Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Favorite: Mouthwash for your musical soul

I wrote this back in July 2006, and for the most part the items contained within still work well for me as antidotes for earworms.

However last October, I would be tormented by an unrelenting earworm, and most of the stuff on this list didn't do the trick, so your mileage may vary with these suggestions.


After my own post yesterday and the Fergie abomination that D. Prince posted last night, it made me remember advice that I've stated time and time again on blogs and chatrooms all over the internet.

When it comes to those awful songs that you can't get out of your head, you need to have a group of songs at your disposal that are a) catchy or really memorable and b) something you can live with. With me, I have a few songs that I can call upon to get rid of one of these nasty lingerers. In general, I employ a lot of TV theme songs because they are generally memorable, relatively short and after a few times around your head, they will eventually remind you of another tune and then they are cleansed from your mind too. You can get a lot of these songs online at places like The 80's TV Theme Supersite and TV Cream, so develop your own set of goto song erasers.

My set:

1) The Theme to the Wide World of Sports
2) The Oakland Raiders Theme(or anything else from the NFL Films collection). I suppose that the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark would work similarly though.
3) The Equalizer/The Rockford Files/Sanford and Son/The Fall Guy/CHiPs

Though I've found these to work too:

4) Portland, Oregon by Loretta Lynn f/ Jack White
5) L'America by the Doors
6) Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs

Commercial jingles should not be used in these situations, as they were designed to stick in your mind, and you will be trading one problem for another.

In extreme cases, you can use one horrible song against another if it is slightly less likely to cause your brain to bleed. For example, after hearing Fergie's new single "London Bridge", I knew that my goto songs just couldn't defeat that beast. The theme songs are like Scope and Listerine, and I really needed something akin to kerosene or a flamethrower to burn that tune out of my head. So I had to turn to my old nemesis and one of the songs that made me develop my system in the first place, Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", and I can honestly say that I cannot remember "London Bridge" at all today.

However, Banana Phone or Badger Badger Badger is never the answer and should never be applied to your mind at anytime. That is why I haven't linked to them here either, because those are the equivalent of whipping out the nuclear weapons. Yes, whatever was floating around in your mind will be gone, but so will everything else, and that isn't the best of outcomes.

So hopefully, I have not only undone the damage that I did yesterday, but given you all the techniques to survive this age of appallingly catchy music.


Arjan said...

thanks for putting both banana phone ánd badger badger badger back in my mind....

I've had Billy Joel's pianoman stuck in my head since yesterday because everybody got bored at work and it's just too easy to start a 'pom pom pom...'

MC said...

You would think they would fight each other and weaken each other so you could sweep them out quickly.