« »

Complicated Cortex Action

I’ve been somewhat annoyed ever since our Editor Extraordinaire announced this topic. First, because all I could think about is that Meryl Streep movie with the same title. Second, because that Avril Lavigne song “Complicated” has played on repeat in my already overtaxed brain. Don’t even ask why I know the words to that song to begin with.

But why do songs get stuck in our heads?

Apparently, these pests are called “earworms.” And according to howstuffworks.com, they trigger a part of our brains called the “auditory cortex,” eliciting a brain itch that’s similar to a mosquito bite. The more we try not to think about the song, the deeper it gets lodged into our heads.

Let’s try an experiment.

“I want my baby back baby back baby back…”

Were you able to identify what company’s commercial this little ditty is from? Is this earworm now lodged in your head? (If so, you may commence mentally throwing rotten tomatoes at me right now.)

As with almost anything that has to do with our brains, researchers don’t know why certain songs get stuck in our heads.

My sister’s most common earworm is “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”

My best friend has two: “Yellow Submarine” and “A Wonderful Christmas Time”

So what about you, dear readers? What jingles or songs inevitably earworm their way into your brains? Share them in the comments, so we can all get annoyed with you, and then pass the contagious nuisances to those around us. Today, at your workplace and at home—wherever your days take you—go around singing “I want my baby back baby back baby back.” I guarantee you will be loved by all. Spread the joy that earworms bring!

P.S. If I ever start a band, it’s going to be called “Complicated Cortex Action.” It sounds dirty, but it’s not.

12 responses to “Complicated Cortex Action”

  1. BB222 BB222 says:

    "Too shy shy, hush-hush eye to eye, too shy-shy….hush hush eye to eye!"

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      Ooh, that's a good one! Although I always thought they were saying "aye-do-why"–whatever that means.
      One of my other 80's earworms is "Safety Dance" by Men at Work: "We can dance! We can dance! Everybody look at your hands!" (Although my sister and I still argue over whether or not they say "hands" or "dance." I think it's hands, although pants is more fun…)

  2. Avatar WreckedUm says:

    "Free Credit report dot com…Tell your something tell your something tell your mom…"

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      Ah! I hate those commercials! Every time they come on, I can't grab the remote and hit mute fast enough. Without the music though, I confess that I find the Renaissance festival one funny. But that's probably because I'm waiting for someone with a cart of corpses to wander through, ringing a bell and shouting, "Bring out yer dead!" :0)

  3. Avatar guesswho says:

    "wake me up before I go go"

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      Jitterbug! Ah, guesswho, you just put the boom-boom into my heart…
      Any song with Wham! gets me. The only thing my husband dislikes about the Christmas season is me incessantly singing, "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. The very next day, you gave it away…"

  4. Avatar tee says:

    For the last three months its been
    "… a ride on your go-go stick. Let's play a love game, play a love game…." and that is the ONLY LINE I know from that song… and it goes over and over and over and over…. and well you get it now… and what's worse? I see the video in my minds-eye… Damn that Lady Gaga

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      Lady Gaga's songs are certified earworms. And I know what you mean about that song. For a good two months, those were the only words I knew as well. I finally forced myself to learn other words, so that if it got stuck in my head, at least I didn't keep singing about "disco sticks" and "love games."

  5. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    I often cry myself to sleep for weeks when this shit catches me unaware….

  6. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    oh yeah, they've helpfully brought out a new one:
    I fucking hate you Amanda….
    I'll need to dine on sleeping pills tonight again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« »
RSS | Contact | Contribute | Login
acbauch123 About acbauch123

Amanda C. Bauch, writer, editor, and teacher, has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and is currently working on a young adult novel and a memoir. In her “free” time, she works as a freelance dissertation editor and formerly served as Assistant Editor for Relief: A Christian Literary Expression. Her short fiction has appeared in Tattoo Highway, Bent Pin Quarterly, The Hiss Quarterly, and nonfiction pieces have been published in Writer Advice, Empowerment4Women, as well as two print anthologies, Tainted Mirror and MOTIF: Writing By Ear. She also won an honorable mention in the 2007 Writers’ Workshop of Asheville Memoir Contest and second place in the 2006 Lantern Books Essay Contest. Her viewpoint often derives from her dysfunctional family history, relationships, Christianity and spiritual issues, and random nonsense.

Read more by this author on 30POV .


December 2010
November 2010
On My Honor
October 2010
Witch Hunt
September 2010
If, Then.
May 2010
Small Crimes
April 2010
February 2010
"It's Complicated"
January 2010