What causes them? I have one now that I’ve had for over a week and it is annoying me enough to ask! :slight_smile: Also, any way to get rid of it, other than creating another one?

a replacement ear worm is probably the ONLY cure! (sorry)

Here you go: Earworms (stuck song syndrome): Towards a natural history of intrusive thoughts (2010) (paywalled, but the abstract is there).

So just go with it.

They say garlic and chili are good for intestinal worms. Maybe that’s worth a try? :slight_smile:

When I get a song stuck in my head, the only cure is to go listen to the whole thing. Usually it’s stuck there because there’s a piece of it I can’t remember. Once I remember the missing piece, my brain moves on to some other puzzle.

It’s a world of laughter
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world…

…rinse, repeat

I have a song to ‘cleanse the palette’. I just mentally play Automatic by the Pointer Sisters in my head and it clears the song I want to get rid of!

I have karaoke music in my computer. If I get an earworm, I sing it out. It worked for Cartman.

Moon river . . . .

The solution is in here:


Unfortunately for me, I can remember every lyric of this particular earworm, but as it turns out the cure is apparently to post about it here because it is now gone! Well, at least for now…


I wish the abstract had included information as to why they happen (if anyone knows)

Perhaps this will work better.

I like the theory that earworms are caused by your brain trying to restore a memory path of the entire song. Following that, listening to the song all the way through, or looking up the lyrics and reading them should resolve it. It’s worked so far for me, but it could be a placebo effect.

Not clicking on it! LALALALALA!

Ah, the master speaks and I see that no one really knows why we get earworms. Bummer.

Unfortunately, the earworm I just had was of a song that I knew well. What cured it was part posting here and part cranking up some Garth. :smiley:

Garth? As in Garth Brooks? And you’re afraid of my link?

Hey, there’s nothin’ wrong with Garth!

I thought you were sending a link to YouTube of “It’s A Small World”… :eek:

I’ve been accused of many things, and many of them were true, but I’ve never been accused of being that cruel!

Great. Thanks. Appreciate it. :mad:

I have read the actual paper. Basically, the answer is “no”.

I have a new earworm for St. Patrick’s Day, generated when I saw the words “Irish stew” on our cafeteria menu.

Yes, I am now compulsively humming (and even singing) “The Irish Ballad” by Tom Lehrer.

She weighted her brother down with stones,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
She weighted her brother down with stones,
And sent him off to Davy Jones.
All they ever found were some bo-ones…
And occasional pieces of skin,
of skin,
Occasional pieces of skin.

I’ve tried purging it with other Tom Lehrer songs, but I’m not sure “I Hold Your Hand In Mine” is an improvement.

Try “Send The Marines”, or “National Brotherhood Week”.