Y'a d'la joie
ME What’s that from?
ME That tune you just whistled?
DONNY Why, do you know it?
ME Yes, it’s from an advert isn’t it? Wait a minute, it’ll come to me…
And so began a 6 year search for an earworm, a tune vivid in my mind, clear in the mind of my fellow PhD student, Donny, but apparently unknown to the rest of humanity.
The song, so far as I could remember it, was a cheerful, old-fashioned piece. There was no singer, but I remember a small band or orchestra backing a lead wind instrument, perhaps a clarinet or an oboe. To my ears it sounded like some light entertainment music from the 1930s or 1940s; of a style and age where the composer and performers would almost certainly be unknown to me.
After racking our brains thinking of when we’d first heard it (mid to late nineties we reckoned) and which TV commercial it might be from, we resorted to the web. This...
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