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How An Earworm Ruined My Life.....Or At Least One Afternoon Of It.

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Earworm: n. A piece of music that sticks in one's mind so that one seems to hear it even if the music is not being played.

National Public Radio has over the past couple of weeks, been running a series of stories about musicians being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this weekend. So we're driving along the highway listening to their story about Donovan, an artist I really like. We listen and enjoy the story. End of subject, right?

Wrong. Halfway down Grand Coulee, I get these line stuck in my head.

*Happiness runs in a circular motion

Thought is like a little boat apon the sea

Everybody is a part of everything anyway

You can have everything if you let yourself be*

Now the cure for the common earworm is to listen to the actual song, maybe play it on the guitar, or actually remember the whole lyric. Ya sure, you betcha. The record collection is a hundred miles away, as is the guitar and you know darn well 1) if you really want the radio to play a song it won't do it and 2) the song stuck is so damn obscure that the radio won't play it anyway and your wife won't know or remember it. That's the way the world goes round (OK, now I got another one stuck in there. Thanks, John Prine.)

So, to make a long story longer, we finally get home, and halfway through the paperwork necessary to finish the job that took us to Grand Coulee in the first place, I give up. It's really getting to me now. Off to You Tube, the greatest repository of quick music access known to man.

I assume by this time, you've probably got the darn song stuck too, so let me help you out. It's this, from 1969.

They did it. George Harrison and Donovan conspired to write the perfect ear worm song. But that doesn't really matter because we've solved the immediate problem. But created another. It's called free association.

Donovan wrote some great songs with catchy melodies. The free association part comes from my thinking about Donovan songs as cute and/or silly as "Happiness Runs", thus I've now got "I Love My Shirt" stuck there. Back to You Tube.

Great. Now it's off to the races. "Mellow Yellow" of course, "Jennifer Juniper", this one....


....finally ending up here......

.....having blown the whole afternoon chasing down songs one hears once every other blue moon just because they got stuck. An the paperwork's still there.

Someone actually did a study on earworms. Web MD reported on it, and the fact that "Songs with lyrics are reported as the songs most frequently stuck (74%), followed by commercial jingles (15%) and insturmentals (11%)." The study goes on to report "...episodes last over a few hours and are reported "frequently" or "very frequently" among 61.5% of the sample." I guess at this point I don't feel so bad because now I got I'm a Pepper, He's A Pepper, She's a Pepper, You're a Pepper" crammed in my frontal lobe.

As to the John Prine, it's gonna bother the heck out of me if I don't do this.

Do you have a cure for the earworm problem? I don't. Maybe I should write Dear Abby.

*Bewildered, bewildered you have no complaint

You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't......*