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Earworms?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:02 pm
by NormanD
Do you know what an earworm is? An article in last week's The Guardian newspaper explains:

Thursday June 22, 2006

Did you see Mission: Impossible III earlier this year? If you did, then you're probably stuck with the "MI" theme repeating over and over in your head. According to James Kellaris, marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati, the "MI" theme is currently ranked sixth on the Top 10 Earworm List. His study, Dissecting Earworms: Further Evidence on the 'Song-Stuck-in-Your-Head' Phenomenon, found that at one time or another nearly 99% of people have had earworms - those sticky tunes that people can't get out of their heads. "They seem to repeat themselves involuntarily inside the mind of the hapless victim," says Kellaris. On average, the episodes may last several hours and happen quite frequently in "chronic sufferers".

The term "earworm" is a translation of the German word Ohrwurm, used to describe the "musical itch" of the brain. It is a confusing term, since the phenomenon has nothing to do with small maggot-like creatures crawling into your ear and laying eggs in your brain. The musical earworm actually works more like a virus, attaching itself to a host and keeping itself alive by feeding off the host's memory. Nor does the earworm occur in the ear, as researchers at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, demonstrated in their study, Musical Imagery: Sound of Silence Activates Auditory Cortex.


(see full article here: http://tinyurl.com/mlh7e)

All the above is horribly and painfully true. Right at this very moment I would like to have something quite tranquil, say Mariza's "Transparente", going through my head. But rattling between my ears, over and over and over, is:
"Grocer Jack, Grocer Jack, is it true what mummy says,
you won't come back, oh no, oh no".

Is this any worse than partner Deb waking up one morning with "She wears red feathers and a hula-hula skirt" playing incessantly in her head?

I don't know where they come from, and I don't care. Help me, they must stop.

Share your earworms, please tell me I'm not alone.

Norman

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:19 pm
by Chris Walsh
I've had that hell-spawn 'Vindaloo' song from the ASDA adverts stuck in my head for a good 3 weeks now! You know the one? With the boy choir?! Hateful.....

I'll never shop at ASDA as a result. It looks rubbish anyway.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:34 am
by taiyo no otosan
I have a bone to pick with Adam, as I haven't been able to shake off 'and we sang shang a lang......" since he poked it into life at the back of my head a few months ago. *A few months ago!*
That and Postman Pat...thanks to Taiyo himself.
On a brighter note, I also have a recurring refrain of 'She's a Rainbow' regularly rolling (and gathering no moss) in my brain.
My poor confused head.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:23 am
by Dominic
According to wordspy the word earworm has been around for nearly a decade, translated from German. www.wordspy.com/words/earworm.asp

I'm sure I've got a record by a group/artist called earworm (lo-fi post rock with african percussion) but I don't know which box it's in. Maybe I've got the name wrong, confusing it with the earmworm record label (lo-fi post rock etc)... www.earwormrecords.com/

www.earworm.com is pointless (and unrelated to the subject) but pretty for a few minutes - maybe there's more to it but I don't have time to investigate further right now

Then there's the corn earworm:
www.gaipm.org/top50/cew.jpg
Insert corny joke here...

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:44 am
by jayne
Thanks for that thread gentlemen - I am now stuck with Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" on perpetual loop.

I'm being serious here and it's excruciating.

Regards,
JB

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:36 am
by Con Murphy
jayne wrote:Thanks for that thread gentlemen - I am now stuck with Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" on perpetual loop.

I'm being serious here and it's excruciating.

Regards,
JB


Well, here I’m going to have to ‘out’ myself as a fan of that song – not only is it manufactured pop perfection, but as Jayne’s example shows it has possibly the most apposite title ever.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:41 am
by Adam Blake
Hee! Hee! I have things like that going round my head all the time. Always have had since I was a baby. I thought everybody did. One of the reasons I listen to music all the time is to displace them.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:07 pm
by Dayna
I have had Blue Collar man by Styx and Lady Marmalade by Labelle running in my head today.


The funny thing is, I haven't had any music on at all. But Blue Collar Man is in there as if I was actually playing it. How does your mind do that?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:29 pm
by Dayna
I listened to that video of The Stroll over & over because I love the way it sounds the other night. Now it's stuck in my head.


I also have had Mr. Sandman in my head too. Does anyone like that? I think it's very pretty.
I love the way they made it sound so "quiet".

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:42 pm
by Adam Blake
Dayna wrote:I also have had Mr. Sandman in my head too. Does anyone like that? I think it's very pretty.


You mean The Chordettes song? Yes, my mother had a 78 of it and I grew up with it. Lovely record.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:35 pm
by Dayna
Sometimes I think I've got a record player in my head. There are songs that just start up, even if I haven't heard them in a long time. Those ones I mentioned before & now I've got Gary Wright, & My Love Is Alive.

I love both of his songs! They're eerie, & pretty at the same time.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:14 am
by Dayna
I heard Moody Blues on the radio tonight; Nights In White Satin. Everytime that comes on, it sticks in my head. It's sort of a haunted sound & sometimes matches some strange feelings I am having about things.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:21 pm
by fRoots
Beware of the Vampire Weekend CD. Possibly due to having had it in the car earlier in the week, I've woken up the last 4 mornings with one of theirs wriggling around my head. Today it's Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa again - this in spite of having OD'd on all 4 CDs of the new JSP Rembetika box. Doctor!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:23 pm
by Ian A.
Sorry, that posting above was me in my civilian role - had the corporate log-in still activated. Too many hats - maybe should stuff some over or in ears.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:51 pm
by Dominic
Ian A. wrote:Too many hats - maybe should stuff some over or in ears.

Ever read The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle? The protagonist, one Horse Badorties, always has his Korean ear-flap cap handy in case he should hear Puerto Rican music along the way.

More here: http://web.fccj.edu/~hdenson/ENC%20Syllabi/horse.htm