Afternoon Inquisition

AI: tormenting songs

During exam time, Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five would torment me.

It was like a audial hemorrhoid. Through essay writing and problem solving, “Working nine to five what a way to make a living!” would swim around my head for hours. Relentlessly.

What song torments you?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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  1. Every few weeks “Milkshake” by Kelis will get stuck in my head for a few days. I can’t even begin to explain my level of loathing for the lyrics.

  2. The Macarena – I f*cking hate it.
    And ‘How You Remind Me’ by Nickelback – actually that’s a bit of a guilty pleasure.

    Most haunting song ever? I’d have to go for ‘Into Dust’ by Mazzy Star.

  3. I hold a deep and abiding hatred for the song “The Reason” by Hoobastank. I can’t explain why, I just absolutely hate that song. It doesn’t help that when it was new the radio station played it over and over and over and over…


    and right around the time the radio stations stopped playing it all the time, my stepsister decided that it was, “like, totally her and her son’s song!” so then she started playing it…

    Over and over and over and over…

  4. Whenever I get a tune stuck in my head, all I have to do is start humming “It’s a small world, after all” and it drives everything else out!

  5. The name for the condition is Earworm, which we stole from the German Orhwurm, although I think that is a common name, not sure what the scientific name for it is.

  6. And I do get song stuck in my head on occasion (once it was a Wham! song for almost a month), but I think my Tinnitus is far more annoying to deal with.

  7. “My Name is Luca” gets stuck in my head worse than any other song. Today though it’s Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”. And when Steely Dan comes on the radio I can’ t change the station fast enough.

  8. For me, it’s got to be Queen’s version of the Flash Gordon theme [link]. Whenever I hear that song, it’s guaranteed to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Not that I’m complaining…

  9. When I was suffering through adolescence, it seemed like 90% of the music I overheard was on the verge (or over the verge) of causing me physical pain. But after adolescence ended, I found the painfulness of music I didn’t like steadily going down and down. A few years ago it reached the point where the worst that music could be was merely boring. Even that dreadful song by Rick Astley.

  10. Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” has tormented me for years. Once it starts running through my head it is there for days. Often the sign at the bagel shop down the street advertising “hot bagels” is enough to start it coursing through my brain meat. And of course, by writing this it is now playing in my head. Dammit.

  11. I have had the song from “My Neighbor Totoro” stuck in my head off and on for years.

    My husband also recently acquired a piano and has been attempting to learn how to play it. I think if I hear “Heart and Soul” one more time, that thing is becoming kindling.

  12. Spanish Stroll by Mink DeVille. If I hear it, I can’t get it out of my head for days.

    I remember back in 2002, waking up to it on the radio. The next day, having changed the radio station on my clock radio the night before, I woke up to it playing on a completely different radio station – for a second I thought I was in Groundhog Day.

    It was then played twice on two completely different radio stations when I was at work, and was playing in the record store when I went there after work. It felt like the fucking song was stalking me.

    I used to to like it too…

  13. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, there are plenty of songs that torment me, but the worst, bar none, rising like a stinking, worm-eaten zombie from the dank depths of my mind, wanting nothing but to feast on my sanity, has got to be Cyndi Lauper’s bizarre ode to masturbation, She Bop.

  14. The Distance by Cake is one of the most annoying songs I’ve ever heard.

    I also deeply despise everything I’ve every heard by Soulja Boy. There are talented rappers out there but he is not one of them. I find his ‘songs’ mindlessly repetitive and irritating beyond belief.

  15. GET IT OUT!

    So I put my hands up
    They’re playing my song,
    And the butterflys fly away
    Noddin’ my head like yea
    Movin my hips like yea
    I got my hands up,
    They’re playin my song
    I know im gonna be ok
    Yea, It’s a party in the USA

  16. Anyone here watch Doctor Who? Well in the new series, the role of Rose is played by Billie Piper. My friend and I were chatting about Barrowman’s (Captian Jack) singing career and she told me that Billie Piper was some sort of pop star. Needless to say, Youtube was quickly put to use. We watched her video “Because we want to.”
    To my horror it was like the worst kind of kids bop catchy tune. And no one who has been exposed to it that I know can keep it from popping unwanted into their heads every once in a while.
    My friend hums the tune to torment me every once in a while, then laughs while I glare at her.

  17. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I take a look at my life, and realise there’s nothing left.
    ‘Coz I been (something) and blasting so long that,
    Even my mama thinks that my mind is gone.

  18. From the late great Shari Lewis:

    This is the song that doesn’t end,
    It just goes on and on, my friend.
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
    And we’ll continue singing it forever, just because…

    This is the song that doesn’t end,
    It just goes on and on, my friend.
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
    And we’ll continue singing it forever, just because…

    This is the song that doesn’t end,
    It just goes on and on, my friend.
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
    And we’ll continue singing it forever, just because…

    This is the song that doesn’t end,
    It just goes on and on, my friend.
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
    And we’ll continue singing it forever, just because…

    This is the song that doesn’t end,
    It just goes on and on, my friend.
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
    And we’ll continue singing it forever, just because…

    Repeat until dead…

  19. There was this awesome shortcut I used to take every day that was basically an alley behind a gas station, but for some reason it had a name, and that name was… Chantilly Lane. Anyone who is not now singing that dammed Chantilly Lace song now is much luckier than I was for an entire year. But it was such a good shortcut…
    “Chantilly Lace and a pretty face and a pony tail, hanging down, and a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk…”

  20. Total Eclipse of the Heart.

    Haven’t heard that song in years. Wouldn’t know half the lyrics with a gun to my head. But lately, it’s been haunting me. When it comes up, I can’t shake it for hours, even days.

  21. I just saw a couple of episodes of the 80’s BBC series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I can’t get the theme song out of my head.

  22. Those girly sounding Korean pop music that my brother listens to. It is so annoying! Then, when it gets stuck in my head, I feel like I am being prickled by a thousand needles in my head. I try to get it out, but then it comes back. It is horrible. Oh, and someone mentioned the stupid lollypop commercial, and yeah. That happened to me too.

  23. “I’m sailing away….set an open course for the open sea…

    I’ve got to be free… to facet he life thats ahead of me….”

  24. Ah, the songs from The Jukebox from Hell.
    You’re Havin’ My Baby
    All By Myself
    The Theme from Bridge on the River Kwai
    Tonight, I Celebrate My Love For You
    If you don’t know any one of these, do yourself a favor and just let it be. If you don’t know ANY of these, consider yourself lucky.

  25. What ever I listen to last tends to be stuck in my mind. Of course, that means I’m usually singing something Inappropriate or Silly or usually Both. I have been known to walk around my office humming Tits and Ass from Chorus Line.

  26. “My Hump”. Don’t know, don’t care who performs it, but everytime I start looking for a singular object belinging to me, I ask about its location with that tune in my head…

    My cup
    My cup, my cup my cup
    my hot for coffee cup.

    MAKE IT STOP!!!!

    Bear in mind, most of the music I listen to has been banned by the Geneva Conventions for being tortuous.

  27. The oldies station that used to play over the loudspeakers at my old job seemed to play the Mamas & Pappas ‘Monday’ like the world would end if they didn’t. It got the the point where I would switch off the radio if it came on. That song is like the equivalent of eating glass for my eardrums

  28. I had to play Mozart’s 16th Piano sonata in C Major for a recital when I was a kid.

    Whenever I get particularly anxious it pops back into my head.

  29. Oh, BTW, Dolly Pardon’s 9-5 has been deemed by an Australian blog for the GLBT community as one of the “50 gayest songs of all time”. I may only have 5 of them, but at least they are all pretty high on the list….wouldn’t want my card to get pulled.

  30. Bar trash music. I don’t go out much but every time I got out I’ve got some gravely out of tune douche bag tying to tell me how much his life sucks. Waking up with a nickleback song in your head is worse than any hangover.

  31. @Anthony: You know, I like Lady Ga Ga. The girl can sing, and she actually writes her own songs, and has a huge hand in her shows (unlike most pop stars). She is crazy and talented. But even I would get annoyed if my date sang along to every Lady Ga Ga song.

    At least it’s not Britney Spears. I cannot stand her. And I like pop!

  32. A good friend of mine and I sometimes email each other snippets of annoying song lyrics. The object is to get the most annoying song possible lodged in the other’s brain and drive them insane.

    Our last round went back and forth for about five volleys, until I reached for the theme from “The Love Boat”. We called a truce at that point.

    I’ll be watching this topic carefully and taking notes. It might be time to re-load all tubes and blind side him again!

  33. @Gabrielbrawley: No one realises how, frankly, sh*te pop had become before Nirvana. We were listening to Wet,Wet,Wet and Rick Astley for crissakes!

    Anyway, some teenagers overhead me listening to Nevermind on the tube the other, and I distinctly heard them saying something along the lines of “Old fogey music” as they got off.

    The cool kids think Nirvana is “fogeyish”. Which shows kids today have had the minds melted by listening to Fallout Boy and they like

  34. DAMN! how has no one mentioned the addictive awesomes of Tim-Fscking-Minchin? everytime someone mentions his name i get tormented (in a good way [DAMMIT}]) by his voice in all the YouTube videos i’ve watched. Also i know almost all the lyrics to his 9 MINTUE BEAT POEM!!! ARGH!

  35. I’m never really tormented by earworms. Definitely not to the extent I can mention any particular song. I was going to pick one at random, but I forgot it while scrolling down through all the other comments.

    Wait, I remember again:

    Onward Christian Soldiers
    Marching as to war!

    I love M*A*S*H

  36. Also. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else but I’m willing to admit that sometimes immediately after sex a part of a song will pop into my head right after orgasm. I think I’ve got some wires crossed upstairs. I blame being dropped on my head as a child. More than once.

  37. @russellsugden: Oh I remember, one week I’m listening to Queensrhych and thinking that operation mindcrime was a work of genius and then Nirvana. 15 years of mind numbing bublegum pop and it was like waking up after a really bad night of drinking.

    Of course they caused imitators of suberb crapituted like Stone Temple Pilots

  38. Any of the endlessly repeated ditties on Sesame Street. Dear God, I hate “Elmo’s World”. As an added bonus (for those without young children) the end song of Elmo’s World everyday is the theme of the day (today was “mouths”) sung to the tune of Jingle Bells played on a toy piano. My least favourite Christmas song, on a tiny toy piano. “Mouth mouth mouth, mouth mouth mouth” I want to pierce my own eardrums. One filler song they have is “I’m a little airplane” with kids running around pretending to be airplanes. It features the disturbing chorus “Wang wang, wangity wang” and is in my head for days.
    Thank God for the Barenaked Ladies’ kids CD. Saved my sanity!

  39. “Play that funky music white boy” song. I’m not sure I hate it but I’m pretty sure its the muzak playing when I’m dreaming because I wake up and its lingering in the back of my thoughts still playing over and over and over…and pretty soon I’m humming it. Okay, I changed what I said, I DO hate it!

  40. The song that gets studk in your head and won’t go away doesn’t have to be some awful corpo-pop from the radio…

    Some years ago I got to my day job early and the recptionist asked me to duck round to the 7-11 on the corner and get some sugar for the tea. On the way I started thinking “sugar, tea, sugar, tea”


    Yes, I had “Drill ye Tarriers, Drill” going around and around in my head all day, and, since one 29th-Century song about Irish-American railroad workers naturally leads to another, I spent my drive time from job #1 to job #2 belllowing “Patsy ory ory ay” at the top of my lungs and nearly going crazy trying to remember what the Hell came after “Eighteen hundred and ninety-nine”.

    Having been a little kid during the commercial folk revival of the early sixties does have its little drawbacks.

  41. I am shocked and appalled that only one other person has mentioned christmas songs. Particularly awful is that “Jingle All the Way” instrumental. If you don’t know it, it goes like this:

    da, da, da, da-daa, dee-da-dee, da-daa, dee-da-dee, daaaaaaaaa…

    This is why I loathe the holiday season, because you cannot get away from the music. Plus, many of the famous christmas songs were written by great composers, such as Irving Berlin, and are insanely catchy, so you invariably end up humming them or hearing them in your head.

    Try working retail during the holidays for 5 years like I did and you will know my pain.

    BTW, I grew up an agnostic jew in a very christian town, which just added insult to injury.

    Oh, and Madonna’s “Lucky Star.” Argh!

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