Friday, July 27, 2012

Bugged by an Earworm

For the past few days, I've had an earworm. It happens to me from time to time. Unfortunately, this one has lasted longer than usual.

I remember other earworms that stuck with me for extended times. Sometimes, my children helped with the process. For example, in the 1980's my son, a die hard ninja turtle fan walked around the house, singing, "Teenage mutant, ninja turtles. Na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na. Teenage mutant, ninja turtles....." and so on. Of course, he only remembered the tune and the relevant four words.

I also have a vivid image of my daughter standing on the picnic table, using the end of a skipping rope as a microphone, "Billy Jean, nya,nya, nya...Billy Jean...nya,nya,nya." Those tunes definitely caused me to have some earworm activity.

I've had a few jingles, commercials and theme songs stick as well. After all, what Toronto and area resident hasn't been assaulted by the cashman, Russell Oliver only to hear his voice grating in their head at some later time. "Oh yeahhhhhhh."

Interestingly, sometimes, when I'm thinking, or trying to solve a problem, I'll find myself humming the "Jeopardy" theme song. All well and good, for a brief time.

The term earworm, or stuck song syndrome, was originally identified in Germany as "Ohrwurm". It's described as an upbeat melody with repetitive lyrics that can be either catchy or annoying. That certainly would explain German polka music. Which do you think it is? Roll out the barrel!

My favourite description of earworm comes from the Urban Dictionary which suggests that "it feels like a worm has crawled into your ear and eaten the intelligent parts of your brain so that you hum the song all day long, no matter how much you hate it."

Then there's the also good tvtropes definition," those songs that weasel their way into your head like uninvited guests and then proceed to stink up the inside of your cranium by playing themselves there over. And over. And over."

Yesterday, I was out for lunch with my son. I told him about my earworm. I related that I lie in bed at night with this current repetitive and reverberating sound in my ear. It plays over and over and over, but not for long. Despite hearing Katie Perry's annoying echoing lyrics, "I'm Wide Awake", I have no need to count sheep. I easily fall asleep.

"Oh yeah?" my son responded. "I have a worse one...Carly Rae Jepson's, 'Call Me Maybe'."

Since yesterday, I have really, really been wishing he hadn't said that.

La, la, la, la, la, la, la (instrumental noises).... Hey, I just met you,And this is crazy,But here's my number,So call me, maybe? CRJ

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