Every once in a while, Paul wakes up complaining of a particular song I’ve played the day before which has worked its way into his brain like a vile spirochete.

“I can’t get that damned song out of my head!” he says, and I feign sympathy.

So what? I think. I’ve got catchy music running through my head all the time. I rather enjoy it, and I can always switch the station or turn it off. But Paul apparently cannot.

The problem, of course, is “earworms” (a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm), which is a part of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind. Earworms are popular in advertising for obvious reasons. Research by the man who popularized the term, University of Cincinnati marketing researcher James Kellaris, has shown that 98% of individuals experience earworms to varying degrees. Men and women experience the phenomenon equally often, but earworms are more likely to last longer for women and to irritate them more than men.

(Next time Paul complains, I’ll have to tell him to stop acting like a girl.)

Here are some of my favorite instruments of torture guaranteed to set him off (listen at your own risk):

And, in my opinion, one of the all-time-wormiest earworms in modern history:


Groove of the Day

Listen to the Starland Vocal Band performing “Afternoon Delight”

(Please leave your nomination for “most-earwormy” as a comment!)


3 Responses to “earworms”

  1. 1 Margo
    November 9, 2010 at 4:38 am

    The Woolite jingle. “You’ll look better in a sweater washed in Woolite!” I know that hasn’t been played as a commercial in years, but all I have to do is see a bottle of Woolite or Woolite Rug Cleaner, and the tape starts playing!

    I quit letting it bother me. Now I just sing along.

  2. 2 gloria
    November 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    And since I saw this movie, this song come to me many times,I love Jackie chan, He is the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: