Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WARNING: Reading this Article Could Cause a Song to Get Stuck in Your Head!

I had never heard the term earworm until just recently. It’s the term used to describe those pesky songs that get stuck in our heads and play over and over. While listening to the radio recently I got an earworm stuck in my head all day and into the night. I woke up singing it the next morning and knew I was going to go crazy if it didn’t stop soon. I decided to educate myself on why this phenomenon happens, hoping to perhaps find a way to stop this particular song from driving me up the wall. This is what I learned.

- The earworm phenomenon is more likely to happen to women than men.
- It is more likely to happen to people who work with music as part of their career. (Those poor, poor music store people.)
- It is more likely to happen when you are stressed. (Oh GREAT!)
- You don’t have to necessarily like the song to get it stuck in your head.
- It usually happens because the song is catchy and repetitive. Your brain naturally wants to finish the song, but the repetitive tune just starts over again causing it to be the song that never ends or ends or ends or . . .
- The longer the song is stuck in your head the harder it will be to get it out.
- Some earworms can become so ingrained they will continue to repeat even while you are asleep or dreaming and still be there in the morning.
- Sometimes you can get rid of an earworm by listening to the offending song all the way through in its entirety before it becomes ingrained.
- Another cure is to think of song more addictive than the one you currently have stuck. This comes with the risk of getting the new song stuck in your head so choose your replacement song wisely.

Earworm Songs that No One Can Resist:
Video Killed the Radio Star
Dancing Queen (Abba)
Gimmie a Break (Kit Kat Jingle)
Who Let the Dogs Out
Whoop, There It Is
We Will Rock You
Lion Sleeps Tonight
It’s a Small World After All
Mission Impossible Theme
Pop Pop Fizz Fizz (Alka-seltzer Jingle)
My Mamma Loves Me (Jiffy Song)
I Wish I Were an Oscar Myer Wiener
Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle (Never heard it, thank goodness)
Macarena (Voted one of the catchiest songs of all time.)
Holiday (Madonna)
La Bamba
Bunny Hop Song
Chicken Dance Song (I HATE this song)
I Dream of Jeannie Theme Song

Have you got a song stuck in your head yet? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you have an especially bad earworm song, add the title to my list in the comments.



Nic & Ashley Haws said...

Adrienne and I were just talking and laughing at your post! we've got a song that drives us CRAZY. We don't know the title of it, heck it's probably titled after the annoying chorus...

"I kissed a girl and I liked it. The taste of cherry chapstick...blah, blah, blah!"

if you've heard the song you know what I'm talking about. Uhg.

Emily said...

Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants is a terribly "sticky" song.

Jamie said...

It's not usually one song that gets in my head, but an entire musical. I'll have some song or another in my head for days, WEEKS afterwards. I saw Mamma Mia! last night, and it'll be with me for a LONG time. The last big one was HMS Pinafore, from when I worked backstage at the BYU production last month. To this day I still get those songs in my head.

My favorite was the day I took my bridals. My future mother-in-law was there, so to amuse her and my photographer I kept singing Giselle's songs from Enchanted. The dress, man. It was so white and poofy! ^_^

Raspberry said...

oh man, just the titles of those songs made me start singing them, and most of them I hate too!

Pinky said...

You forgot the hockey pockey! ... Kiki sang an adaptation of it to my kids while getting buckled in their car seats once. Ever since, every time we are going somewhere I have to sing it to them. It works great! BUT the whole time I'm driving I'm singing it! DRIVES ME CRAZY ... Oh! how I wish it wouldn't work in getting them in the car ... but I am grateful the car seat tantrums and battles are over!



Total Pageviews