I love the musical Guys and Dolls and for some reason (maybe a forgotten dream) I was happily singing when I woke up this morning, "I got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere...can do, can do, this man says the horse can do". The character Nicely Nicely sings the song at the film's opening with two other gambling characters but he also sings a song about his epiphany later on in the musical, which I'm sure you all know. "The people all said sit down, sit down you're rocking the boat!" I began, of course, on this realisation to sing the second melody whilst I got ready for work.
The song was still floating around in my head on the tram on the way home, "Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down you're rocking the boat!" I decided to read the free Metro newspaper to take my mind of it and after reading an amusing story about the behaviour of monkeys being not too dissimilar to that of humans sometimes, I turned to pages four and five where the headline in gigantic font spread across the top of both pages read, "Stand down, stand down, you're rocking the boat..."
I did a double take. I thought that somehow through the constant repetition of the song in my mind I had managed to materialise my musical thoughts into print. However, this turned out to be an incorrect conclusion on closer inspection as I noticed the picture of the badge which accompanied the headline. It was the badge which Hazel Blears wore yesterday after her resignation from the Cabinet stating 'Rocking the boat' and I then realised that the headline was referring to the call for Gordon Brown to stand down.
Now I'm wondering. Could the fact that I saw the badge yesterday have reminded me of Guys and Dolls subconsciously and my mind had fed the song into my dreams, even though it wasn't the song that I woke up singing? Could it just be a coincidence, even though I don't walk around singing songs from Guys and Dolls on a frequent basis. Or is it possible, though least likely, that my singing of the song was a premonition that I would read that headline.
Perhaps the message is that because of the imagination of headline writers, you can find youself reading a cultural reference of any kind when you least expect it!