Tuesday, April 18, 2017


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?


  1. Hi Cynthia - oh gosh is that where the word ear-worm came from ... what fun and yes I do get ear-worms occasionally ... cheers Hilary


    1. Possibly. I guess then Ohrwurm does have an English equivalent after all.

  2. OMG. Children's tv shows. There are so many earworms. Walking around the house singing the Daniel Tiger theme song. Or 'C is for Cookie'. Now I will be stuck with these in my head all day, lol.

    1. Oh yes, getting those earworms out of our heads is no easy job.

  3. Don't even get me started remembering these. They do stick. Nothing gets rid of them. I'm not even going to try to think what they were.

  4. Yes, children's TV is earworm in the worst possible way. Also, sometimes I get the Hungarian national anthem stuck in my head. Not fun.

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

    1. I guess the best tracks become annoying if they enter your mind and overstay their welcome.

  5. "You sing the dimwitted, outrageous lyrics, even as your sensible mind rejects the lyrics, dismisses them as crap."

    This is exactly what happens when Honey Singh's songs play on the radio!

  6. I agree totally, Anjali. Which is why I make sure I never hear his songs. If someone even mentions his name, I'm out of the room.



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