Rarely is there silence in my world. Even in an empty house, on the rare occasion when my radio is switched off, there is a backing track running on loop through my mind. Most of the time, I barely notice the background music in my head, but occasionally a track will get stuck on repeat, giving rise to that most irritating of conditions – the earworm.
Sometimes this little trick of the brain is activated by listening to a song which, like a guest overstaying their welcome, simply refuses to leave when it should. For me, these earworms can usually be counteracted by listening to something with a bit of power to it. Cranking Meatloaf or Motörhead up to 11 usually blasts the problem away. More difficult to eradicate are those earworms that sneak up on you, through an idle thought or lyric.
During a recent conversation, a friend took me by surprise with their answer, leading to a 48 hour earworm of Jamie Lawson’s “I Wasn’t Expecting That”. Whilst this might prove that I am not totally oblivious to what is happening in the charts, after two days on mental repeat, I began to feel like I was going crazy. That train of thought finally managed to oust Ed Sheeran’s pal from my mind, leaving Shakin’ Stevens’ “You Drive Me Crazy” in its place. The Welsh warbler was no competition for “Ace of Spades”, and disappeared as soon Lemmy began to assault my eardrums. I was free! Well, for a couple of days.
My latest earworm occurred following a bout of procrastination. Facing a mounting pile of work with fast-approaching deadlines, I mentally berated myself, and muttered “Focus”, as I attempted to concentrate on the most pressing tasks. Yep, you’ve guessed it. I am currently being tormented by the Hocus Pocus track, complete with yodelling!
So, my plea is simple…lend me your earworms. Perhaps, just perhaps, the songs you find irritatingly catchy will succeed where Messrs Aday and Kilmister have failed. Better still, if you have any other ideas on how I rid myself of a Prog Rock track that is older than me, I’m all ears…