Have you ever had an earworm that lasts more than a few hours – or more than a few days – or even more than a few months?

The loose definition of an earworm is a song or a tune that consumes your subconscious and which you find yourself humming, or inwardly (or outwardly) singing to the point of irritation (to either yourself, those around you, or both).

Lately, mine has been this nifty little tune, a new song from the new solo project of-sorts by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. I’ve caught myself spontaneously humming the ‘I’m gonna love you the same’ bit over and over again. Does it count as a tic? I’m not sure. No doubt it’ll pass in a few days. A catchy little number, I think you’ll agree.


But in the course of my lifetime, there have been two other earworms that I’ve naturally defaulted to, and they’ve lasted literally for years. The first started when I was in secondary school. I have no idea why, but whenever my brain emptied (quiet at the back, there), the first verse of Roberta Flack’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ would kick in, like a jukebox turning over a vinyl record. Except it wasn’t even the Roberta Flack version – it was the one by the bleedin’ Fugees. I have no strong feelings on either version, but it absolutely consumed me. No matter what album I loved at the time, or what song I was obsessed with, ‘Killing Me Softly’ would pop into my head every now and again.


The second one – and I’ve only noticed recently, but upon reflection it’s been there for years – is even less cool. It’s the Benny Hill Show theme tune, aka Yakety Sax. This would be fine – helpful, even – if I regularly found myself in hilarious slapstick situations that required a soundtrack, or if I was generally prone to making risqué double-entendres. But err, I’m not, so it’s just irritating. I don’t know what that says about me, but I’ll leave you with a glimpse into my troubled mind: ten hours of the Benny Hill Show theme tune.


Do you have a default earworm? Is it worse than mine?

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