How to get that song out of your head! 13



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We’ve all been there: we’re just doing our thing and then all of a sudden, we get the urge to hum or sing a line of a song. It goes around in our head all day and sometimes it can get quite annoying, especially if the song is one you don’t like!

But now, there’s a solution to this seriously irritating problem…this is how to get rid of those ‘earworms’.

In a recent study of 98 people, researchers at the University of Reading have found that chewing gum can help the brain to think less about music it has just heard.

This is great news for anyone who gets ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ stuck in their head like I do!

The participants in the study were divided into three groups. The first was given hum to chew, the second were told to tap on a desk, and the third group were told to do nothing.

Popular ‘earworm’ songs played to the different groups and after each played, the participants were monitored for a three-minute period of silence. If or when the song popped into their head, they would press a button.

Research from the study showed that those who chewed gum after hearing a catchy song were less likely to get it stuck in their head.

“The majority of us experience [earworms] for only short periods – perhaps just a few minutes – but others can experience them for two or three days which can be extremely frustrating and debilitating,” Dr Phil Beaman​, from the university’s School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences said.

“We wanted to explore whether a simple act like chewing gum could help”…and it did!

Here are some popular earworms….try not to get them stuck in your head!

“It’s a Small World” – Disney

“Who Let the Dogs Out?”—Baha Men

“The Lollipop Guild”—Wizard of Oz

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”—Mary Poppins

“Time Warp”—The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“The Song That Never Ends” – Lamb Chop

“YMCA” – The Village People

“Yellow Submarine”- The Beatles

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. An earlier post today mentions not wanting to sing “Daisy” in a nursing home. Well. Thanks so much! Daisy has been round round and round ever since. However since reading the list here of likely to remain songs it has now been replaced by Lamb Chop and The Song that Never Ends. Out of the frying pan…into the fire.

  2. Definitely NOT going to read this article for fear of implanting one of those darned earworms. Drives me bonkers!

  3. I used to break out in song at the call centre I worked at all the time. Not good for a call centre AND I can’t sing!!!!

  4. I remember years ago when every function you attended played “Won’t you come home Bill Bailey” & I used to find myself singing it – and I hate that song! Grrrr!

  5. None of the listed songs has ever been stuck in my head!
    Usually if a song gets stuck I sing it aloud & it goes!

  6. When my Dad was whistling something over and over, it was my job to loudly sing Beautiful Dreamer and sure as eggs he would switch to whistling that as his earworm.

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