Colm O'Regan: Some things are un-Google-able

“I don’t know and I don’t think I’ll ever know. And that’s fine.” That’s my new mantra for sanity.
Colm O'Regan: Some things are un-Google-able

“I don’t know and I don’t think I’ll ever know. And that’s fine.” That’s my new mantra for sanity.

Because when every bit of information is supposed to be at your fingertips, it seems harder, not to know something.

Google — other search engines are available — has given us the illusion of all-knowingness.

But some things are un-google-able. Especially memories.

Because you don’t know what to search for. Like going into a library and saying, “I’m looking for a book”.

I have a hitlist of things I half-remember. For example, was there a short tunnel somewhere around North Main Street?

I have a memory of parking at ‘Lucas’ on Bachelor’s Quay and walking with my little hand tightly gripping my mother’s, down a lane, through a little tunnel before emerging onto the glitz of North Main Street.

But no one else seems to know it.

And if you google “Cork” and “tunnel” it’ll be twenty pages of Jack Lynch and trucks shedding their load.

There was The Book. Around 1988 I got a book out from the library van about witches in a school but I must have strayed a bit too close to the Mills and Boon because the book was a bit grown up.

And by grown up I mean there were hints of sex. The witchy non-sexy bits were also scary and gave me nightmares and my mother told the woman in the library van she thought the book was a bit ‘mature’.

I don’t want to read it again – ok I do, sexy witches c’mon – but I want to see its cover.

To recapture that memory that seems like a dream. But googling “Sexy witch book” “mature” leads to very grown up stuff.

And then there’s the song.

For about 26 years there has been a song in my head that I can’t identify. I think about it roughly once a month.

I thought about it again yesterday because the Reply-All podcast – google it and “The missing song” – helped a listener find a song.

They can’t help me.

Unlike their listener. I don’t know the words of The Song. I barely know the tune.

The only clue I have is that it was on a CD my brother borrowed from Simon.

My brother, who I thought was cool, thought Simon was cool which makes him exponentially cool.

Because that’s how the maths of cool works.

And he had a proper music collection. He probably had a room for his music as opposed to it gathering on either side of Pioneer and Total Abstinence society Table Quiz Second Place trophy on a sideboard.

Simon loaned my brother a clatter of CDs and on one of them was a song.

And since 1994 I have been trying to find that song. All I know is that one bit of it went baddy-baddy-bum boo-bump baddy-baddy.

Also it seems inexplicably linked up with an ad for Lilt in my mind.

Not the totally tropical taste one, but another one with different music.

Simon doesn’t know either. Probably because when I asked him I just said it went baddy-baddy-bum boo-bump baddy-baddy.

It might have been Stereolab he says.

The arrival of Spotify offered some hope as I’ve been listening to every stereolab album and ‘Things a Bit Like Stereolab’ and can’t find it. It may just have arrived in in the same bundle.

I think I’ll never know.

And that’s fine.

Who am I kidding? It’s driving me mad.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox


Saturday, December 4, 2021

  • 7
  • 10
  • 26
  • 27
  • 35
  • 43
  • 12

Full Lotto draw results »