Saturday, August 19, 2006

Attack of the Earworms

By Kanrei

I woke up today with an Earworm. No, it is not as gross as it sounds so don’t get all panicky on me. An Earworm is a song that burrows deep in your ear and will not leave you alone. It is usually five or ten seconds of the song repeated, is rarely a song you like, and is always a song you really are not sure of the words to.

My earworm is named “Tears are Falling” by Kiss. I am lucky I have enough pop culture knowledge to identify my oppressor, like a doctor self-diagnosing. Over and over my head is ringing with “Ohhh those tears are falling”. That is the only part of the song in my head. Probably because it is the only part I remember, but it has been with me for three hours now and is slowly driving me mad.

I hate Kiss. That is an overstatement actually. I loved Kiss growing up, as a child, before I knew music could actually be good. I think I liked their image more than their music. A few good songs were released, but a broken clock is right twice a day as well.

“Tears are Falling” is not even a good Kiss song. It comes from that brief period where they forgot they were ugly and took off their make-up. They came out in the 70’s, when ugly stars could succeed, but they took off their make-up in the 80's, in a video. The world tuned in and saw old ugly guys with jet black hair singing about licking something up. I still wake up screaming occasionally.

I know I am not alone. A quick “Google” search on Earworm gave me this tidbit from a 2003 article from WebMD no less:
Nearly 98% of people have had songs stuck in their head, Kellaris reported at the recent meeting of the Society for Consumer Psychology.

Here's the students' top-10 earworm list:
1. Other. Everyone has his or her own worst earworm.
2. Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle.
3. "Who Let the Dogs Out"
4. "We Will Rock You"
5. Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle ("Gimme a Break ...")
6. "Mission Impossible" theme
7. "YMCA"
8. "Whoomp, There It Is"
9. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
10. "It's a Small World After All"

I have fallen victim to numbers 2, 6,7,8,9, and 10. How about you?

Is there a cure? Sadly WebMD covers that as well:

What helps? Kellaris doesn't know. But he found that when people battle their earworms, nearly two-thirds of the time they try to use another tune to dislodge the one that's stuck. About half the time people simply try to distract themselves from hearing the stuck song. More than a third of the time people with songs stuck in their heads try talking with someone about it. And 14% of the time, people try to complete the song in their heads in an effort to get it to end.

I guess I am stuck with “ohhhh those tears are falling”. Maybe this will help. I usually have the theme from Disney’s Robin Hood stuck in my head. I whistle it mindlessly for hours and not realize. I miss that song right now.

Oodle-lally-doodle-lally golly what a day

1 comment:

Serena Joy said...

LMAO! I get those pesky ear worms all the time. Some of the worms are on your list. Others can be such maddening tunes as commercial jingles. Today it's been that 'I've Had the Time of My Life' tune from 'Dirty Dancing.' I have no clue why, but it's driving me insane. Won't anything make it stop? What about a dog wormer? Would that work?