RSS Feed
Nov 12


Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Philosophy, Rantings, Something to think about

One of my favourite parts of anxiety and an over-active mind is the earworm phenomenon.

For two weeks, I had to put up with ‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden’ by Lynn Anderson, a hit in 1970. I wasn’t even born then which makes it even more frustrating. I don’t know any of the words, apart from those two lines. Over and over and over and over.

‘Are you with me’ by Lost Frequencies is a great song, but one line haunts me over and over and over and over and over and over: ‘Listen to the Mariachi play at Midnight, are you with me?’

Then there’s that awful song, the Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. I can’t help but put weird lyrics in place of the original score. ‘We all live in a tub of margarine’… etc… it never becomes resolved.


I think that’s the whole point. I think our brains want to annoy us as much as possible because they’re frustrated at being underused. Or overused. Or overwhelmed. Our brains don’t really know what to do because civilization has overtaken our brain’s ability to evolve. That’s why we’re so anxious all the time, it doesn’t know where the grey area is with fight-or-flight is any more, that washing machine tendency to keep us as permanent insomniacs, I think it’s frustration because life has become too easy for us, handed to us on a plate which is good and bad… but I digress.


I love it when good earworms visit me. Like Pearl Jam: ‘Don’t call me daughter, not fit to, the picture kept will remind me.’ Those lyrics I held onto and made them drown out the rest of the washing machine noise in my mind. I love that song, so I will leave it for you at the end of this point if you like.

I think that when you get a really horrible earworm that won’t leave you alone, I think that all it wants to do is hear the last few bars of the song. It just wants to simplify things. Even if you make it up for your brain to be at peace, that seems to work sometimes. I remember doing this as a kid, with classical music. the ending never

seemed to


because there was that little bit


because drums.

and maybe a little bit of sad violin

and then A GRAND FINALE!

followed by a Viola

and then a low note Cello.

to finish.

But you’re never sure when exactly when it’s appropriate to clap. That’s what my brain feels like.



Bring on the comments

  1. Brianf says:

    I like your idea that it’s our brain getting us back for dis-use.
    Ever since the day I moved last week I have had ABC by the Jackson 5 stuck in my head. Every time I think it’s gone, BAM there it is.

  2. K8 says:

    O mi word. You win. That’s a very annoying song unless you’re 5 years old. Try to drown it out with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ maybe. Sometimes this works for me. Other times there are two songs looping and it’s couterproductive.
    In a fight between Michael Jackson and James Hetfield I wonder who’d win?

  3. Kirk M says:

    I really really like your substitute lyrics for Yellow Submarine. Now I have this unholy desire to make up the rest of them.

    Thanks so much.

    As one of those kindred spirits whose blessed/cursed with an over active mind that never ever shuts the up as well as sound engineer of many years (back when I could actually hear), I was always prone to ear worms. Usually snippets of really bad annoying songs that I just could not get out of my head.

    They’re still in there somewhere lurking around. Thankfully I’ve got to the age where I’ve forgotten not only the words but the melody as well. Ha!

    However, in my long suffering history from chronic earwormitis, I finally came across a tune so annoying and anti-earworm that I always keep it at the ready so I can bring it to the fore every time I have an ear worm attack. It’s never failed me.

    Hint: It’s the opening sequence of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. The actual movie is much better.

  4. K8 says:

    I know this film!! My favourite scene is the traintrack diversion. Also Billy Connolly… I watched an amazing film recently with him in it called: ‘What we did on our holiday’. It made me re-think things which is the mark of a very good film, I think.

  5. K8 says:

    But the intro song, I had forgotten that. Massive unthankyous for re-introducing it. Sigh.

  6. Ian says:

    “Along with the sunshine, you know there’s gonna be a little rain sometime.”

    For forty years, I had that song blocked from my mind!

  7. K8 says:

    …and if that doesn’t ferment the song in your mind there is always this version:

Leave a Reply

Gravityscan Badge