They’re those songs in your head that you just can’t get rid of. It happens to everyone — 98% of people have had an earworm at one time or another.
But it took a PhD student at the University of Montreal Department of Psychology – Andréane McNally-Gagnon – to create a study to identify, for once and for all, what THE ABSOLUTE WORST EARWORMS OF ALL TIME ARE. The study was conducted by asking both musically-oriented people and those without a music background to rank 100 pop songs for their “repeatability”. They then asked participants to hum some of the earworm songs, and to report their emotional state before and after the experiment. It should come as no surprise that those participants with a musical background had a harder time letting go of an earworm versus those who were not as musically inclined.
From the study, here are the top 25 Worst Earworms Ever:
- WHAM!: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
- THE MUPPETS: Mahna Mahna
- CHRISTINA AGUILERA, PINK, LIL’ KIM, MYA: Lady Marmalade
- PHILIPPE FONTAINE: Cœur de Loup
- STEAM: NA NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE
- TOM JONES: Sex Bomb
- ABBA: Dancing Queen
- LADY GAGA: Poker Face
- THE LION KING SOUNDTRACK: Hakuna Matata
- EUROPE: The Final Countdown
- KATE RYAN: Ella elle l’a
- Jingle Bells
- JINGLE: Le Clan Panneton
- THE 5TH DIMENSION: Let the Sunshine In
- Sleigh Bells
- QUEEN: We Will Rock You
- The Chicken Dance
- THEME FROM Inspector Gadget
- THE BEATLES: Hey Jude
- Nursery Rhyme: Moi j’connais une chanson
- GENE KELLY: Singing In The Rain
- OPUS: Life is live
- BOBBY McFERRIN: Don’t Worry, Be Happy
- GLORIA GAYNOR: I Will Survive
And the number one earworm, according to the study?
- LA COMPAGNIE CREOLE: Ça fait rire les oiseaux
Web Watch knows what you’re asking – why all the French? Because if you ask French-speaking people for their opinion, you’re going to get French-spoken answers.
And in case you were wondering? One rumored effective way to get rid of an earworm is NOT to sing Copacabana, as is commonly thought. No, you should try eating some cinnamon candy instead. That should do the trick…