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Song Stuck in Your Head? You're Not Alone
Reuters ^ | Monday, Feb 24, 2003 | Alison McCook

Posted on 02/24/2003 8:26:14 PM PST by InShanghai

 
Song Stuck in Your Head? You're Not Alone
By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The vast majority of people say they have been mentally tortured at one point in their lives by a song that keeps repeating itself over and over in their heads.

And new research shows that people most frequently plagued by this phenomenon are those with slightly neurotic tendencies , and people who enjoy and listen to music often.

These mental broken records are also more likely to play the first or last song we hear in different situations, such as the first song that comes on in the morning alarm, or the last song playing before we turn off the car, study findings show.

Songs that topped the list as being most likely to stick around in someone's head included the Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?" and the Chili's restaurant jingle about Baby Back Ribs.

But the number one song rated most likely to cause this phenomenon, referred to as an "earworm" in Germany, is "other"--indicating that many different songs can become stuck in our heads.

"Just about anything can get stuck in people's heads," study author Dr. James Kellaris of the University of Cincinnati told Reuters Health.

"We each have our personal demonic tunes that get stuck in our heads, I guess," he added.

Kellaris presented results from his current study on Saturday at the Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference in New Orleans.

Kellaris's previous research into the phenomenon of earworms revealed that "sticky" songs are those that are relatively simple, repetitive, and contain an element that surprises the listener. This incongruous element can be an interrupted pattern, or something that violates expectations of what comes next.

During the current study, Kellaris distributed surveys to 559 people aged 18 to 49 asking them about their personalities, how often tunes got stuck in their heads, how long the episodes lasted, and when the phenomenon was most likely to happen.

Ninety-eight percent of respondents said they had experienced stuck songs. Most said the episodes occurred "frequently," and lasted an average of a few hours.

Songs with lyrics were most often the culprits, a trend that Kellaris said is not surprising. Often what gets sticky is not just a tune, but also lyrics, a trend he calls "stupid lyrics syndrome." Combining a tune and lyrics ups the chance of song snippets staying with the listener for hours, he said.

Episodes of earworms also tend to strike people with neurotic tendencies more often. These people are not seriously neurotic, Kellaris said, but may simply be more prone to worrying and anxiety, and may have neurotic habits like biting pencils or tapping fingernails.

Women were more likely than men to report feeling annoyed, frustrated, or irritated about having songs stuck in their heads--a trend Kellaris said he is hard pressed to explain.

In terms of how to protect yourself from earworms, Kellaris recommended that people not worry about a stuck song as soon as it appears, and perhaps avoid listening to music for a spell if it becomes too sticky.

Strategies people report using to rid themselves of stuck tunes involved trying to listen to something else, distracting themselves with another activity, and trying to erase the repetition of one song snippet by singing the song all the way through.

"If they can't remember the lyrics, sometimes it helps for them to sing through the entire song, and then it will go away," Kellaris said.

Kellaris said he has also heard a "folkloric" recommendation of chewing on cinnamon sticks to rid the brain of a sticky song.

"Some people swear that will unstick a stuck tune," he said.



TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: greatthreads; lyricalneurosis; music; songs
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I couldn't help but post this... especially with all the threads that have one or two Freepers saying "great, now I've got that stupid song in my head!".

The only question I have is: Since I'm being TORTURED , can I take the record companies to court & get a big settlement????

I guess the next time that happens to me, I'll break the cinnamon sticks out and start humming:

"Sooomewherrreee ooover the rainbowwww, wayyyy up higghhh..."!

Cheers!

1 posted on 02/24/2003 8:26:14 PM PST by InShanghai
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To: InShanghai
The Brady Bunch Song....hehehe
2 posted on 02/24/2003 8:29:15 PM PST by Mark Felton
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To: InShanghai
The song has not so much been stuck in my head as in....

"...MY ACHY-BREAKY HEART!"

3 posted on 02/24/2003 8:29:41 PM PST by Joe 6-pack
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To: InShanghai
Guess who's back, back again. Shady's back, tell a friend. Na na na na na. Na na na na na.
4 posted on 02/24/2003 8:31:00 PM PST by July 4th
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To: InShanghai
One time I had a song stuck in my head, but I couldn't really hear it over the voices.
5 posted on 02/24/2003 8:31:02 PM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: InShanghai
Some say that a dismal song looping through one's brain can only be removed by replacing it with an even worse song.

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun...

6 posted on 02/24/2003 8:31:53 PM PST by Interesting Times
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To: InShanghai
And new research shows that people most frequently plagued by this phenomenon are those with slightly neurotic tendencies

"I'm Freeee Fallin'..."

7 posted on 02/24/2003 8:32:06 PM PST by TADSLOS
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To: InShanghai
how about this?
8 posted on 02/24/2003 8:34:18 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: InShanghai
Every time I'm in a pizzaria, and I shake the dried hot peppers or parmesan cheese onto my pizza, I start to hear:

"I hear those sleigh bells ringling
ring-ting-tingaling too"

I obviously need help.
9 posted on 02/24/2003 8:34:19 PM PST by P.O.E.
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To: T Minus Four
I had to drive 20 hours back from DisneyWorld with that "Yo Ho, Yo Ho a pirate's life for me" stuck in my head almost the whole time.
10 posted on 02/24/2003 8:35:58 PM PST by P.O.E.
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To: TADSLOS
I don't think Saddam's hearing "Free Fallin", I think he's hearing "You dropped a bomb on me Bushie, you dropped a bomb on me!"
11 posted on 02/24/2003 8:36:56 PM PST by hometoroost
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To: T Minus Four
I refuse to click on that link... ...great now I've got that stupid song in my head!!! LOL!
12 posted on 02/24/2003 8:37:09 PM PST by InShanghai (Saddam will eat pork!)
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To: InShanghai; P.O.E.
hee hee hee
13 posted on 02/24/2003 8:38:01 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: Joe 6-pack
"This is the song that doesn't end . . . "
14 posted on 02/24/2003 8:38:10 PM PST by savedbygrace
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To: InShanghai
I used to deliberately do this to other people. Some mornings, as my ex was leaving the apartment, I'd sing faintly, "In the naaaaame of love..." That was all it would take. He'd be stuck with it for hours. Sometimes I'd hear him whistle a few bars as he went toward the elevator and then give an "ARGH!!" of anguish when he became aware that I'd done it again.
15 posted on 02/24/2003 8:38:12 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Let them eat cake.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
"It just goes on and on, my friends . . . "
16 posted on 02/24/2003 8:38:40 PM PST by savedbygrace
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To: InShanghai
No song here - Paul Robeson's Monologue from Othello.
17 posted on 02/24/2003 8:39:46 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob (a new Royal Family, a wild nobility, we are the family)
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To: savedbygrace
"99 bottles of beer on the wall..."

or even worse:

"The ants go marching one by one, hoorah, hoorah!"

I have actually stopped the car!!!!
18 posted on 02/24/2003 8:39:56 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: InShanghai
Down by the station, early in the morning...

AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

19 posted on 02/24/2003 8:42:39 PM PST by Salman
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To: savedbygrace
it's a small , small- small- small- world.....do de do do do.....
20 posted on 02/24/2003 8:45:38 PM PST by Chuzzlewit
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To: InShanghai
Heaven, must be missing an angel...Missing an angel now 'cause your here with me right now

SOMEBODY, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!!

21 posted on 02/24/2003 8:46:07 PM PST by Hoboken
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To: InShanghai
Two words:

Christy Lane

Sorry everyone, I couldn't resist.

22 posted on 02/24/2003 8:47:00 PM PST by abner (Cruise the Caribe with FReepers! FRN Network Cruise)
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To: T Minus Four
I've had the Toby Keith song "Beer for my horses" stuck in my head for about two days, it's making me nuts.
23 posted on 02/24/2003 8:48:20 PM PST by vt_crosscut
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To: savedbygrace
". . . some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
And now continue singing it forever just because. . . "
24 posted on 02/24/2003 8:50:14 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Punch, Brothers! Punch with care! Punch in the presence of the Passengare!)
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To: Interesting Times
"Me and you and a dog named Boo . . ."
25 posted on 02/24/2003 8:50:35 PM PST by Charles Henrickson
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To: abner
One set of footprints in the sand...aaahhhhhhhhh
26 posted on 02/24/2003 8:51:16 PM PST by over3Owithabrain
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To: Chuzzlewit
Happens to me when I am overtired/overworked and it is car commercial jingles.
27 posted on 02/24/2003 8:51:51 PM PST by oceanperch (Support Our Troops)
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To: vt_crosscut
I'm sure you'll find a suitable replacement here somewhere :-)
28 posted on 02/24/2003 8:53:11 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: InShanghai
Start me up.....you make a grown man cryyyy!!
29 posted on 02/24/2003 8:56:23 PM PST by american spirit
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To: InShanghai
"You can check out but you can never leave...living it up in the..."
30 posted on 02/24/2003 8:56:51 PM PST by blam
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To: Charles Henrickson
"Sometimes when we touch -- the honesty's too much -- and I have to close my eyes, and cry" Baaaarf.
31 posted on 02/24/2003 8:56:59 PM PST by speedy
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To: speedy
honesty = artistry
32 posted on 02/24/2003 8:57:55 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: InShanghai
Guess I have to pitch a grenade in here...


SHE RAN CALLING WIIIIILLLLDDDD FIRE...
SHE RAN CALLING WIIIIILLLLDDDD FIRE...

[ducking]
33 posted on 02/24/2003 8:58:56 PM PST by Axenolith (<Do not adjust your monitor, Freerepublic is in control...>)
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To: speedy
...oh fine, guess what's stuck in my head now! Stupid Geico commercial!
34 posted on 02/24/2003 8:58:57 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: abner
Two words:

Christy Lane

Sorry everyone, I couldn't resist.

You too? FOX News runs that Christy Lane ad so many times I had to start hitting the mute button. UN-REAL.

Let me guess what's stuck in your head;

"One day at time, sweet Jesus..."

"I'm only human.....I'm just a woman...help me to be..."

"One set of foot-prints, in the sand.....Lord you promised me...you'd hold my hand.."

" I believe in Angels! Something good in every...."

ETC. ETC. ETC.

MAKE IT STOP!!!

35 posted on 02/24/2003 8:58:59 PM PST by Jorge
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To: over3Owithabrain
47 Classics....
36 posted on 02/24/2003 8:59:14 PM PST by abner (Cruise the Caribe with FReepers! FRN Network Cruise)
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8675309...

And April folls is coming ...get 'yer buddies pager numbers handy..hhehehee..

37 posted on 02/24/2003 8:59:30 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: unix
folls=fools..but you knew that
38 posted on 02/24/2003 9:00:03 PM PST by Michael Barnes
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To: Jorge
47!!!!!!
39 posted on 02/24/2003 9:00:06 PM PST by abner (Cruise the Caribe with FReepers! FRN Network Cruise)
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To: Interesting Times
Cracklin' Rosie, get on board. You too, Sweet Caroline.
40 posted on 02/24/2003 9:00:31 PM PST by Charles Henrickson
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To: speedy
"Sometimes when we touch -- the honesty's too much -- and I have to close my eyes, and cry"

Oh, THANKS!! :-)

"The night Chicago died..." (heh.)

41 posted on 02/24/2003 9:00:56 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: Charles Henrickson
Song. Sung. Blue.
42 posted on 02/24/2003 9:01:21 PM PST by Interesting Times
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To: InShanghai
Billy, don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life...

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time...

Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun,
And the first one said to the second one
I hope you're having fun.
Band on the run, band on the run.

I am the morning DJ on W*O*L*D
Playing all the hits for you wherever you may be

It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
And a Kenmore pulling logs
Cab over Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy hauling hogs
We're heading for bear on Eye-one-oh
about a mile out of Shakeytown
I say Pigpen, this here's the Rubber Duck
And I'm about to put the hammer down"

I suppose you can guess what era I came of age! And 30 years later, these songs (and many others) continue to pop into my head, even though I haven't heard them on the radio for decades now.

43 posted on 02/24/2003 9:01:40 PM PST by SamAdams76 (California wine tastes better - boycott French wine!)
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To: T Minus Four
Sorry about that -- you can get it out of your head by singing "I'm not talking 'bout moving in -- and I don't want to change your life -- but there's a warm wind blowing the stars around -- and I'd really love to see you tonight." Double barf from 1978.
44 posted on 02/24/2003 9:01:41 PM PST by speedy
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To: InShanghai
About a song or ditty that sticks in your head: Reminds me of a short story Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons) wrote. He was on a train and a snappy tune was sung by one of the engineers or something. It was a catchy rhyme they would use when validating (punching) ones ticket. I don't remember the whole tune, but the refrain went something like

"...Punch brothers, punch with care, punch in the presence of the passenger"...

Apparently it drove him crazy too, until he got someone ELSE to sing it. Made a cute story, and this thread relived a nice memory associated with it.

45 posted on 02/24/2003 9:01:45 PM PST by China Clipper
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To: Interesting Times
Everybody's heard one
46 posted on 02/24/2003 9:02:17 PM PST by speedy
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To: Axenolith
"I've been through the desert on a horse with no name . . ."
47 posted on 02/24/2003 9:02:51 PM PST by Charles Henrickson
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To: Axenolith
You fill up my seeeeenses. Like a night in a forest.

Like the mountains in spriiiiingtime. Like a walk in the raaaaaain.

48 posted on 02/24/2003 9:03:10 PM PST by Interesting Times
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To: speedy
Oooh, sorry, rechecked my source and you were right, it's honesty. Well, rest assured that the damn song will haunt my dreams tonight. Sigh.
49 posted on 02/24/2003 9:03:23 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: bootless
You don't send me flowers -- anymore
50 posted on 02/24/2003 9:03:45 PM PST by speedy
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