Help Please! Brainworms

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Marc Joan

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Aug 26, 2014
How long do they normally last? I've had one in my head for four days now! Four days!! It's there from when I wake up to when I fall asleep tearing at my own ears with my own gnawed fingernails! How do you get rid of the damn things?
 
By brainworm, I'm assume you mean a song that's stuck in your head? (Excuse the quesion, but as you know, I'm not English. I suspect a brainworm is what we call an Ohrwurm, or earworm in German.)

Sing it. Sing it loud. And dance to it. If nothing else other people will join you and you all have something to talk about which might distract you.

Or listen to an even more anoying song.

Or listen to the Birdie Song. Try the national anthem. Or the Boehemian Rapsody to go with the movie.

Which one are you stuck with?
 
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I've long been fascinated by earworms, mystified by how fragments of a song beam in from the universe to slither through my brain. Sometimes, there's an obvious cause, such as a lyric being appropriate for a situation, but why guitar riffs should insert themselves into my thinking is less clear.

I live in a noisy location, so play music through earbuds to allow me to work, choosing from 400 albums saved on my hard drive. Some mornings, as I wake a song suggests itself to me to start the day, as if my subconscious has been sifting through a playlist without me knowing.

https://colony.litopia.com/threads/playlists.3223/#post-39417

Earworms have been extensively researched, with suggestions made that they're a form of hypnosis or even an auditory hallucination. If so, one pernicious earworm was that which encouraged a rejected woman to kill her ex-lover in the notorious Scarsdale Murder. She claimed the song Put The Blame On Mame stopped playing the moment she killed him!

PsyArt: An Online Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts
 
I have an earworm right now! It’s brutal. A few lyrics from a mysterious song came into my head first thing yesterday morning, minus the chorus, and still won’t go away:

Oh how you brought me down (down, down)
All you did was run around (round)
You’ll never know how much I loved yoo-ooo


Eventually I Googled them, and they turned out to be ... ‘Frankie’ by Sister Sledge! What on earth? Haven’t heard or thought of that song in at least a couple of decades. But I’m reading The Long Goodbye by Richard Chandler and there’s a character called Candy (which to my brain sounds like Frankie). It’s the only conceivable explanation.

What’s the cure?! Now, in addition to the above lyrics, I’ve got the chorus too.
 
I tend to get them as a mantra, especially when I'm doing something physically absorbing, like throwing a pot which I do quite often. One line will stick. I also find the less words I know, the more it will stick. But my sin is singing them aloud to the despair of my family. Quite a good motive for murder.
 
How long do they normally last? I've had one in my head for four days now! Four days!! It's there from when I wake up to when I fall asleep tearing at my own ears with my own gnawed fingernails! How do you get rid of the damn things?

I don't think you get rid of them. It's probably best to put your affairs in order. You're about to become a zombie.

After your transition, try and remember .... be the best zombie you can be.
 
By brainworm, I'm assume you mean a song that's stuck in your head? (Excuse the quesion, but as you know, I'm not English. I suspect a brainworm is what we call an Ohrwurm, or earworm in German.)

Sing it. Sing it loud. And dance to it. If nothing else other people will join you and you all have something to talk about which might distract you.

Or listen to an even more anoying song.

Or listen to the Birdie Song. Try the national anthem. Or the Boehemian Rapsody to go with the movie.

Which one are you stuck with?
Yes, ear-worm, sorry, I've heard them called both things. Which one? 'Little Bird', by Annie Lennox. Don't ask me why,
 
I have an earworm right now! It’s brutal. A few lyrics from a mysterious song came into my head first thing yesterday morning, minus the chorus, and still won’t go away:

Oh how you brought me down (down, down)
All you did was run around (round)
You’ll never know how much I loved yoo-ooo


Eventually I Googled them, and they turned out to be ... ‘Frankie’ by Sister Sledge! What on earth? Haven’t heard or thought of that song in at least a couple of decades. But I’m reading The Long Goodbye by Richard Chandler and there’s a character called Candy (which to my brain sounds like Frankie). It’s the only conceivable explanation.

What’s the cure?! Now, in addition to the above lyrics, I’ve got the chorus too.
I may have come across a cure. Mr Google suggested humming the UK National Anthem. So I did. And it worked. Kind of. Now I have 'Send her victorious' wailing through my head. Sigh.
 
My wife is a singer, and has the perfect, absolute cure for ear-worms: I have tried this, and IT WORKS.

When assailed by an ear-worm sing (at least in your head, perhaps preferably out loud if you can) the British** national anthem. This will smother the other piece of music but, as its one of the dullest tunes every written and the lyrics are trite nonsense, it will not, in turn, get stuck in your head. Really, this always works for me.

** And apologies to Scots and Welsh folk - I know that "God save the Queen" is actually really only the English anthem and you have your own preferred (and far better) tunes, but I went with the technical appellation.
 
I've long been fascinated by earworms, mystified by how fragments of a song beam in from the universe to slither through my brain. Sometimes, there's an obvious cause, such as a lyric being appropriate for a situation, but why guitar riffs should insert themselves into my thinking is less clear.

I live in a noisy location, so play music through earbuds to allow me to work, choosing from 400 albums saved on my hard drive. Some mornings, as I wake a song suggests itself to me to start the day, as if my subconscious has been sifting through a playlist without me knowing.

https://colony.litopia.com/threads/playlists.3223/#post-39417

Earworms have been extensively researched, with suggestions made that they're a form of hypnosis or even an auditory hallucination. If so, one pernicious earworm was that which encouraged a rejected woman to kill her ex-lover in the notorious Scarsdale Murder. She claimed the song Put The Blame On Mame stopped playing the moment she killed him!

PsyArt: An Online Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts
I had Put the Blame on Mame for a while some years ago, didn't kill anyone though. Now I've got Queen's Love of My Life running in my head since I saw the movie on Tuesday.
 
@Tim James It's that na na na, na-na-na-na-na bit that does it, I find

@Marc Joan...they found out nuffink common sense could not predicted, and my parents felt bad about it afterwards.

I was filmed, shut alone inside a lift and left there, with a life size mannequin sitting propped in one corner, head slumped, dressed like a man.

I was immediately uneasy. 1) small space 2) shut in alone 3) weird object They watched me staring, then frowning, then the lip started to wobble, the face creased and then tears and then sobbing. I wasn't sure whether or not it was a person. If it was a person, there was something terribly the matter with him. If it wasn't, then what was it, and why was it there, and what if it suddenly started moving? Homunculus syndrome. Huge, sinister dolly. Agh....primal terror!
 
Nutter. @Marc Joan? Moi? I should like to gather nuts in May, she cackled, stirring chestnuts into the cauldron stew. And add a splash of marsala...in it goes...maybe two splashes...

Where be that poppet I made?

Nah @Rainbird I'm OK with lifts....but I think many if not most children would have reacted that way, if not had outright hysterics.

@Leonora I don't imagine they would. The people were friends of my parents, but I never discovered the wider study of which I expect this was part.
 
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