4

Earworms: What's the song most commonly stuck in your head?

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Yesterday, while I was doing the dishes, I inexplicably got the theme song from Jurassic Park stuck in my head. This wasn't the first time. It happens all the time, in fact, no matter what I'm doing, and it's just the main "catchy" part, not the rest of the song. I don't have a special affinity for the film -- well, other than the fact that robotic dinosaurs are incredibly awesome. But there is something deeper there, probably something even psychological, that causes this to happen.

It's not the only song, of course, but while many songs will get stuck in your head now and again, there are always a couple that feel like they'll remain with you for the rest of your life. For instance, when Arrested Development was on the air, "The Final Countdown" was being hummed by nearly everyone who watched the show -- all the time. It didn't stop. It couldn't stop.

It's estimated that 99 percent of us have fallen prey to earworms at some point in our lives. The scientific explanation is pretty simple: When we listen to a song, it triggers a part in our brain called the auditory cortex.

When a familiar song is listened to, the brain fills in the rest. It will do this over and over again. Some researchers even think songs stick in our heads because we're trying to suppress thoughts; others think we're just trying to keep our brains occupied. In the case of this clip from Jurassic Park, I have no idea what that means.

Thus, today's Hot Topic: What song gets stuck in your head the most? Why? Feel free to weigh in below.


Follow Backbeat on Facebook and Twitter @westword_music

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.