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Sunday, 23 September 2012

I know a song that will get on your nerves... The 'Bibitty Bobbity Boo Incident', and Busted, Evil Of...

Today I wish to address the awful, awful subject of earworms.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is not some kind of parasitic life-form that lives inside the auditory canal.  Do they even exist?  Is there a parasite which infects ears? Oh no, now I've started to think about things that might live in ears - imagine talking to someone and seeing the tip of something nasty poking out of their ear and having to raise the subject of, maybe, rinsing out the ears with Paraquat or similar...

Just imagine... go on....


Urgh.  No.  On this occasion I am talking about those insidious little chants that get stuck on 'repeat play' inside your head. Usually unpleasant (memorably, an entire Science Department spent nearly an entire Christmas term singing the 'Bibbitty Bobbity Boo' song from Cinderella, we were physically unable to stop. Every time someone uttered the immortal words 'Bibbitty Bobbity'...which are not uncommon among those who deal in eyeballs and complicated circuitry, like underfunded Doctor Frankensteins ... there would be a chorus of groans and a communal moan of 'now I'm going to start singing it, again...), usually very, very simple to the point of being almost 'novelty record' ('Shaddupayou Face' was another one), and totally evil.

Somewhere in this world exists a Stock-Aiken-Waterman entity, probably made entirely of ears and tentacles, whose sole purpose in life is to come up with tunes and lyrics which will lodge in the head of unwitting listeners, only to come back tenfold stronger and with the words slightly twisted, in the middle of a dark night.  Who among us has not woken up with their lips moving to a Rick Astley number, previously heard and then forgotten about and yet somehow with the power to render you sleepless, muttering 'never gonna give you up...' into the darkness of another insomniacal night?  Who, triggered by the almost subconscious reading of the word 'capacitor', is not compelled to spend the next forty-eight hours stuck in a loop of singing 'I've been to the Year Three Thousand...', despite not even knowing what a flux capacitor actually is?

Now do you feel ashamed?  Come on, they're, like, twelve or something...

 Now I know, due to what will forever be known as the 'Bibbitty Bobbity Boo Incident', that this isn't just peculiar to me. Others suffer too.  There is even, somewhere, a website dedicated to the Earworm.  No, go and find it for yourselves, I'm not going there, I'll probably end up singing nothing but pre-teen chants for the next ten years....

BIBBITTY BOBBITTY BOO!  Oh, damn....

9 comments:

Liv T said...

I can remember getting the song that accompanied the McCain chips ad. getting into my brain. Can't remember what it was now, and please God, I won't.

Jane Lovering said...

I won't try to remember for you, Liv. I understand the misery all too well. It's even worse when it's a song where you don't know all the words and are doomed to repeat the chorus over and over and over and over...

D.J. Kirkby said...

My husband suffers from this (and the rest of the family by proxy) to the extent that he wakes with a 'song of the day' running rampant through his head. And out of his mouth. Repeat endlessly....

Guernsey Girl said...

This really made me laugh, Jane. Have just finished your book,Please Don't Stop the Music, a wonderful bitter-sweet tale. Congratulations on your continuing success.

Jane Lovering said...

DJ - I'm the one that does it in this family. My 'shower recitals' are famous among all those who appreciate good music, as things to get away from. My rendition of Golden Brown (where the intro is far more of an earworm than the song) is notorious.

And Guernsey Girl..or may I call you GG? Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I just hope your visit to my blog isn't followed by an outbreak of Earworm Songs on your lovely island!

Chris Stovell said...

My current earworm is Rudimental's 'Feel the Love'! Fortunately, since I live in the back of beyond, I'm only disturbing a few sheep by 'singing' it. Oh, *looking out of window*, the sheep have curled up in foetal positions all over the field.

Jane Lovering said...

It happens, Chris, it happens. As long as they aren't distressed, you'll probably get away with it!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I now have a new word for those irritating tunes thanks :)

Flowerpot said...

I often get earworm, particularly after choir, but it's a very frequent occurrence in this household!