A month or two back, I caught a very interesting BBC Radio documentary about "earworms" - those songs or snippets of songs that get stuck in your head. There's actually university in the UK that is researching earworms
. They have a form where you can report your earworms. I've yet to report any, partly because in my case paying attention to the phenomenon seems to trigger more songs playing in my head. I'd hate to be the subject of a footnote: "Our data set included approximately 1,763 instances of songs by British gothic metal band Paradise Lost. However, as they were all reported by the same person, we discarded these as outliers."
However, one thing I've found particularly interesting is how often I have a song playing in my head when I wake up. This seems like a particularly "pure" sort of earworm, since it can't have been influenced by the music I've just heard or by some situational trigger. (I suppose it could be influenced by what I've been dreaming about.)
Just for giggles, I decided to track this for a week. Here are the songs I've had playing in my head when I woke up for the past week:
Monday: "Sedative God" by Paradise Lost
Tuesday: "A Kiss to Remember" by My Dying Bride
Wednesday: "Straight to Hell" by The Clash
Thursday: Nothing. I mean, when I poked a little bit and said, "Really, brain? Nothing?" it obligingly coughed up "Xavier" by Paradise Lost. But I don't think that should count.
Friday: On waking from a nightmare, "My Twin" by Katatonia. On waking at my normal waking hour, "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles
Saturday: "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago. (There went all my goth cred.)
Sunday: "My Twin" by Katatonia
The Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Katatonia songs are all ones that I've listened to multiple times this week. It's been a little while since I've listened to The Clash or The Beatles. The last time I voluntarily listened to Chicago was when the original Karate Kid
movie was big.