It’s you. It’s been you before anyone else. I wonder if you know that.

Do you share that feeling of intense longing of being apart from each other? Nowadays, it’s only a few things that keep us from falling apart. One of them is music. And you brought it into my life somehow, when you filled in the empty spaces in my life, and it was a kind of chronic emptiness that you filled.

There’s always going to be that one person in your life who gets to fill the voids in your life by the waves and crescendos of music. But like every song, the moment ends. It fades away, and no matter how many times you replay the song and rewind to your favourite moments, far, far away from the ending, it will never feel like the very first time that you listened to the song.
I still remember the very first time that Closing Time played when we were together. He was sleepy then; I could tell because he was yawning multiple times. When his other friends weren’t listening, I asked him quietly if he was sleepy. He said yes, so I asked him why he’s still here. And without hesitance, he replied, “I don’t want to leave you alone with them.”

No other memory of me listening to Closing Time can overpower that very first time I heard the song while I was with him.

Nevertheless, the song will always bring me powerful memories. It will always haunt me because it evokes my love for someone, just like love songs haunt others until they are paralyzed in tears and heartbreak. I think it’s been playing in my head for a while now because the universe wants to remind me where I’ve placed my heart, because it hasn’t been with me lately. Or rather, the universe is tired of me and wants me to do something about what I feel about him. Because that was what I was told once: “The universe will always try to speak to you.” And so I can’t help but think that love songs are the ways through which we are reminded of the intensity of our feelings for someone. And we are reminded when they leave their lyrics to echo in our ears for a prolonged period of time until we are caught in the realization that we are fixated and daydreaming about a certain someone.

And I confess: the more that I purge my thoughts of him, the less frequently Closing Time plays in my head. It is fading, gradually, its volume growing softer and softer, as I am coming to terms with my epiphanies. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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