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What do you do when a song gets stuck in your head?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 29, 2007

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Photo of Shannon Savoie

“I perhaps have a vicious nature and try to get it caught in other people’s heads. Then I usually try to listen to it as soon as I can to rid myself of it.”

Photo of Amanda Van Schaick

“I download it and play it over and over again until it gets old.”

Photo of Brian Shepard

“Recently when I’ve got one stuck in my head, I go home and play it on ‘Guitar Hero’ for hours. Those songs seem to be the ones that get caught most often.”

Photo of Carol Liang

“I almost always have a song stuck in my head, so I just try and think of another one when I get tired of it.”


sgtwolverine 11 years ago

That depends on the song. If it's a song I like, then I'm not too concerned about it. But if it's a song by, say, Gnarls Barkley, Fergie or Rob Thomas (no, Rob, I will not come on over), then I have a distinct urge to destroy something.

jonas 11 years ago

I was skiing once in Colorado with my folks back in highschool, and got the theme to Duck Tales stuck in my head. Eventually, I threw myself into a snowbank.

classclown 11 years ago

I do as Shannon does. Try to infect everyone else.

My problem is that I usually get stuck with some stupid song I don't know all the words to, so I keep repeating the same 3 or 4 lines over and over like a broken record.

jonas 11 years ago

Good, Trinity, I'm glad my pain amuses you so.

trinity 11 years ago

jonas your first answer just cracked me straight up! :p

if i get a song stuck in my head? i just roll with it&play it over...and over...and over...and nauseum...IN my head of course. must be that ocd thing.

useta 11 years ago

I sing and I sing and I sing and I sing

jonas 11 years ago

classclown: I had the title line to Avril Lavigne's "Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated," stuck in my head for 3-4 hours once, so I feel your pain. So much repetition, and you start to think there might actually be some depth to it. That's when you know you're in trouble.

trinity 11 years ago

hey sugar anybody who'd let themselves go crackers over the duck tales theme-yeah, i find that amusing! ;)

you're just a cutie! :)

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Jonas, if you get Avril's song in your head again, just try to switch to the Weird Al version. Why'd you have to go and make me so constipated.

Redzilla 11 years ago

I just try to replace it with one of the classic stick-in-your-head songs, like Ring around the Rosies, or Allouette. There's a reason those songs have lasted hundreds of years... Oh, and can I just say--Cat Scratch Fever.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years ago

Worst song to have stuck in one's head: "Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo".

Linda Aikins 11 years ago

Sgt - I was going to say the same thing about the constipated song! Why'd you have to go and get yourself decapitated?

Theme from Beverly Hillbilllies. wow. It never goes away. Then there's "Don't look now, Mamma's got her boobs out."

I like Carol's answer.

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Py, hearing a song will get it into my head, but yes, hearing it again also can get it out of my head. Not sure why.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

Damn you, Informed, damn you!!!!

I think I'm going to go in my boss' office now and say, "You can get anythign you want at Alice's Resturaunt," and walk out . . .

He's likely to smile and scratch his head for a while before he comes and asks what was up with that. Kind of like the time when I went in there and said, "I'm big daddy rat and I'm lookin' for the cat, so all you little mousies stay cool."

I, like others have posted, can replace an song with another. Yust like that. snap

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 11 years ago

I usually trade with someone else. I tell them I have an ear worm, ask for a new song and give them mine.

I hate to admit mine, but for the sake of community I will, but first I want to state that I do not now, nor have I ever purposely listened to this song.

Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

ohjayhawk 11 years ago

Two words... electroshock therapy

sandrat7 11 years ago

oddly enough, I heard the answer to this on Saturday. You sing to yourself the lyrics to Tina Turner's 'Private Dancer'. I think once will do it...your old song goes right out of your head.

acg 11 years ago

I have a sure fire way that works for me. Whenever I have a song caught in my head that is making me crazy I just chant the chorus from The Roof is On Fire really loud about half a dozen times. It always seems to work.

classclown 11 years ago

"hahaha! get that out yo head..."


Here's one for you psychofan.

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener That is what I truly wish to be 'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener Everyone would be in love with me.

Janet Lowther 11 years ago

Get a song unstuck? Sometimes I can displace one, but bye and large my life has a soundtrack no one else can hear.

Right now it's that disgustingly syrupy "Where in the world but Kansas" KANU featured (along with "I'm a sunflower") on morning edition.

Even the Gilligan's Island theme would be better. . .

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 11 years ago


That's been a big one for me over the years too...but it was all about David Cassidy.....sigh.......

classclown 11 years ago

Midnight on the water. I saw the oceans daughter. Walking on a waves chicane, Staring as she called my name.

And I cant get it out of my head, No, I cant get it out of my head. Now my old world is gone for dead cos I cant get it out of my head.

Breakdown on the shoreline, Cant move, its an ebbtide. Morning dont get here till night, Searching for her silver light.

And I cant get it out of my head, No, I cant get it out of my head. Now my old world is gone for dead cos I cant get it out of my head, no no.

Bank job in the city. Robin hood and william tell and ivanhoe and lancelot, they dont envy me. Sitting till the sun goes down, In dreams the world keep going round and round.

And I cant get it out of my head, No, I cant get it out of my head. Now my old world is gone for dead cos I cant get it out of my head, no no.

No, I cant get it out of my head, No, I cant get it out of my head. Now my old world is gone for dead cos I cant get it out of my head, no no no no.

ms_canada 11 years ago

It depends - if it is a song I like, then I go nuts until I can get the CD on or plug into my MP3. But a song I don't like, that drives me crazier. And thinking of another song does not do it. The solution is this; when the first line starts to come into my head, I must not complete the words of that line. If I manage that I will be ok. BUT I find that once the line starts it is almost impossible not to finish it and then I am stuck again. And have to start all over to try and not sing the whole verse. NUts, nuts, nuts!!!! I'm going nuts.

thanksforcoming 11 years ago

Umm, I sing it as badly as I can to my girlfriend and she slaps me and thats the end of it. It's gone, and she feels good about herself. Kills two birds with one stone.

mikeisthename 11 years ago

A song that used to get stuck in my head was James Blunt's "You're Beautiful". It is my effin head now, but I have a secret weapon to get it out. I think of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" and that Blunt song is gone. You probably think that Tiny Dancer is in permanent residence in my head. I usually think of other things and Tiny Dancer is gone too.

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

"Oh, I'm stuck on Band-aid brand 'cause Band-aids stuck on me!"

sgt, you get two points this morning because: 1. my girls LOVE "Come on Over" and sing it constantly...yeah, try to ride in my mom-mobile just one day 2. The "Constipated" version of Avril's song always cracks me up. The first time I heard it was the morning after my hubby had a massive stroke and I was driving myself into St. Luke's in an understandably sober mood. That song came on the radio and I laughed so hard I cried. It was good timing.

I always have a song stuck but it's usually the last one that I heard, so I just think of another one...and then that one is stuck...the other forgotten.

"It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy.
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy!"

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

mike, what's your game?

(Sorry, had to ask.)

Brent Cagle 11 years ago

classclown- Awesome song, ELO rules!

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

Py, I got my bro the entire MASH dvd collection for Christmas. I'm an awesome sibling! pat, pat* ok, well, maybe my other 2 siblings chipped in and it wasn't even my idea, but we are all pretty freakin' awesome.

jonas 11 years ago

A little darker than the rest, but damn this is a great song! And if you put it on, you can get almost anywhere in Lawrence by the time it ends!

We listen to the tales and romanticize, How we follow the path of the hero

Boast about the day when the rivers overrun, How we'll rise to the height of our halo.

Listen to the tales as we all rationalize Our way into the arms of the savior Fading all the trials and the tribulations,

None of us have actually been there, Not like you...

The ignorant fibbers in the congregation Gather around spewing sympathy, Spare me...

None of them could even hold a candle up to you Blinded by choices, hypocrites Won't see

But enough about the collective judas Who could deny you were the one who illuminated Your little piece of the divine

This little light of mine it gives your past unto me, I'll let it shine, to guide you safely on your way

Your way home...

Ohh, what are they gonna do when the lights go down Without you to guide them all to Zion? What are they gonna do when the rivers overrun Other than tremble incessantly?

High as a wave But I'll rise on up off the ground. You are the light and the way They'll only read about I only pray heaven knows When to lift you out

10000 days in the fire is long enough. You're going home...

You're the only one who can hold your head up high, Shake your fist at the gates saying, "I have come home now!"

Fetch me the spirit, the son and the father, Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.

"It's time now! My time now! Give me my Give me my wings!"...

Give me my (x5)

"Give me my wings"

You are the light, the way, that they will only read about

Set as I am in my ways and my arrogance Burden of proof tossed upon non-believers. You were my witness, my eyes, my evidence, Judith Marie, unconditional one.

Daylight dims leaving cool flourescence. Difficult to see you in this light. Please forgive this bold suggestion: Should you see your maker's face tonight Look him in the eye Look him in the eye and tell him I never lived a lie, never took a life, But surely saved one Hallejullah, It's time for you to bring me home.

staff04 11 years ago

The theme from "The Muppets Show" always gets stuck in my head...not sure why...

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Py, I can honestly say that's the first time I've seen the lyrics to that song. But I can hear it playing quite clearly in my head now!

ms_canada 11 years ago

Sheesh - this topic really got me going. Just had to play The Soldier Laddie, very old song with words by Robbie Burns. Sung by Cathy Jordan and Dervish on their album Spirit. Lovely song with poignant words. Favourite band of mine, Dervish.

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Sue, every time I hear any piece of "Come On Over," I keep thinking I'm listening to a bad local commercial. It just sounds like it should be a song encouraging me to buy from some local dealership, or to patronize some local nightclub or restaurant or something. The fact that it has higher production values than most local commercial soundtracks does not change that impression at all.

KSChick1 11 years ago

anybody see the South Park episode where someone would start singing Styx to Cartman and he had to run through the whole song? that was pretty funny

my earworm is "Stacey's mom has got it goin on" but I sing it like this to irritate the ankle-biter... "Chelsea's mom has got it goin on!"

cracks me up

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

Py, yep, he already has the movie. I guess he'll get a phonecall for VD.

for you Sarge: Come on over Down to the corner My sisters and my brothers of every different color Can't you feel that sunshine telling you to hold tight Things will be alright Try to find a better life Come on over...

and for RI: Gloom, dispair, and agony on me woah deep dark depression, excessive misery woah if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all woah gloom, dispair, and agony on me!

KsChick, my sis now has to finish that song when it starts...she needs a Cartman intervention! Although, right now, she just goes around singing Tenacious D songs. (I have to remind her to sing them PG for my kids' sake.)

jonas 11 years ago

Pywacket: It's by Tool, so even if you're a fan, you probably didn't understand the lyrics until they're posted anyway. The songs called 10,000 days, and from what I've read, the singer wrote it about his mother, who kept her faith in God and Christ despite suffering an extremely debilitating stroke, and lived that way for 27 years (10,000 days). She died in 2003.

Uplifting, eh?

Crispian Paul 11 years ago

I just start singing another songs or songs in my head and it usually works

jonas 11 years ago

Py: I'm learning Tears In Heaven right now on the guitar. It's a good one.

Linda Aikins 11 years ago

Darn. I heard it over lunch on a commercial where four chocolate chip cookies are driving and they are picked one-by-one. What IS that song?

drewdun 11 years ago

One time I made my friend listen to "Islands in the Stream" by the Gambler and Dolly Parton the entire way from Wichita to Lawrence. By the time we got to Topeka I was going insane, so I attempted to change the song. My friend stopped me and said "Don't change it - I actually kinda like it."

I haven't talked to him since.

southerngirl 11 years ago

Aw come on guys... all together now

Here's the story of a lovey lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls, All of them had hair of gold, like their mother The youngest one in curls

Here's a story of a man named Brady Who was busy with three boys of his own They were four men living all together But they were all alone

Till the one day when the lady met this felllow and they knew that it was much more than a hunch That this group must somehow form a family That's they way they all became the Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch That's the way they became the Brady Bunch...

Thank you, thank you very much...

betti81 11 years ago

thank you all so much for the montage of songs that is playing in my head...can't wait to leave work and turn on the radio to end this craziness...

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

Conceptual, actually I love that song by the Partridge Family.

I have their second album. I have the single of "I Think I Love You", and still play it sometimes. I played it so much as a teenager, that I think I could hear the flip side...I had a huge crush on David Cassidy...

(Ah, vinyl...flip side...such lovely archaeic words.)

Actually, Couranna, Barney stole that one...when I was in grade school (back in the dinosaur days), it went like this (same tune, though):

"This old man, he played one, He played knick-knack on my thumb, With a knick-knack paddy whack Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home."

It was one of those counting songs that was supposed to help kids learn math, silly as it was. Didn't make much sense, but we even had physical moves we were taught to do while we sang it, just like the Temptations...:)

Not much you CAN do when you get a song stuck in your head, especially a commercial jingle...I just go ahead and sing it until it goes away or another one replaces it.

What can I say? It kills time...

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

"This old man, he played two, He played knick-knack on my shoe, With a knick-knack paddy whack Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home."

Uh-oh. I think I'm in trouble now...

classclown 11 years ago

This old man, he played three, He played knick-knack on my knee, With a knick-knack paddy whack Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home.

Four was either on the door or on the floor, and I don't remember any past that.

Remember this one?...

One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door. Five, six, pick up sticks. Seven, eight, lay them straight Nine, ten, do it again.

H_Lecter 11 years ago

If you drill enough holes into the skull, most songs should flow out easily.

That should remove even the stubborn Vonage or Spangles commercial.

jonas 11 years ago

Gootsie: Isn't the song just "Don't you want me baby?"

Lecter: Lord, I was thinking of Beautiful Sunshine of the Spotless mind to get rid of the Spangles commercials and their Andromachean Cockroach Lady. Not to mention the Geico caveman commercials.

MylantaJHawk 11 years ago

Two songs of late that stuck in my craw: Cat Stevens, "The Wind" (beautiful. soul searching song) and Donovan's "Catch The Wind" (Thought it was Dylan the first time I heard it

I had to learn to play both of 'em on the guitar (but it's not like coming from the real bards!)

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

Yeah, I remember that one, too, classclown.

Gee, the things they used to teach kids in school...

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