Eternal Earworms of the Not-So-Spotless Mind

Not wanting to sound rude or anything, but don’t you think that might be an ever so slightly monotonous experience for the listener?

~from “Pirate Radio”

Honey! It's that Lady GaGa whore again!

Today was going to be one of those days when I actually did something, you know, productive. Whether it was whipping out another 5K for NaNoWriMo (insert evil laughter here), cleaning up the house (even more cackling) or expounding on the existential and philosophical meaning of Rango, I had Big Plans.

Well, you know how it goes with Big Plans. They usually go right down the shitter. So, I decided, the hell with it. I’m going to do a blog post about the first thing that comes to mind. And that, thanks to the Village People playing at full blast at my local Kroger, became the subject of earworms. For the uninitiated, earworms are not a parasite or some horrible creature one picks up while traveling in the deepest Amazonian rain forest. Earworms are songs that insidiously, sneakily, and defiantly play on a loop in our heads. No one knows quite for sure what causes these musical equivalents of Chinese drip torture. There have been numerous articles, such as this one, attempting to figure it out:

I'm playing "It's a Small World" whether you like it or not, muchacho

 As a former (sort of) musician and one with a non-stop stream of chatter in my mind, I’m more susceptible than most to the Curse of the Earworms. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t have Michael Jackson or ABBA or the Blues Brothers cutting loose in my subconscious. It’s also been said that the best way to get rid of an earworm is to share it with others. So, in order that I might finally get on track with writing and tell the pop stars to shut the hell up, that’s just what I’m doing today. In no particular order of annoyance level or fame or catchy lyrics, here’s some of the earworms that have tormented me over the years. You can send me any hate mail you like, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Knack, “My Sharona”

This is Public Enemy Number One when it comes to earworms. Just try listening to that chorus and try not to bop along. We’ve often used it with other names at work (such as the memorable “Shabacon”) and even somewhat famous people like Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas.

Aqua, “Barbie Girl”

I’m convinced that if there is a Hell or a Satan or any sort of hereafter for the wicked, they’ll have this on an endless loop. It came out my freshman year of college and still relentlessly torments me. It’s the aural equivalent of herpes.

Theme to “DuckTales”

As a venerable Disney Afternoon veteran, this one doesn’t bother me quite so much. But it still rears its ugly head now and then, even 20+ years after I graduated from after-school cartoons. Racecars, lasers, aero-plaaaanes…c’mon, sing along now!

Harry Belafonte, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”

If there are any fellow Gen Xers in the crowd (and you know who you are), this song is intertwined with images of weird dinner tables and angry shrimp cocktails in your mind. Plus, they play it every single time I go to a ballgame. Damn you, Belafonte.

Kenny Loggins, “I’m All Right (Theme from Caddyshack)”

I blame this one on my uncle, who was a Kenny Loggins nut and always seemed to have his greatest hits on cassette in the car, and my dad, who loved Caddyshack. I can’t go to bed without seeing that fake-looking gopher boogie-ing down on the 19th hole.

Anything by Weird Al

Mr. Yankovic may be pretty much a one-trick pony, but the trick is hilarious. I could have used any number of his songs, which I still sing at karaoke sometimes after a few too many shots of rum.

Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

This one is seriously weird. It follows me around. You know, my car, public places, my mp3 player when I randomly crank it up? I think the universe may be trying to tell me something, though the question of whether or not I can do the Fandango has never been determined.

Mike Post, “Theme to ‘The A-Team'”

What? You thought I’d leave this bad boy out? Come on…you know it…dun da-dun-dun, dun dun dunnnnnn….

If any of you have favorite, or not so favorite, earworms, just do me a favor and keep them to yourselves. Then again, maybe I need some new ones for my playlist. Maybe they’ll actually inspire me to write for a change. Whatever you do, just leave Justin Bieber out of it, all right? I have a sense of fair play. last, some Mozart


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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on November 10, 2011.

5 Responses to “Eternal Earworms of the Not-So-Spotless Mind”

  1. Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody is the pinnacle of awesome earworm.

  2. When I was in Toronto last year, we stayed at the Strathcona Hotel, and so we spent a week singing “M-m-my Strathcon!”. So at least my earworm is personalised…

  3. No Lennon Sisters?!?!

  4. Hi, I considered that very interesting. ABBA are true icons. I will definitely come back to catch up with this blog again. Great Article

  5. Excellente picks muchacho 🙂 I love planting earworms in other people’s heads when they don’t expect it.

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


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