Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Earworms: A Nightmare for Our Times

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I get songs stuck in my head with alarming regularity. It's a thing; if I hear Robbie Williams on the sound system in a shopping mall, or someone singing a nursery rhyme under their breath, or even if I catch just a snatch of a Miley Cyrus tune from the window of a passing car, sometimes I'm doomed to have it niggling in my brain for hours.

Sometimes I don't even have to have heard it; sometimes I get a song stuck in my head that I haven't heard in months. I've even woken up in the morning a few times, and had a song stuck in my head before I'm even properly conscious. (Appropriately, this happened most recently with the theme song for Degrassi. Don't go listen to it, though; damn song is catchy!)

According to this article, people try all sorts of things to get rid of ear worms. Listening to other songs, distracting themselves with work (as if that would help), and even not drinking (why would that work?). But, like the pink elephant in the room, trying not to think about the song you've got stuck in your head is actually the worst thing you can do.

In my experience, that's actually very true. I've found that ignoring the strains of If I Could Turn Back Time as it circles endlessly around in my poor brain actually almost never works for getting rid of the damn song. On the contrary, the thing that works the most often is getting hold of a copy of the entire thing and listening to it the whole way through a couple of times. Which, when the song stuck in your head is something excruciating, is usually the last thing you want to do. But sometimes it's the only way.

Even if it means downloading Call Me Maybe.

(Sometimes you get to be this guy though. That's cool.)

1 comment:

  1. I get songs stuck my head I haven't heard for years either. Though I wonder if I've heard them at the supermarket or somewhere and just not noticed.

    I read a story that quoted The Song That Never Ends the other day. I hated that writer!


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