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Some songs just top the charts while some go past that and could keep us on our feet all day as we keep recalling them.

Have you found yourself in a situation when you cannot forget a song no matter what you do?

At times, you could be simply doing something and it pops up bathing and the same thing happens and even when you are listening to another song, it pops up and overthrows the song.

Those kinds of songs are known as “earworms”.

The term “worm” does not depict the regular worms we find around but since they act as those parasites and then seem like they linger in our ears though they might be some times annoying too, that is why they got the name.

Related: Check out this article I wrote that shows you 10 songs that breaks your heart

5 components of earworms

Researchers at the University of St Andrews were able to show that there is a particular reason that we have earworms and this is based on 5 components that make a song an earworm.

These components include;

  • Receptiveness – How you feel about the song
  • Predictability – When you are capable of predicting the next lyric that follows
  • Surprise – The action of the song and the suspense the song provides.
  • Melodic potency – This talks of how good the ‘hook’ is.
  • Rhythmic repetition – how often the rhythm is repeated.

Mathematically, the formula goes: Receptiveness + (predictability – surprise) + (melodic potency ) + (rhythmic repetition x 1.5) = earworm.

However, they were able to through this formula, deduce some songs that when you listen to them, they will become earworms to you.

These songs are interesting and you would love them but when you don’t and wish to pull them out, then expect a surgical process.

10 songs that get stuck in your head

1. Aqua, ‘Barbie Girl’

Aqua, a Danish group released this song in 1997 and it was able to make a name for itself worldwide as an earworm.

Fans sang alongside lead singer Lene Nystrøm’s high pitched vocals endlessly.

Her lyrics were magical and a number of them went, “I’m a Barbie girl / In a Barbie world / Wrapped in plastic / It’s fantastic.”

Though it was an amazing song for most people, there were several people too that got tired of the fact that they couldn’t push it out of their heads but they could do nothing but love it again.

2. Lou Bega, ‘Mambo No. 5’

In 1949 when Dámaso Pérez Prado, an artist with origin from Cuba wrote this classic mambo and jive song, the song popularity didn’t grow much till when Lou Bega, a German of Italian and Uganda descent, made his version of the song in 1999.

There were also some alterations in lyrics by Bega as he talked of spending some time with numerous women as his eyes could find and having fun.

In the chorus, he ranted on several names like “A little bit of Monica in my life / A little bit of Erica by my side / A little bit of Rita is all I need / A little bit of Tina is what I see / A little bit of Sandra in the sun / A little bit of Mary all night long / A little bit of Jessica here I am / A little bit of you makes me your man” that could keep it ringing in your ears all days long.

Due to this and despite its early release, the song saw the light of the sky in 2007 when people voted in a Rolling Stone readers poll to be the most bothersome song they came across.

3. Toni Basil, ‘Mickey’

In the 1980s when Toni Basil released this song, its combination of a memorable drum stomp with the chorus made it stick to the mind of several people.

The song summons a good-humored cheerleader chant devoted to Mickey who stands as the singer’s crush.

Though several people might forget other parts of the song, the chorus where Basil yells “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine / You’re so fine, you blow my mind / Hey Mickey! / Hey Mickey!” is one that you can’t forget.

Also, check out this article I wrote showing 10 songs that dogs like

4. Hanson, ‘MMMBop’

When Hanson launched ‘MMMBop’ in 1997, it started first as a warning that if you do not want to risk having the sung stuck in your brain when you hear the full track, then you should simply turn off your radio.

Such advice was one that was instead of a scare to people brought out the inquisitiveness in them and they faced the result.

The song later became overburdening that several school students even had to pay off musicians to help keep the song off their ears.

5. Lady Gaga, ‘Poker Face’

Even before Lady Gaga released her single, ‘Poker Face’ in 2008, she was already known worldwide.

Her first single ‘Just Dance”, turned out to suddenly be a stir and it was very catchy.

However, ‘Poker Face’ was more aggressive with a booming beat that sent her career to the skies to add to her stardom.

With the lyrics “P-p-p-poker face / P-p-p poker face” which turned out to be a pop culture glossary, you can impossibly not forget the song.

6. The Black Eyed Peas, ‘My Humps’

The Black Eyed Peas comprised of tones that suggested sexual desires which were on a steady repeat throughout the song.

This made it to find itself on the critics’ board though it had already had a toll on its listeners who couldn’t forget those tones.  

It was released in 2005 and is a combination of dance and hip hop mix which makes it a pleasurable but guilty earworm.

7. Chumbawamba, ‘Tubthumping’

The rock world jut found this interesting anthem in 1997 when Chumbawamba, a British group made this song.

The song didn’t only become renowned in the music industry and on the charts but also made a space for itself in our heads.

With the incessant chants of “I get knocked down / But I get up again / You’re never going to keep me down”, the band was able to make a legacy as they explained further that tubthumping” (jumping on a bandwagon of a populist idea, usually by a politician) is not known very much round the world.

However, they were able to come up with FOURTEEN more albums that also rock the music world.

8. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ – The Proclaimers

The song assures you that despite how bad or out of line you sing, there will be someone there to keep you on track and boost your music.

It is an energizing song that doesn’t easily leave your thoughts.

9. ‘U Can’t Touch This’ – MC Hammer

This song has a catchy baseline that will seem like a surprise to me if you do not want to keep recalling its nice use of words.

Though the notes may seem mad, they are one you can’t ignore and can’t forget.

10. Take On Me’ – a-ha

With a distinctive set of lyrics and a captivating beat, this classic music released in 1984 sings that you should “go on, you can hit that high note…there it is! a-ha, who is from Norway by the way” and for decades, it lingers in the heads of men.

Like an earworm, it encourages you still and you would prefer to always have it in your head than fight to forget it.


It isn’t easy or even nearly possible forgetting an earworm so why do you stress your mind on that, why not enjoy the succor it offers and love the song more.

Be part of the crew that does not tire for earworms or worry when they come to the mind since they are made for fun too and not intended to worry you.