Got a Song Stuck In Your Head? Here’s What To Do


Don’t worry about us. We will hear his music on the Voice of America. We will hear it in the hearts of the people, and in elevators everywhere. ~from “Top Secret!”

Dammit, Face, you just *had* to sing Britney Spears!

I’m not sure what it is about us Aspies, but songs get stuck in our heads. For me, it’s like I have an entire jukebox of music in my mind and then, the darn thing malfunctions, and I’m forced to listen to one of those little records over and over again. (Last week it was the “Anvil Chorus,” now it’s “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa.)” Sadly, I have little to no control over what my mind chooses or why. If anyone remembers the old A-Team episode where Murdock keeps hearing the Lennon Sisters in his head, yup…it’s a lot like that.

That’s not to say having a song in your head is necessarily a bad thing. It can be soothing, if the song in question is, say, a piece by Debussy or Mozart. However, if you’re trying to work and you keep hearing “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” it can be one hell of a distraction.

One of the main complaints I have as an Aspie is our society’s seeming need to have music everywhere. I don’t know about most NTs, but when I go into a public restroom, the last thing I want to hear is a Muzak rendition of “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Ditto for the reed flute arrangement of “My Heart Will Go On” that plays when I go to the local Chinese restaurant. The damn songs get stuck in my head all day long and I just can’t get rid of them.

Luckily, I’ve come up with a pretty foolproof set of steps to banish unwanted songs from one’s mind. This doesn’t always work (especially during the holidays, when one pretty much can’t avoid hearing tinny renditions of “Jingle Bells” everywhere) but it’s a start. Begone, songs!

Share it. Your friends and co-workers may hate you for getting “Lady Marmelade” stuck in their heads. But this method is surprisingly effective. It’s like the strategy of sharing a cold and then getting over it yourself. And some of the pop songs out there (hello, Lady Gaga) really are like viruses.

Pound it out, if you play an instrument. This one is like the old horseman’s axiom that the best way to get rid of excess energy is to ride it out. It’s also a good way to practice playing by ear, or experimenting with different arrangements, if you can do that. If you play the violin, why not try some Metallica or Def Leppard?

Crank up your iPod. Try listening to something completely different from the song at hand. If you can tolerate it, turn the volume up to maximum.

Sing the song out loud. This is another surefire way to get people to hate you. But, if you’re a decent singer, why not?

Meditate. Meditation is not about doing nothing; it’s about clearing your mind and losing all the baggage that comes with the day. If you’re able to quiet yourself inside, the song should just slip away.

If all else fails…

Write the song title/lyrics on a piece of paper, then burn it. I don’t know why this works. It does for me. (I emphasize that said burning should be in a kitchen sink or fire barrel and NOT in a public restroom wastebasket.)

Send obnoxious messages to the artist’s address or Facebook page. Then again, maybe not.

Try to teach the song to a mimic bird. Then, every time little CoCo’s owners throw a party, the parrot will sing “Bali Ha’i” to everyone.

Just roll with it. Songs in your head are like hiccups. They don’t last indefinitely. Well, at least most don’t. (Remember that girl who hiccuped for 10 years?)

And remember…today’s blog post is brought to you by the timeless music of the Lennon Sisters. Everybody sing along now…

Sing it, girls!

Don’t forget to click “Like” if you enjoyed this post and add P&Q to your daily reading list…

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on May 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Got a Song Stuck In Your Head? Here’s What To Do”

  1. Awesome tips and awesome blog. My personal favorite tip was “Send obnoxious messages to the artist’s address or Facebook page,” which I’ve contemplated doing on several occasions. (“Please tell me: Who DID let the dogs out? Signed, Confused but Obnoxious.”) As an Aspie myself, I get songs stuck in my head A LOT, and these’ll come in handy. Thanks again for the tips and for the blog!

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