Ear Worm Diary

I’m very seriously considering starting an ear worm diary for all the various earworms I have throughout the day. It’s kind of amazing how many songs I catch myself singing. Here’s a sample from today. I woke to this:

A couple hours later, caught myself singing this:

Then there was this:

And this:

Then this happened:

Also, too:

And that was by noon. Does this mean anything? WHY ARE ALL THESE SONGS IN MY HEAD?

And no, I did not have the radio or tv on at all today while this was happening. They just popped into my membrane.

75 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    The Government is sending you signals via the fillings you got while in the Army.

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    And no, I did not have the radio or tv on at all today while this was happening. They just popped into my membrane.

    Gotta be them government wifi beams tormenting you with 80’s (cough cough), music.

    No no, don’t look up silly. That’s what they want.

  3. 3
    R-Jud says:

    For me it was “Song About the Moon” by Paul Simon all morning. Then “Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head” this afternoon.

    This evening I’ve been listening to some Henry Purcell stuff. Not as sticky as TMBG.

    Memo to myself:
    Do the dumb things I gotta do

  4. 4
    wonkie says:

    Now that pot is leagal in Washington I can leave this comment: pot smoking gives me ear worms. Loud ones. It isn’t pleasant.

  5. 5
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Vast spaces for entertaining?

    My earworm today was Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 after I heard that Van Cliburn had died. My copy is so worn out, but what a great performance.

  6. 6
    R-Jud says:

    @wonkie: I wouldn’t know from pot, as an asthmatic, but I had this problem when I was on super-duper codeine pills last year. Also had freaky auditory hallucinations, e.g. hearing my father’s voice when my father is 3,500 miles away, etc.

  7. 7
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, I’ve got Burl Ives going through my head this afternoon. At least you’ve got cool stuff to share. Even my ear worms are too dated for the youth of today.

  8. 8
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Also had freaky auditory hallucinations, e.g. hearing my father’s voice when my father is 3,500 miles away, etc.

    I get auditory hallucinations when I’m falling asleep. Also phantom flashes of light. Both often prominent enough to render me wide awake. Frustrating.

    I get earworms when I’m under stress. My mind is charged up and working faster. During lull periods I think it just dredges up a tune to have something to do with itself.

  9. 9
    Fluke bucket says:

    I will say this. Your ear worms make for some damn good blog posts.

  10. 10
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Not sure if anyone plays Starcraft here, but holy crap does this cinematic make me want March 12th to come sooner rather than later. And it’s got epic dubstep in the background, for good measure.

  11. 11
    Todd says:

    Sky rockets in flight, Afternoon de-LIGHT…


  12. 12
    Meady says:

    The earworm I like that is currently haunting me is Bonnie Raitt “Love in the Nick of Time”. The earworm I hate that I can’t get out of my head is the theme song to Downton Abbey. I saw season 3 over the weekend. Get out of my head!!!

  13. 13
    R-Jud says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    I get auditory hallucinations when I’m falling asleep.

    Yes, this too, along with either sleep paralysis or the hypnic jerk. So annoying.

  14. 14
    raven says:


    “I see my folks and they’re gettin old. . ”

    And now they are gone.

  15. 15
    Eric U. says:

    I think the most annoying earworm of all time is “king of the road”

  16. 16
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    After decades, I have discovered a method for making an unwanted earworm depart: math story problems. I just start doing a math problem in my head and the earworm is gone by the time I’m done. And they don’t come back. I’m getting pretty good at taking the square roots of small fractions.

  17. 17
    dedc79 says:

    This one’s been killing me for the last few days. And yes, the only version I could find on youtube is from someone taking a video of their television while the movie is playing.

  18. 18
    quannlace says:

    After listening to Prairie Home Companion this past Saturday, “Old Man Tucker’ kept going thru my head.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Are they all going at once? In rotation? Random play?

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    I have auditory hallucinations of a cat meowing to be fed at 5:00 a.m.

    Since that can’t be actually happening it must be in my head.

  21. 21
    Jennifa-oh-Jenny says:

    Been to the grocery store lately? The music playing in every supermarket is an endless loop of 80’s and 90’s soft rock… I have identified this as a frequent source of random Wham! earworm occurances…

  22. 22

    It’s a word association thingy for me. I read:

    They just popped into my membrane.

    And I was stuck with Cypress Hill Insane in the Membrane for a bit.

  23. 23
    Jennifa-oh-Jenny says:

    @Eric U.: oh, goddamn you!

  24. 24
    Ken J. says:

    Bach’s 3rd Brandenburg Concerto.

    I blame excessive consumption of Wendy Carlos as a small child.

  25. 25
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Todd: (In a Charlton Heston impersonation)DAMN YOU DAMN YOU, DAMN YOU TO HELLLLLLL!!!!
    Anyway the other day, mine was Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body, you know the one where he sings

    I will get you naked before the end of this song

    Then Janet Jackson had that wardrobe malfunction.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    The songs that clutter my brain tend to depend on my political mood.. for example.. this one is for Scalia.. link

    Now in honor of the President, link
    Thank you Katy Perry

  27. 27
    John Carter says:

    If you ever heard WDVE’s morning show from Pittsburgh and this video, itmight explain the earworm”


  28. 28
    Gravenstone says:

    I somehow managed to inflict this on myself earlier today. Dammifinohow.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: I will get even with you. Someday, someway. You best sleep with one eye open.

  30. 30
    RareSanity says:

    They just popped into my membrane.


  31. 31
    JCT says:

    I was in the locker room at the gym today (big state university) surrounded by, well, a bunch of sorority girls and one of them said “OMG” with just the right inflection to trigger a pretty wicked earworm – Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl”.

    I couldn’t help myself and started to crack up, no doubt they were wondering what was wrong with the (PREMATURELY, thank you) white-haired woman in the corner. Sigh.

  32. 32

    I call your Bonnie Tyler and raise you Hurra Torpedo!


  33. 33
    jl says:


    Cole shouldn’t get worried until he hears mysterious voices in his head all day.

    Except of course, for the TunchVoice, is surely real, and which Cole damn well better mind, asap.

    Some pet pics would probably get those darned songs out of Cole’s head: pics of the new cat, and other animals totally ignoring it.

  34. 34
    Melissa says:

    I had I‘ve been working on the railroad in my head on and off for a week. Started singing it to the dog on walks and now it’s gone as an earwig, but I still sing it to Lucky.

  35. 35
    LGRooney says:

    Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good…” hit me about 11am and has been stuck in my head since. At least it wiped out Woody Guthrie’s “Worried Man Blues” which was stuck for a few days.

  36. 36
    j says:

    @Comradde PhysioProffe:

    Haven’t you seen “Literal Translations”?

    Bonnie Tyler, Total…:


  37. 37

    I only have this to say to you:

    Safety Dance.

  38. 38

    @Comradde PhysioProffe:

    Damn you, I was gonna link to that!

  39. 39
    Maeve says:

    I tried to recall recent earworms – and I definitely have them a lot – but the thing is, a new one drive out the older and you can’t remember it.

    For various reasons, I have been trying to recall the lyrics of “podmoskovnia vechara”

    eslse vsnalie biue, kak mne dorogiue – etiu tixhiu bechera!

    it possibly makes more sense in the cyrilic alphabet

    No – I”m not Russian but I studies Russian in school – the previous earworm was Geoge Jones “It’s been a good year for the roses”

  40. 40
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:


    Because you were a college radio DJ. It’s a professional hazard: LTEWI, Long-Term Ear-Wormitis.

    I occasionally suffer from it as well.


  41. 41
    MomSense says:

    @John Cole–I will trade you my earworm for any of yours any day!

    My 9 year old learned a song on the playground that is now tormenting the entire family.

    “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. They’re like it’s better than yours. Damn right it’s better than yours. I can teach you but I’d have to charge”

    All of us keep finding ourselves singing this now throughout the day –every day. AAARRRRGGGGHHHH. Not even the great earworm killer, Madonna’s Like a Virgin” can kill this infernal song.


  42. 42


    “Haven’t you seen “Literal Translations”?”

    HAHAHAHAHAH! No, I haven’t. Good one!

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:


    Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good…” hit me about 11am

    He used to live two blocks over from me. Sometimes that song would hit me at 1am, and then I realised he was playing again.

  44. 44
    steve says:

    “Look, this CPAC convention is increasingly the Star Wars bar scene of the conservative movement. I mean all that’s missing at that convention is a couple of Wookiees,”

    –steve schmidt

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    My (pleasant) earworm since the Oscars Sunday night has been Keegan DeWitt’s “Say La La.” Tracked it down immediately through the power of social media after hearing it used to great effect in a J.C. Penney ad.

    My criteria for an earworm are that it has to have some staying power and it has to displace other music. If Cole is going through so many songs before noon, how are those earworms and not just “songs that popped into my head”?

  46. 46
    danielx says:


    Still waiting for the inevitable response (not from me, you understand) from an insufferable music snob: because you have shitty taste.

    Also, too –

    @Eric U.:


  47. 47
    piratedan says:

    sigh….. at your peril


    you have been warned

  48. 48
    Mike Dixon says:

    I heard the Green Day song about “I hope you have the time of your life” at work today, and had it stuck in my head. Which is okay, I guess. Then I came home and listened to some talk radio and the Ted Cruz stuff reminded me of this:

    Much better now.

  49. 49
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Haven’t heard Peter Piper in years! Have to add it to my playlist of rap songs.

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @steve: Han shot first. Even the wingnuts can’t change that.

  51. 51
    Mike Dixon says:

    We should probably try to get “Joe McCarthy’s Ghost” played on tv, btw. It would be even better if Rachel or Fugelsang (most likely to play it) will interview Mike Watt for a half hour as well.

  52. 52
    MomSense says:

    @Eric U.:

    I was hopeful that would do the trick, but sadly

    My milkshake still brings all the boys to the yard.


  53. 53
    Wilson Heath says:

    @Comradde PhysioProffe:
    Well, of course, Hurra Torpedo. That almost justifies Bonnie Tyler’s very existence. Well, maybe not that much, but still.

  54. 54
    LGRooney says:

    @MikeJ: The dulcet tones of Joe’s guitar at 1am? I’d sleep like a baby… with a coke & alcohol addled guitarist playing with an amp turned up to 11! But, damned if he isn’t a talent.

  55. 55
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    Vast spaces for entertaining?


  56. 56
  57. 57
    gogol's wife says:

    You’re not going to believe this, but ever since I watched 7 minutes of the Oscars, I’ve had the controversial Seth McFarlane song going through my head. Simply cannot get it out. I sing it to my cats. They are unfazed.

  58. 58
    Felinious Wench says:

    Cheryl Crow, All I Wanna Do.

    Hate that freaking song.

  59. 59
    danielx says:

    Speaking of earworms…still nobody who does it better.

  60. 60
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Due to a brief exchange yesterday with Thersites, I’ve had Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey running through my head for two days straight.

  61. 61
    Culture of Truth says:

    @j: OMG that might be the best thing I’ve ever seen

  62. 62
    stoned stats says:

    Each morning between 3ish to 5ish, for the last eight months or so, I wake to pee and immediately have a different Bruce Springsteen earworm. Methinks I need to diversify my choices in music. But like you, Cole, I’ve thought about a journal for it.

  63. 63
    Gus says:

    Total Eclipse of the Heart is a tough one. When I was a freshman that used to get played about every 2 hours. Couldn’t listen to the radio. Because I’m the father of a toddler the ear worm that’s killing me lately is the Thomas the Train theme song.

  64. 64
    MomSense says:


    How is Thomas? I miss those days and that cheeky, blue train.

  65. 65
    Carrie says:

    Your moon is probably in mercury / gemini.
    Relax, there are worse things….

  66. 66
    delosgatos says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    No matter what comes after, you win the thread.

  67. 67
    johnny aquitard says:

    Total eclipse of the heart. Ugh.

    That was a goddamn cheap shot. You bastard.

    That was cold, man. Really cold.

  68. 68
    delosgatos says:


    I think you’re on to something there. Tunch does seem to sleep next to Cole’s head…

  69. 69
    delosgatos says:


    I think you’re on to something there. Tunch does seem to sleep next to Cole’s head…

  70. 70
    Bob says:

    @Todd:@Todd: Bastard!

  71. 71
    delosgatos says:

    Dang iPad. Sorry for the double post

    Oh, and… Total Eclipse of the Hearth??? Is that what a pot of water is for?

  72. 72
    johnny aquitard says:

    @PsiFighter37: It’s been almost a decade since I played Starcraft, but sometimes I get the earworm of “For Adun!” and “Honor guide me!” and “Call the shot” and worst of all, (attempt at spelling) “Zapocazole!”

  73. 73
    delosgatos says:

    Oh, and to stay on topic – here’s both an earworm and an eyeworm. I was an early to mid teen when this was out. Oh, Pat…


  74. 74
    Gus says:

    @MomSense: Very useful.

  75. 75
    TBDBITL says:


    Better your head than mine.

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