Search: why do songs get stuck in your head
It's been like 3 weeks. And yesterday, Chandler was singing a mash-up of that and "Rolling in the Deep" without even realizing it. It's got to stop.
Answer: Nobody knows! Thanks for nothing, science! (JK, science, you are tops.)
The Germans call this phenomenon Ohrwurm, but we call it "earworm" because we are jerks. A tidbit:
People have been interested in earworms for a while now — Mark Twain used one as a plot device in his 1876 story “A Literary Nightmare.” They’re the most common type of what’s called “involuntary imagery,” sounds, pictures, smells, and even tastes that repeatedly come to mind unbidden.Three boring theories:
- Earworms are a mild form of hallucination.
- They are a side effect of your brain trying to consolidate memories.
- They are just a consequence of our constantly being surrounded my music.
According to Kellaris, “certain pieces of music may have properties that excite an abnormal reaction in the brain” — in other words, your brain detects something extraordinary or unusual about the music that compels attention. Your brain tries to process the itch by repeating it, which only makes things worse — not unlike an epidermal itch.The most common kinds of musical culprits have one or more of 3 ingredients: repetitiveness, simplicity, and "incongruity," like an unexpected variation in rhythm. Or your brain just really likes it. Or hates it.
In his research, Kellaris found that "earworms" affect 98% of people, and that women get them longer and are more annoyed by them.
Nevermind I'll find
Nevermind I'll find someone like yooooou
Source: The Straight Dope
The More You Know: Did you?
Oh, which reminds me, have you guys noticed the little button on your Shazam that says "Lyrics Play"? I accidentally hit it yesterday when I Shazamed "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" to see if it was Wayne Newton, even though I knew it wasn't. It's not available for all songs, but I've found it's there for most old or classic songs, like whatever is on K-EARTH 101. Try it out. It will be the best thing that ever happened to the 90-minute evening commute in your rental car.