Music, they say, is a work of art
that enters your ears and touches your heart.
Not that that’s always a positive experience.
So often you encounter a song that you hear once and then no matter what you do, you can’t get it out of your head.
Before long, you find yourself powerless, held completely in the control of that song, whatever it is.
That’s the essence of the German word, Ohrwurm, literally Ear worm. Ohrwurm describes a song that is stuck in your head so firmly that you can’t get rid of it. It is almost as if it were a worm that has entered your brain through your ear, and now it has taken over your mind.
You hum it in the bathroom, at work, at school, in the middle of a crowded street.
You sing the dimwitted, outrageous lyrics, even as your sensible mind rejects the lyrics, dismisses them as crap.
But still you sing it, again and again, until you succeed in annoying those around you too.
It grows roots in your mind, playing on loop, and you wonder if you will ever get it out. If Ohrwurm will ever lose its hold on you.
It’s much worse when the song in question is an annoying one. You’re still trapped, unable to get it out of your head.
In fact, the power of Ohrwurm lies in the fact that it is an annoying song. If it were something you liked, you might not hate it quite so much.
Have you ever had an Ohrwurm?