How long has it been since I talked about the common man in these articles? Usually, I’m talking about famous rock stars, but what of the people who just listen to it? Well, I’m here to talk about one of these people, a pensioner from Essex named Susan Root, who has a rare form of Tinnitus that has left her hearing the song “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” constantly for the last three years.
Susan Root suffers from an affliction known as musical hallucination, which causes her to hear the song on an endless loop night and day. For what it’s worth, the song was a hit for Lita Roza in 1953. Speaking to The Sun about it, she said: “It’s like having a radio that you just can’t turn off. I began hearing tunes in my ears three years ago and it just has not stopped since.”
Root has stated that, on occasion, the song is so loud in her head that she cannot hear her husband Graham over the song, and that it’s especially bad at night because it keeps her up at night. Doctors have been unable to help her with the problem. She, in turn, has decided to combat the music by drowning it out with bird and whale songs. In her words: “They have given me a hearing aid which they had hoped would fix my hearing problems and therefore stop the music but it just hasn’t worked. I had special therapy too but they’ve now told me there is nothing more they can do. I’ve come to accept that I’m probably going to be stuck with this hellish condition for the rest of my life. My mum told me that when I was young I used to love the song ‘How Much is that Doggie in the Window’. I used to sing it around the house all the time but now I can’t stand it.”
As well as ‘(How Much Is That) Doggie…?’ Root also heard other songs such as ‘God Save the Queen’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Tinnitus is fairly common in rock musicians, with sufferers including most of the members of The Who, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Bono and the Edge from U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young, and, (most recently) Noel Gallagher from Oasis.
For what it’s worth, here’s one possible explanation for how this has come to pass for Root, courtesy of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, episode 13, “Intermission.”