Earwurm – For These Songs You Just Can’t Get Out Of Your Head

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on April 27, 2010

EarwurmName: Earwurm
URL: http://www.earwurm.com

I don’t know how useful this site can really be, but it is something different for sure and that is something I always celebrate. It revolves around something that we all are familiar with: the feeling of having a song going round and round in our heads. I once saw a documentary in which a scientist compared the phenomenon with a kind of rash that itches and itches, and that only subsides by applying the right unguent. Scratching it would do no good. The “right unguent” is not the song that is stuck, but rather a different tune that will supersede it. That is one way to conceptualize it all.

Another way to approach it is offered by this site: it names these songs that repeat like a scratched record “earworms”. A handful of other names are provided on the site for the phenomenon, actually, and personal favorites include “involuntary musical imagery” and “tune wedgies”. Whichever name you apply to them, this site is a social resource where you can tell everybody about these songs that just won’t go away. Will doing so make them disappear altogether? Probably not. And has this got a “real” use? Well, I found one myself. There are songs that notwithstanding how awful they are still have an immensely catchy quality. Think “SOS” by the Jonas Brothers, or “Seven Things” by Miley Cyrus. Just one listen can lead to nightmarish times. This site could let those who were unfortunate enough to “become infected” warn everybody in time.

The site also scores points for its “Definitive Guide To Earworms”, a quite humorous document that goes to great lengths and explains how to remove earworms once they seem to have become lodged for good. The best one? Listening to “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” (“Known for it’s disturbing effect on the earworm”). I am sure Tim Rice loved that one.

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