the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Know What I Feel?

I challenge anyone to listen to this song (mp3 link now unavailable) (“No Culture Icons” by The Thermals) only once and be able to go throughout your once bearable life without singing it in your head EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THE DAY.

After I’d heard the song for the first time I couldn’t help but answer people who’d ask me, “Are you hungry?” with “HARDLY STARVING!!” over and over again. It was funny for the first three seconds and then I wanted to smash my head in with an axe just to dull the banging pain of a catchy song gone horribly wrong.

Now that I’ve heard it three hundred times I lie awake at night beating out the rhythm uncontrollably with my toes. I try to think of sheep but all the sheep in my head are dressed like little emo kids wearing bowling shoes, and each and every one of them are mouthing the words with their little fuzzy sheep mouths like freaky animatronic emo monsters.

What songs are you having trouble getting out of your throbbing, unsuspecting and tender little noggin?

208 Comments
  • bushra

    2003/04/10 at 7:38 am

    pretty tragic, but it’s the theme to the show fimbles. nephew no 1 just loves it. in the wonderful world, in the magical world, of the fimbles. (get that fimbling feeling). i’ll stop now.

  • mbc

    2003/04/10 at 7:42 am

    I thought I had banished it from my brain, but just thinking about songs that get stuck in your head has put the subway clay henry song back in my head. my life is complete.

  • Sheila

    2003/04/10 at 7:42 am

    A commercial for the Foxwoods casino was on the tv this morning… I had just gotten the stupid theme song out of my head…until I came here.
    (“…life is good, life is sweet, have yourself a front row seat…”)

  • christa

    2003/04/10 at 7:43 am

    The most evil thing to do is to start doing the Sanford and Son theme song. It will stay in my head for days and I will start making up words to it.

  • Kristin

    2003/04/10 at 7:48 am

    Oh my god, Shiela, I am so with you. I used to work in Connecticut and that song for Foxwoods came on tv or radio about a trillion times a day. So catchy…so evil….

  • kyle

    2003/04/10 at 8:03 am

    MMMBop has pretty much taken up permanent residence in my brain since 1997. Whenever I need to get another song out of my head, I just start singing MMMBop, and that usually does the trick.

  • Somelier

    2003/04/10 at 8:04 am

    I heard a story on NPR that if you ever get a song stuck in your head you just need to hum ‘The Girl from Impanema’. Evidently it is unique song that breaks all others and . . . it doesn’t stick. Who knew? Try it out. If you don’t know the song – click here for a crappy version (the quickest I could find on google) http://www.glorydays.com/InterActive/
    music/Girl_from_Ipanema.htm

    It worked for me – good luck!

  • Los Feliz freak

    2003/04/10 at 8:07 am

    Right now I’m going through the same thing with “He War” by Cat Power. It’s haunting and catchy all the same time.

  • kavin

    2003/04/10 at 8:14 am

    bang bang bang by groupX. because i’m silly

  • Beers Z Boy

    2003/04/10 at 8:16 am

    I saw The Boss last night, so “Born to Run”, naturally.

  • Anne

    2003/04/10 at 8:18 am

    At the moment? Friggin’ “Copa Cabana” because I read the last comment on yesterday’s post.

    What’s really funny is that I would have said that Foxwoods song too, without even seeing those other comments! Come to think of it, it’s awful close to Copa Cabana….

  • Naaman

    2003/04/10 at 8:18 am

    Wangsta, by 50 Cent.

  • UnderwearNinja

    2003/04/10 at 8:19 am

    God damn Jenny from the Block.
    Wholesome goodness of China Girl.
    God damn Swing Swing.

    Are the ones from recent memory. No matter how long David Bowie is stuck in my head, I don’t get sick of it. But this swing swing shit, and J-Lo, uurrfff.

  • Brooke

    2003/04/10 at 8:20 am

    Phat Planet by FatBoy Slim from Live at Brighton Beach (last song on the cd). It’s the most annoying, repetetive use of an old man singing about some bird of prey flying high….if you have heard the song you know what I mean.

  • Windowsill Wendy

    2003/04/10 at 8:33 am

    Underwear Ninja: That Swing Swing song? My boyfriend used to live with the guys in that band. I’ve had it stuck in my head for like 2 years. uurrfff, indeed.

    The other one is the Goddamn “Goldfish” jingle by Barenaked Ladies.

  • buzzsaw

    2003/04/10 at 8:38 am

    in my head?

    “they’re laughing at you, saw. they’re laughing at you.

    “make them pay, ‘saw. make them pay.”

  • julia

    2003/04/10 at 8:49 am

    holy god. someone wrote “MmmBop” and i’m finished. FINISHED. i can’t even remember the song i was going to write about here. stupid catchy pop!

  • MB

    2003/04/10 at 8:51 am

    “Ready or Not” by the Fugees. Damn Lauryn Hill and her perfectly sung chorus.

  • Chantelle

    2003/04/10 at 8:53 am

    Gordon Lightfoot, anyone? I went through a period of at least 10 days (not sure exactly, as I’ve tried to erase all traces of the memory) in which I could only listen to Seven Island Suite, and when it wasn’t playing in my headphones, it was playing in my head. I mean, I love Gorgeous Gord and all, but I was ready to cry after Day 4.

  • r3

    2003/04/10 at 8:56 am

    I’m going to reveal that I’m an old fart here.

    “Kid Power” was one song that I couldn’t shake–it was the theme song to a cartoon show that aired in the late 60s–early 70s.

    It was a really cute show. 🙂

  • chorizo

    2003/04/10 at 9:00 am

    just last night I was being plagued in a most pleasant way by Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. And I really couldn’t complain, because it wasn’t MMMBop.

  • julie

    2003/04/10 at 9:05 am

    i’m so happy i’m not alone in my ocd neurosis! thank you, heather b. at the moment, i’ve made my own version of “i ran” by flock of seagulls. jimmy van m played a wicked and beautiful (balance) remix of the song at a club a few weeks ago, but i can’t find an mp3 of it yet. so between the remix and the original, i have my own little song and movie (i see a man and he’s running! running and running and running. imagine that!) that plays in my head day and night over and over again.

  • Kimothy

    2003/04/10 at 9:12 am

    Fischerspooner’s Emerge. Just can’t get that driving synth out of my head. Unf, unf, unf.

  • Ariel

    2003/04/10 at 9:12 am

    Current: The Thin White Duke remix of The Faint’s “Conductor.”
    .
    Former: Every single track off of “Justified.” Yes, Justin Timberlake’s legs musta been tired, cuz he was running through my mind for weeks.

  • The Inmate

    2003/04/10 at 9:13 am

    I am so hating myself for having read through all the posts. My head is now the equivalent of a tastelessly stocked jukebox gone horribly out of control. Thanks a yahoo, gang.

  • JC

    2003/04/10 at 9:26 am

    my siblings and i used to torture each other buy singing songs we knew would get stuck in the others’ heads. actually, we still do. i gotta go check out that “girl from impanema” song…

  • tj hooker

    2003/04/10 at 9:26 am

    Prince’s “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker.” Love the song, but I’ll never need to hear it ever again, because my brain can spin it without provocation.

  • chris

    2003/04/10 at 9:28 am

    since i heard this morning that rickey got booted off of american idol last night, i can’t get “ricky don’t lose that number” out of my head. sad.

  • mervis

    2003/04/10 at 9:29 am

    Sadly, I had Mariah Carey’s voice ringing in my head this morning. “Vision of Love”. Oy. I’m now trying to implant ‘China Girl’. Not an easy task, I tell you.
    And Dooce, thank you for what you do here.

  • somnus

    2003/04/10 at 9:29 am

    http://www.emusic.com/cd/10729/
    10729201.html
    april march : chick habit

  • ardenstone

    2003/04/10 at 9:29 am

    The first few tracks from Give Up by The Postal Service. Stupid friends, with their good taste…

  • Yahmdallah

    2003/04/10 at 9:30 am

    “All Apologies” by Nirvana, or “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede with full OOOGA CHACKA chorus/hook are my two aural ghosts. Yeah yeah yeah yeah…

  • Yahmdallah

    2003/04/10 at 9:32 am

    …though come to think of it, lately “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt.1” has nudged its way into the please-stop-playing-in-my-head list. “The name is Yoshimi…”

  • zchamu

    2003/04/10 at 9:35 am

    Right now, I’ve got:
    “let’s dance… the last dance…
    Let’s dance.. the last dance…
    let’s dance.. the last dance…
    let’s dance… the last dance…”

    running over, and over, and over, never getting to the end, just that one single solitary fucking line, over.. over.. over..

  • Julia2

    2003/04/10 at 9:41 am

    R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition”– its just bad news… but it has been in my head for the past 5 days.

  • antisocial diva

    2003/04/10 at 9:45 am

    “everywhere” by michelle branch. once i finish dancing around my office loft to it, i am ashamed. well, okay, maybe only slightly ashamed 😉

  • chorizo

    2003/04/10 at 9:49 am

    yahmdallah is right, yoshimi is like crack.

  • The Drifter

    2003/04/10 at 9:54 am

    I loaded up my iPod a few months ago with a strange conglomeration of music that was only supposed to be the starting point of my 10Gb Xanadu but has turned into perpetual-repeat purgatory because i’m iMac/iBook-deprived, so it’s been a strnge mix that’s strangely light on indie pop and strangely heavy on freedom rock. I dare anyone to take a two-week snapshot of your listening habits and stick to it for three months straight at a 14-hour-a-day job in which the only way to focus is to put on your headphones. Some of the songs that still get cranked:
    “The Loner” – Neil Young
    “The Seeker” – The Who (it always reminds me of Terence Stamp in The Limey, which is really cool)
    “Big Trucks” – Pedro the Lion
    “Make You Feel that Way” – Blackalicious
    “Digging for Fire” – The Pixies
    There’s a pattern there somewhere.

  • yezbick

    2003/04/10 at 9:55 am

    “Mad World” Gary Jules…from the Donnie Darko soundtrack…That and Bad Medicine…

  • nicole

    2003/04/10 at 9:57 am

    come along fool
    a direct hit to the senses,
    you’re disconnected
    it’s not that it’s bad . .
    it’s not that *mumbled*
    it’s just that IT’S ON THE TIP OF YOUR TONGUE AND YOU’RE SO SILENT.
    “fool” – cat power. maybe when i see her tonight my internal dj can finally rest!?!?

  • Todd

    2003/04/10 at 10:00 am

    I moved to Los Angeles almost two years ago and have had “Ventura Highway” by America stuck in my head ever since. At first I rejected this gift seeing as my classic rock pap days were more than ten years gone. Then one smoggy day I was hiking up Runyon Canyon and caught a load of the gridlock on the sad 101. I had to embrace the poor little ditty thereafter.

  • Irk

    2003/04/10 at 10:04 am

    Ever since Trenyce sang it on American Idol on Tuesday night, I’ve had Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” in my head. “‘Cause I’m your laaaaaadaaaaaaaay….”

  • Grace

    2003/04/10 at 10:12 am

    Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot..

  • christine

    2003/04/10 at 10:13 am

    “doot doot” by freur, aka underworld. But I guess it doesn’t help when I have played it about a thousand times the last couple of weeks. At least it’s a good song that’s stuck in my head.
    http://www.artistdirect.com/store/
    artist/album/0,,88963,00.html

  • rosebaby

    2003/04/10 at 10:16 am

    at least you people get NORMAL songs stuck in your head (ok, MmmBop is not normal).

    year round, the most earworm song for me is, quite unfortunately, ‘have yourself a merry little christmas’. the burl ives version from the old rudolph animation tv show they play at xmas.

    god knows why.

    reading all of the comments though has quieted the voices.

  • dooce

    2003/04/10 at 10:18 am

    my head is going to fucking explode with all these songs. i will never sleep again.

  • rickster

    2003/04/10 at 10:23 am

    I’ve got “We all die Young” from the ROCKSTAR soundtrack. Why did I load this into my iPod?? Damn you Steve Jobs and Marky-Mark!!! (I know it’s Mark Wahlberg, but he’ll always be Marky-Mark to me)

  • rickster

    2003/04/10 at 10:26 am

    Dooce, is that you in the Picture on the header/footer?? You look ravishing!!!

  • leandra

    2003/04/10 at 10:27 am

    “All the Things You Said” by TaTu… YOU try to get it out once you’ve heard it. argh. great, now it’s running through my head. crap.

  • jess

    2003/04/10 at 10:30 am

    lately, it’s been alternating between “head to toe” by lisa lisa & cult jam, and “bobby’s girl” and that oldies song “bobby’s girl” (once covered by tracey ullman!)

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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