Why Songs Get Stuck In Your Head, And The Simple Trick To Make Them Go Away

Call it whatever you like – sticky music, earworms, a stuck song, or just plain annoying.

If you’re one of the 90% of people who regularly deal with them, you’ve probably already experienced one this week.

Sadly, I’m one of the 30% who have it even worse, because I can’t make it through a single day without a song repeating in my head.

Whether it’s an old classic, or the last thing I heard on the radio, listening to the music repeat over and over can be seriously irritating.

Because this temporary condition, called “involuntary musical imagery” by scientists, is so common, lots of studies have tried to explain exactly why it happens.

Researchers say “YMCA” gets stuck in your brain very easily.CBS Music

No surprise here, but songs with repetitive, catchy melodies are the hardest to forget.

Classics like “YMCA,” “Jingle Bells,” and “We Will Rock You” all made the University of St. Andrews’s list of stickiest songs.

Recognizability and familiarity also make songs “catch” in your brain, which is why recent radio hits seem to infect the entire country all at once.

Then again, really sticky tunes like “The Song That Doesn’t End” have a habit of jumping out of nowhere and lodging in your brain for days. Is it on repeat in your mind yet?

If you’ve caught an earworm today and it won’t leave you alone, we have expert advice to shake it for good.

The Classic Song “Ain’t No Mountain” Is Not Actually About A Mountain

“‘Cause baby there ain’t no mountain high enough, Ain’t no valley low enough, Ain’t no river wide enough, To keep me from getting to you babe.”

We all know the song well. Whether it’s the 1967 original with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell or the Diana Ross remake, it’s a song that brings back some good memories of the late sixties.

[embedded content]

The late sixties were a great time for music. With the Righteous Brothers, The Crystals, and Bobbie Gentry topping the charts, we can remember hearing our favorite songs on road trips with our friends and at high school dances.

Not all of our favorite songs out of the sixties have stood the test of time, but “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” certainly has!

The Supremes and Temptations were also involved in a duet after the original release of the song, and that version has been used in many reference to pop culture, even now. But both the original and the Diana Ross versions are still extremely popular.

The song was featured in the 2000 Disney release of Remember The Titans, in 2005 during the end credits of Chicken Little, and in the 2014 movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

[embedded content]

When Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang about the mountain in the classic 1967 song, you may be wondering if it was Mount Rushmore, the Rocky Mountains or Mount Everest there were referring to in the lyrics. As it turns out they weren’t talking about a mountain after all, according to the legend that wrote it.

Feuding Exes Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Call Each Other Out On Stage

It seemed like everything was going really well for Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert lately, but these exes obviously aren’t over their headline-grabbing divorce.

Last year, Lambert earned a pair of Grammy nominations, and Shelton was named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, but the two would apparently rather focus on the past.

Shelton and Lambert in 2015.WireImage

The country music super-couple split in 2015, after being married for four years and together for another six. While they’ve both moved on since then – Lambert is dating country star Anderson East, while Shelton is with fellow Voice judge Gwen Stefani – they’re still not above taking potshots at each other.

At a recent tour date in Greenville, South Carolina, Lambert made a jab at Shelton that only her biggest fans could spot.

During her song “Little Red Wagon,” Lambert changed the lyric “I live in Oklahoma” to “I got the hell out of Oklahoma.” Fans realized she was referring to Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where Lambert lived with Shelton during their marriage.

It was a pretty sneaky reference to her former beau, and Shelton didn’t hesitate to fire back at his own concert the very next night.

You Probably Didn’t Know A Very Famous Actress Inspired “Midnight Train To Georgia”

In 1973, Gladys Knight & the Pips released “Midnight Train to Georgia” and it instantly became a chart-topping hit that helped the group earn a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus.

While Knight made the song her own and turned it into one of the most recognizable tunes, its origins are far more interesting than many of us know.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v78-ftcqpNw?feature=oembed]

The hit song was written by singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly in 1971 under the title “Midnight Plane To Houston.”

Weatherly, who was also a former football quarterback, said he wrote the tune as “kind of a country song.”

“Then we sent the song to a guy named Sonny Limbo in Atlanta and he wanted to cut it with Cissy Houston… he asked if I minded if he changed the title to “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Weatherly explained. “And I said, ‘I don’t mind. Just don’t change the rest of the song.'”

The Tennessean

Believe it or not, that’s not even the most mind-blowing part of the story of how the song came to be. Weatherly’s song was actually inspired by one of his friends and their girlfriend at the time, who happened to be one of Hollywood’s most popular leading ladies.

“White Christmas” Is Actually A Very Sad Song And The Story Behind It Is Heartbreaking

Unlike upbeat Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells'”and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” America’s most popular Christmas carol, “White Christmas,” is much more mellow.

The melancholic song was first played on radio during the Kraft Music Hall show (that’s right, it was sponsored by the food company) on Christmas Day, 1941, featuring Bing Crosby’s unmistakable vocals.


By the following year, the song was played by the Armed Forces stationed overseas to remind them of home. When Crosby finally recorded the song for distribution in 1942, he toured military bases to perform for the American troops. However, he noticed that it made them somber.

“I hesitated about doing it because invariably it caused such a nostalgic yearning among the men, that it made them sad,” the crooner said in an interview. “Heaven knows, I didn’t come that far to make them sad. For this reason, several times I tried to cut it out of the show, but these guys just hollered for it.”

From then on the song sold more than 100 million copies worldwide to become the best-selling Christmas song of all time, and eventually made it into the Guinness World Records as the best-selling single ever, a title it held until Elton John re-released Candle in the Wind in 1997.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9QLn7gM-hY?feature=oembed]

Although the song was played during a happier time, it did hit the airwaves just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked, but that’s not exactly why the soulful tune gave listeners a sense of deep longing.

The song’s sad back story dates all the way back to 1928, and was inspired by a loss that its composer, Irving Berlin, experienced.

22 Of Music’s Biggest Names Release Their Emotional Charity Single For Puerto Rico

Earlier this week, President Trump visited the tiny U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

More than 90% of Puerto Rico is still without power.NBC News

The massive storm killed 34 people, leaving more than 90% of the island without power as many residents struggled to find clean drinking water. In the aftermath of the disaster, 20 of Latin music’s biggest names came up with a heartwarming way to support the island.

Last week, Lin Manuel-Miranda, the star and composer of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, starting teasing a new charity single as he urged his fans to donate to relief funds for the island.

He calls the new song “a love letter to Puerto Rico,” and reveals he taped an early demo for the song in a bathroom at 3 a.m. while on vacation in Austria.

He also recruited an all-star group of actors and musicians connected to Puerto Rico, including Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Fonsi (the “Despacito” singer), Gloria Estefan and actor John Leguizamo.

After teasing snippets of the song on Twitter all week, the full version has finally been released…

Madonna’s Son Looks So Grown Up Singing One Of His Mother’s Hit Songs

In 2008, Madonna adopted a son, David Banda, from the poverty-stricken southeast African country Malawi.

The “Material Girl” singer, who usually keeps her private life on the low, attracted widespread attention when she showed up at the 2014 Grammy Awards with a then-eight-year-old David in matching outfits.

Harper’s Bazaar

Aside from their sense of style, Madonna and David have a lot more in common. On multiple occasions, the pop star has taken to social media to share photos and videos of her children, and one thing is for sure: David shares her love for music and dance.

Last year, the “Like a Prayer” singer posted a video of an 11-year-old David singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing while his friend played the piano.

She also shared a video of the pre-teen doing an interpretive dance inspired by his African roots. The proud mom captioned it, “Dance to Mother Earth part 2! Alleluia.”

David is now 12 years old and a whole lot taller than when we first saw him. He has also refined his singing skills and there’s an adorable video to prove it.