A couple years ago, my then-girlfriend had a CD of Adam Green's album, Gemstones. For over a month, that was all she would play in her car. Soon, that was all that would play in my head. But the lyrics didn't last long there, undistorted. Despite the daily exposure, my memory of the lyrics weakened as a song looped throughout the day. When a blank section appeared, it got filled with the first words that would fit—they sounded rightish, they roughly fit the song's meaning, they would work for the time being. Even words I remembered would get unwittingly overwritten with approximations. All this fed into the next loop. I came to have two sets of lyrics for each song: the true set that I had looked up, the set that danced in my mouth when the song actually played; and the counterfeit set that poor memory and slips of the mind-tongue had cobbled, the set that moshed in my mind when the stereo was silent. This sort of thing happens with a lot of my earworms. Unfortunately, I have no way to be sure that it happens the way I've described it. I imagine other people have written about similar experiences, though.

I spent conscious effort on two of the counterfeits: those for "He's the Brat" and the title track. I'd be lying if I passed these off solely as curious products of an unconscious process. They started as such, but the rest came by design after I liked what I saw. If you compare the counterfeit lyrics with the true ones, I think you'll quickly recognize my writing process: an exaggeration of what (I think) I was doing before I gave it my attention: substitution with malapropisms, mondegreens, rhymes, etc

Below is "He's the Bread", the counterfeit lyrics I wrote for "He's the Brat". I don't remember what I called my counterfeit of the title track, nor where I put it. My guess is that I called it "Gym Stoves".

He's the bread with the paralyzed stitchwork, he's the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
He's a sleazy, hard-to-please-y chimpanzee face who wants to watch my feeble feeling dull
Beauty is evil, emasculate evil, don't you think? And my hostages' names form a bland commotion, mumbling from the peon droves

Eyelids flick out the avarice discus, slumming vagrants toning down their threats
While the bleachers buckle under the public's asses, tearing up their never-ending bets
Beauty is evil, emasculate evil, don't you think? But it's Saddam Hussein drawing grand conclusions, grumbling over me on stoves

Oh, the pleasures of the morning are simple, but the treasurer, the sweetest "I don't—"
Oh, I've just been invited to look through my new eyes—the needles encumbered with blow

So tank me down to the Timberland fallout shelter; you can hear the mermaids grow
On the flavor-blasted Pizza Hut sweatshop half-track bus in the aquarium
Beauty is evil; I'm lacking in evil, can't you see? But I'm hopped-up and chasing the grand illusion, stumbling in the neon groves

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