News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

February 1, 2011

MS. TAKES: A worm in your ear, a song in your heart

TERRE HAUTE — Ronn Mott calls it “an ear worm.” He ought to know. He has given me plenty of them in the past and he’s doing it again on the morning drive at WPFR.

According to Ronn, an ear worm is a song you can’t get off your mind. It runs over and over and often out loud to the annoyance of friends and loved ones.

I have been driving my Best Friend to the brink of violence by my latest ear worm. I don’t even know the name of the song, and I don’t know all the words. All I remember is that Judy Garland and Fred Astaire sang and danced to something featuring the words: “We’re a couple of swells. We stop at the best hotels, but we prefer the country far away from the city smells!” I’d be glad to sing that much for you if you’re interested.

Picture how annoying this could get when those are the only words you remember and you croon them again and again — out loud!

The number was performed by Judy and Fred dressed as “gentlemen of the road” and, in my estimation, it was classic. Both have long been favorites of mine, Fred especially. My BF has always taken it poorly that I carry a picture of Fred in my billfold. Maybe that’s why this latest ear worm annoys him especially.

Every Christmas, Ronn and his sometime-cohort, Mickey Burk, play holiday favorites and for weeks I break out in song — “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” Actually, I don’t, but the mini-recording in my head plays it over and over. One Christmas I protested and received —  anonymously — a stuffed hippo in the mail. My mental CD was off and running for days after that.

Not long ago someone asked if I remembered Elmo Tanner and his whistling rendition of “Heartaches.” I do. I did, and I got an ear worm lasting for about a week. I was even accosted downtown by an irate reader who announced that he had a bone to pick with me. My column on “Heartaches” gave him an ear worm.

Actually, I seem to remember part of a second chorus of the Judy and Fred number. It began, “We’re a couple of sports, the pride of the tennis courts.” I think it involved a bit about how good they looked in shorts, but I’m not sure.

My BF says, “Look it up on Internet.” I suppose I could, but maybe the ear worm will die a natural death if I don’t.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Former NFL Player 'Excited' Deal Almost Done Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans
NDN Video
Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino Watch the 'Mockingjay - Part 1' Teaser! News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010