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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Earworms That Eat Your Brain

From Wikipedia: Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm, is a term for a portion of a song or other musical material that becomes "stuck" in a person's "head" or repeats against one's will within one's mind. Use of the English translation was popularized by James Kellaris and Daniel Levitin. Kellaris' studies demonstrated that different people have varying susceptibilities to earworms, but that almost everybody has been afflicted with one at some time or another.

For the past 48 hours, I've had an earworm that won't quit. It goes like this:

It's lonely out tonight, and the feelin' just got right for a brand new love song.
Somebody done somebody wrong song.
Hey, won't you play...

Yeah. Remember that one? I'm thinking I'm one of the people who's susceptible because it's rare when I don't have something playing in my head. Let me put it this way. If there aren't scenes from a story, or dialogue between characters going on in my head then that space is usually occupied by an earworm. Sometimes, it's so bad, I spontaneously start belting out lyrics to go along with the broken record in my brain. If my husband's around, he can't resist doing a Simon Cowell imitation, which annoys the hell out of me. He holds up his hand and (deadpan) says, "It's still a no." Errr! This coming from a man who sometimes spontaneously breaks into his own stylized rendition of Tainted Love. Rolling Eyes

My earworms don't restrict themselves to any certain genre or time period. Oh, no. They're all over the place. So, do you ever get earworms? If so, what type of music does your brain get hung up on?



  1. Never heard it called "earworms'! I get it ALL the time! Sometimes it's a commercial jingle, a country song, and old rock song, or even a hymn. I've always been a singer, and love music. I'll have to tell Tim he has Earworms!!! See what his reaction is. First I'll look in his ears tho!

  2. I do the same thing. I woke up the other morning at my parents and was hearing Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" in my head. My sister and I will burst into song if we hear something that even slightly resembles a song we love(or hate)! LOL

    I get all kinds of songs stuck in my head and I can't shake them. I've got "earworms" too!

  3. The first time I heard it called "earworm" my reaction was EWWW!, too. LOL!


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