I have a song stuck inside my head. Unfortunately it’s Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. Very corny. It’s a jolly song- unless superglued into your cranium- and doubtless very popular. Yet having it stuck in your head is a 12 on a 0-10 drive-you-crazy scale. I’ve worked out that the ‘pop’ in song is what it could do to your brain. There are other tunes which equally get wedged horribly easily, such as it’s a Small World After All, Happy and the nanananas from Hey Jude. I wouldn’t care if it was something classical or the sax from Baker Street, but no, it’s pop corn.
Presumably everyone in world gets the same unscratchable irritation. I have been reliably informed that this is called an ear worm, although in the old days when we listened to cassettes it must have been a tapeworm. My godson insists that the best thing for worm cleansing is to sing the offending tune aloud. This could be remarkably inconvenient especially at a funeral. Even during a business meeting, singing it could be a teeny problem.
‘Mr President, why are you not doing more about the crisis in Iraq?’
‘Because I’m happy; clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…’
Or on a Royal note…
‘Your Majesty, what would you like to do with the corgi sleeping on your foot?’
‘Shake it off, Shake it off …’
The problem is that these worms are particularly catching, like a virus. Now that I’ve mentioned the above songs, you are probably stuck with them now; ear-wormed up. Sorry… but if you try and rid yourself of it by singing it aloud then- kaboom- a whole office of people will be infected. Save the environment – keep your mouth shut. Unless you are an aural anarchist; in which case, Hey! go forth and spread chaos…nana nana, nana nana…
There should be some sort of a vaccination available to prevent it happening, although would you need a 1-Direction vaccination, an Earth, Wind and Fire one, a Barbie song one etc? Unless they invent a worm batch vaccination, you could end up looking like you’ve just lost a fight with a porcupine.
It’s worse when you can remember the tune and not the words, so end up humming disjointed little bits and scraps; although on the bright side, my voice is so awful, this disjointed musical lego is an improvement. Makes no end of difference if you can’t actually tell what I’m singing.
My mind is now being plagued with Ernie, who Drove the Fastest Milk Cart in the West. Wish I could just shake it off.
Alison Gardiner 2015