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  1. #1

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    Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Warning! The song titles below this line may be hazardous to your sanity:




    "It's A Small World After All"

    "We Will Rock You"

    "The Macarena"

    "Whomp - There It Is"

    "The Theme from Gilligan's Island"

    "Zip A Dee Doo Dah"




    What do these disparate works have in common? They were cited by respondents in a study of tunes that get "stuck in your head." Determining why such songs have that ability is the goal of James J. Kellaris, an associate professor of marketing in the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration.



    Having songs "stuck in your head" happens to nearly all of us. Ninety-nine percent of study respondents said they have experienced the phenomenon. Almost 50 percent say that it occurs frequently.

    Kellaris, an expert on the influences of music on consumers, reported preliminary results on his work last month at the Society for Consumer Psychology's winter conference. He has a sample of 1,000 respondents to work with in analyzing his theory that certain songs create a sort of "cognitive itch" - the mental equivalent of an itchy back.

    "It is like the familiar pattern of itching and scratching," Kellaris says. "The only way to 'scratch' a cognitive itch is to rehearse the responsible tune mentally. The process may start involuntarily, as the brain detects an incongruity or something 'exceptional' in the musical stimulus. The ensuing mental repetition may exacerbate the 'itch,' such that the mental rehearsal becomes largely involuntary, and the individual feels trapped in a cycle or feedback loop."

    Kellaris' research seeks to identify characteristics of music that make them memorable. His preliminary work points in three directions he believes play a role:




    Repetition: One theme song that respondents reported as getting stuck in their heads often was "Mission: Impossible." Kellaris was not surprised. "A repeated phrase, motif or sequence might be suggestive of the very act of repetition itself, such that the brain echoes the pattern automatically as the musical information is processed," he says.

    Musical simplicity: Simpler songs appear more likely to make your brain itch. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of getting Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me" song stuck can attest to that. Generally, children's songs are more prone to getting stuck than classical music, Kellaris says.

    Incongruity: When a song does something unexpected, it can also spark a cognitive itch. Examples include the irregular time signatures of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" or the song "America" from West Side Story. Unpredictable melodic patterns or an unexpectedly articulated individual note can have the same impact.


    Kellaris is now taking an in-depth look at the survey data he has collected. Of the 1,000 respondents, the kind of music respondents said they got stuck on most recently were songs with lyrics for 73.7 percent, jingles or ads for 18.6 percent and an instrumental tune for 7.7 percent.

    But, there's hope. Respondents also reported on the strategies they use to try and rid themselves of stuck tunes. Individual responses ranged from direct approaches like "trying to get busy doing something else" or "reading out loud" to acts of humorous desperation, such as "trying to give the 'tune kooties' to someone else, like (playing) tag, you're it!"

    "This research is expected to provide creative guidelines to advertisers that wish to increase the memorability of their ads," says Kellaris. "It should also yield insights concerning the operation of human memory."


    Copyright Information, University of Cincinnati





    SO what songs get stuck in YOUR head?
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  2. #2

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    this is hilarious..or sad..not sure which..
    i typed in search 'songs that get stuck in your head'
    and most of them were songs posted by 'young people' that i didn't even know!!!

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Interesting analasys. I get songs stuck everyday. In fact yesterday I had a song from the musical Ragtime stuck...so I ended up listening to the ENTIRE soundrack on the way home from work. Listening to the song usually 'unsticks' it for me. ....usually. Dang. Now i'm remember the song again....
    Marge: Barnacle Bill's Home Pregnancy Test? Homer, shouldn't we have gone with a better-known brand?
    Homer: But Marge, this one came with a corn-cob pipe!
    Marge: [reading from the test box] "Ahoy, Maties! If the water turns blue, a baby for you! If purple ye see, no baby thar be!"
    Homer: So, which is it? Blue or purple?
    Marge: Pink.
    Homer: D'oh!
    Marge: "If ye test should fail, to a doctor set sail!"

  4. #4

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    The song Now and Forever from the movie League of Their Own., The girl's baseball movie. For some reason it makes me think about my (now deceased) brother, who was an avid baseball fan.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    My friend said this after smoking a ........ cigarette. "What if all the songs that get stuck in our head make up the soundtrack to our lifestory?"

    When my roommate told me that our friend said that my first thought was "I wouldn't buy that CD."

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Grim Grinning Ghosts
    Kidnap the Sandy Claws
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  7. #7

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Every song title I jut read from the previous posts are now all stuck in my mind and constatly playing overe and over and all at the same time

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    One word: Copacabana.

    What's worse, thanks to a "Twisted Tune" this frequently morphs into the Star Wards Cantina song. And then back.

  9. #9

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    I get songs stuck all the time. My problem is that it's never a song I currently have with me and can listen to. I could have 100 CD's in the car, but the one i actually want to hear because it's stuck randomly in my head? not there.

  10. #10

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Tom's Diner...(*sings* I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner, I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffe) Yes, that was all from memory. *sighs*

    Nothing Compares To You

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  11. #11

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    "Rich Girl" ~ Gwen Stefani

    If I were a rich girl, nanananananananananananananana!


  12. #12

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    The one that gets me every so often is 'Dont Change' by INXS. Whenever I get it in my head I start to worry because usually something bad is about to happen.
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  13. #13

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    "My lovely lady lumps -- check it out..."
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #14

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    Me? Have a song stuck in my head? NEVER!

    "What the world, needs now, is love, sweet love..."

  15. #15

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    Re: Ever had a song stuck in your head?

    The strangest convergance I've had stuck was Abba alternating with Evanescence. That was an interesting night at work, until I could get in the car and listen to something else that could chase it out!
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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