Earwigs and Alabama Ticks

Its weird how much time you spend thinking about music, humming a tune, singing to yourself, wondering where some half-remembered lyric comes from. Its also weird how usually the songs that rattle around in your head are bad ones.

I mean, sure now and then you’ll spend a day walking round with the riff to “Rock n Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” looping in your head, and I went for years, literally years, where everytime I had a shower I’d start belting out a tuneless rendition of the Hot Chocolate classic “You Sexy Thing”. I used to sing it so often that my grandad once saw it on TV and said “Oh, its Chris’ song”.

Now its back in my head. And I’m grinnining like an idiot.

And the other day I was sitting down reading and suddenly “Ice Ice Baby” popped into my head and I couldn’t resist rapping along much to the bemusement of my sister.

But sometimes its not just a random popping into your head, sometimes you hear a song and then it burrows into you mind, lodging itself in your brain, like we used to think earwigs did. And I’m not the only person to make this connection, in this funny video the delightful Hannah Minx also explains the phenomenon.

For example, a few months back one of my coworkers was whistling the tune to Lady Gaga’s brilliant “Poker Face”, for two days, that’s all that went through my head.

But like I said at the start sometimes you’re not lucky enough to get Lady Gaga, AC/DC, Hot Chocolate or Vanilla Ice, nine times out of ten the song that’ll dig in will be truly awful.

My random mental jukebox (RMJb) seems to delight in ensuring that I often wake up with some godawful 90s boyband song in my head, or like the other week where I awoke and had the truly horrific “Swagger Jagger” by talentless Cher Lloyd in my head.

“Swagger Jagger” isn’t a earwig though, its something much worse. It crawls in getting lodged in there and it takes a lot to replace it with a better song, I mean usually all I need is to hum a bit of “Can’t Touch This” and the earwig is rinsed out, but Cher Lloyd is too resilient.

Its not an earwig, its an Alabama tick, and yes, that is a Predator reference. Its really dug in there.

I can’t remember how I got rid of it in the end, but it loitered in my mind for ages, driving me to the point of considering headbutting a wall just to silence the irritating Cheryl Cole-alike.

This week I also had my least favourite but most prolific Alabama tick return for another attack. Watching X Factor on catch up this week I was appalled to see Little Mix perform a cover of the Justin Bieber abomination “Baby”, which is one of the most awful songs ever recorded and one of the most catchy. In fact, just writing about it means its now lodged in my head. Aaarrrgggh!

Most Irritatingly Catchy Songs

1. Baby- Justin Bieber

2. Swagger Jagger- Cher Lloyd

3. Dr Jones- Aqua
“Barbie Girl” is a great work of bubblegum pop, but the Scandinavian band’s follow up single was an aggravating earwig of the highest order.

4. Anything by The Vengaboys.
90s purveyors of eurodance dross, they released two terrible earwigs back to back- “Boom Boom Boom” and “We’re Going To Ibiza”

5. Hey! Baby- DJ Otzi

6. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous by Good Charlotte
Annoying pop-punk whinging about vapid celebrity culture, sang by a man who’d go on to hook up with Nicole Richie.

7. The Crazy Frog
Taking the cool theme tune from Beverly Hills Cop and ruining it by adding some twat doing that irritating sound. Seriously, if I ever come to power I will find a way to track down everyone who purchased a copy of this and they will be instantly put to death.

8. Gio Compario
ARGGGHH! The Go Compare opera singer is an ad campaign that has been allowed to survive for far too long, the worst thin is when the irritating ditties wind up lodged in your brain.

Now I have those songs rolling around in my head. I think its time for some Hot Chocolate.



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