When Shazam fails: My quest to figure out that annoying song stuck in my head

So I’m riding in the car with Mike on our way to the Giants game this afternoon (we won, woohoo!) when out of nowhere, this tune pops into my head. It starts out as I’m thinking about songs I used to play on the piano when I was a kid, and I start humming this random song out loud. I ask Mike if he recognizes it, and he doesn’t. All I know is that I’m pretty sure it’s a Russian song or something, though I’m not sure how I know that and can’t for the life of me remember what the name of the song is.

So I keep humming and whistling and facepalming, and Mike is like, “Ok, it’s getting kind of irritating, can you stop” but I can’t because I’m like OMGGGWHATTHEHELLISTHENAMEOFTHATSONG. Like seriously starting to feel like I’ll go crazy if I can’t figure it out. So I decide to call my mother–I’m thinking she might know what I’m talking about because of course she was there all the times we used to practice piano when we were kids.

So I call my mom, luckily she answers and I hum the tune for her over the phone. She’s all, “oh yeah yeah yeah,” and starts humming along with me. She knows exactly what I’m talking about. But she doesn’t know the name either! She concurs that it’s a Russian song of some sort though. “Something that ends in ‘Troika’?” she suggests. Doesn’t sound quite right to me, but I think I’m getting closer.

When we get home after the game, I’m like, God I wish there was something like Shazam for humming. And Mike is like, there is. Whoaaa, sick!! So I bust out my loudest, clearest humming skills for this crazy app like three times in a row. And the results are ALWAYS pop/rock songs that sound nothing like the tune I’m trying to figure out (like Weezer’s Falling for You off Pinkerton?!). I realize then that Midomi may not be able to track random Russian folk songs stuck in my head. Hmmm…

As Mike is making dinner for us because he’s awesome, I’m still self-indulgently playing detective for this tune (and avoiding doing homework). I start doing random Google/YouTube searches, using terms like “Russian folk tune” and “Alfred’s piano book beginner for kids Russian” Random shit, including tons of renditions of the Tetris song come up, but no little simple Russian tune in my head is produced.

All seems hopeless.


Finally, after typing “piano Russian folk song” into YouTube, this little ditty pops up. I squeal with delight, as Mike calmly continues to cook sausages over the stove.

Yes!!! It is a Russian (Gypsy) folk song with an English translation of Dark Eyes. Seriously can’t believe I found it with such little information about the actual song besides my random memory and annoying habit of getting songs stuck in my head and needing to know what they are.

This is my favorite version of it I’ve found so far, and the little boy here simply SHREDS the piano playing it. Love that I figured it out :). I hope you love the song.


4 thoughts on “When Shazam fails: My quest to figure out that annoying song stuck in my head

  1. omg lol i TOTALLY remember that song from my piano days as well. and would also have been driven everyone else crazy w/a similar process. :D great post!

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