Have you ever had a tune so embedded in your head that you’d find yourself singing/humming/whistling/air-guitaring to it non-stop? To the point that you either drive yourself, or others for that matter, completely nuts? Well, you’ve had yourself an “earworm” by golly. Whether it’s the complete tune or simply a snippet, it drills itself into your psyche and doesn’t seem to ever disappear.
Before you read further, I would like you to complete some homework by learning about the “earworm” in it’s natural environment – radio. Likely the best coverage of the earworm that I’ve seen/heard was straight from Randy’s Vinyl Tap (Randy of Randy Bachman fame) on CBC Radio One. Marnie and I happened to be hanging with her folks the weekend this aired, and as CBC radio is always on, I just happened to catch the episode (Vinyl Tap – Oct. 24, 2009 is what you want). Although they talk about a variety of addictive tunes (and one I’ll talk about in a bit), I have to say that I’m easily affected by ’em.
My current earworm du jour is “21 Guns” from Green Day – ‘cept it’s not your run of the mill 21 Guns. No, it’s the version we all got treated to during the 2010 Grammy Awards featuring the cast of American Idiot AND Green Day. Maybe it’s the easy to follow lyrics, the slow repetitive beat, or simply the fact that it brings two musical genres I like (Green Day & the Broadway musical) – whatever it is, I find that every time I hear the tune I’m caught humming away.
And by including that video, I’ve now started to hum along EVEN after it’s all sung and done.
So what’s this other tune I alluded to earlier? Well, if you’ve listened to both of the ODEO podcasts of Vinyl Tap, you’ll likely hear them refer to this tune as earworm repellent. Apparently it takes whatever music you can’t get out of your head and kills it dead. Except for me – it’s like earworm fertilizer.
“Mah Nah Mah Nah” by the Muppets drives Marnie completely nuts. Like serious enough to go postal nuts. And it’s an earworm to me. I’m surprised no one has been injured yet.
So what tune or tunes do you find stick in your head? Please share!