That Olympics song that gets stuck in your head

It opens with clashing cymbals and some thundering beats of a timpani followed by a few bars of trumpet fanfare that make us, in some weird Pavlovian manner, turn into fans of sports we completely forgot existed for the previous three years and fifty weeks. We hear those trumpets and something makes the room go silent so we can catch up with how the Norwegian handball team is doing. That “Olympics music” is so expected, so anticipated, so demanded by Americans, it is used no matter what TV network purchases the rights.

But where did it come from? While that’s not exactly the type of information you’d turn to this blog for, it’s something I actually learned the other day. And since this is 8/8/08 and once again, I can’t get that song out of my mind, I thought I’d share this nugget of info.

It’s based on Bugler’s Dream by composer Leo Arnaud. I heard about it on the July 24th “Composers Datebook” on my local public radio station. The short piece is about the composer and how the Olympic theme became the Olympic theme. You can listen to it here (RealPlayer required).

Sidenote: One cure of getting a song unstuck from your head is to listen to it over and over. That’s why we won’t have this song stuck in our heads two weeks for now.