Can't seem to get that song out your head?  You may have a case of earworms.


earthworms - not earworms
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Photo Courtesy Petr Kratochvil -

No, they are not real worms.  Earworms are a form of music imagery - music is being replayed over and over again in your head.   Music imagery has been often studied and has been used by psychologists to music therapists.

Earworms are short music phrases that keep repeating in your head.  While it's not fatal (in most cases), it can be pretty annoying.

Wikipedia reminds us of Jean Harris' obsession with a song called "Put the Blame On Maine".   Harris was convicted of killing Dr. Herman Tarnover in 1980.  It's even been reported that Mozart complained about it.

WebMD reports that nearly 98% of us have had an attack of earworms at one time or another.  They've even released a a list of the top 10 songs stuck in your head.


Is there a cure?  Well, it's come down to scientists to figure that out.

Review their answers on how to get that tune out of your head. also offers a few tips:

Their most imaginative solution was to picture the earworm as a real creature crawling out of your head, and imagine stomping on it.   Ok, so what exactly does an earworm look like?  Just a plain old worm?  Who knows.

What I've personally noticed is that songs I hate the most are the ones that get into my head.  Yeah, you can say that the only reason I hate them is that I've heard them a million times.  No, that's not my case.  I seem to be drawn to awful - but admittedly catchy tunes.  But to each their own.

If you're part of the 98%, what is your most annoying earworm tune?


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