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WARNING Do not read beyond this point

On Sunday, on the way back to Baltimore after returning my son to St. John’s College in Annapolis, I stopped at a Wendy’s for a quick meal. The music being piped into the restaurant was “Something Stupid” — and no popular song was ever more appropriately titled. For the past two days, that song has stuck in my head and WILL NOT GO AWAY.

The term for this phenomenon, the irritating scrap of music that plays relentlessly on a loop inside one’s head is earworm, which English borrowed directly from the German Ohrwurm.

The phrase from “Something Stupid” afflicting me is “And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like ‘I love you.’ “ Holding love for two beats is particularly saccharine.

I have concluded that my only escape from this torment is to pass it on to someone else. So, if you are too young to have heard this song, you’re safe. If you are of my generation, your doom is sealed.

I warned you not to read further.



Posted by John McIntyre at 8:22 AM | | Comments (15)


Easily fixed.

Duke, duke, duke, Duke of Earl, duke, duke.

[JEM: Oh, DAMN your eyes, Livingston.]


And here I am thinking the only cure is "Skyrockets in flight..."

It is safe to read this if you happen to be listening to other music on headphones at the time. Frank & Nancy SInatra can't penetrate the Clash.

The cure is worse than the disease, but may I offer Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun."

I was just over a friend's house helping him build a tiki bar on his back patio. His wife had the job of keeping the music playing in the background and has lots of mixes that she created.

Well, Seasons in the Sun comes on and my friend stops to remark "my wife plays the greatest music".

Luckily my sunglasses concealed my rolling eyes.

Re "Seasons in the Sun": Man, there's nothing worse that an awful song that's catchy as all get out.

Mr. McIntyre, you were correct. I should have stopped reading at the headline.

Professor McIntyre, as a former student of yours, I find the real hilarity to be the thought of you ordering from Wendy's.

"Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit"

Try writing a song of your own. Or try learning to play a piece or to accompany a song on an instrument, preferably from memory. Your mind will keep working it over day and night; it will leave you with a stronger impression than anything you may hear in passing. You can choose what you'll be hearing--and change it, when you need to. Take charge!

Ahhh, but nothing tops "Copacabana" ... or practically anything by Neil Diamond.

I'm 25 but love Frank, and I'm listening to some Billy Joel right now and figured I'd get another line stuck in your head: "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints; the sinners are much more fun."

btw...I'm a grad student at St. John's College. That's cool that your son goes there.

Kevin: It's OK. He ordered an hamburger.

Aruba, jamaica ooo I wanna take you
To bermuda, bahama come on pretty mama
Key largo, montego ..........

I used torture my friend's son with this when he was small...

That definitely was my problem after seeing Mama Mia, particularly with "Dancing Queen!"

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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