Monday, December 31, 2018

306 earworms in 2018

Am I the only one who wakes up with music in her head? This is not a rhetorical question: The people I have asked so far looked at me really weird. And yet I can't help it: Most mornings, when I wake up, there is a random song stuck in my ears. It sometimes sticks with me all morning; other times I listen to something else to chase it away. But whether I like it or not, there seems to be a radio alarm clock in my subconscious. This year, when I started my new bullet journal (don't judge), I decided to write down every morning what my intro song to the day was. And the results are in:

Between January 1st and December 31st in 2018, I woke up with a song in my head 306 times. Monthly, this means between 21 and 28 mornings, so the phenomenon is pretty consistent. July had the most such mornings (28), and February and May had the fewest (21). But this is not really about statistics - this is about the music.

I want to note up front that I have absolutely no control over what music I hum when I wake up. Sometimes it's a song I listened to the day before, but often it is something I have not heard for years, or something I never even liked. Sometimes I wake up with the same song three days in a row, other times I have to hum all morning before I realize where the tune is from. The list is long: There are 150 different songs on it, and while many of them popped up more than once, here are the top 5 most common:

 Top of the list (12 mornings):

Second place (11 mornings):

Also second place (11 mornings):

Third place (10 mornings):

Also third place (10 mornings):

+ My personal favorite to wake up to (7 mornings):

+ When I wake up as a feminist (also 7 mornings):

When I look at albums, the list is a little different: I had a large number of Hamilton songs (Alexander Hamilton 10, Satisfied 7, Wait for it 5), and most of the Moana soundtrack (We know the way 7, How far I'll go 6, Shiny 5, You're welcome 4), as well as a healthy dose of Renaissance dance music and Blackmore's Night (courtesy of my reenactment hobbies). On the other end of the spectrum I had quite a few WTF moments, but the negative record came from the opening of a soap opera that my grandmother used to watch religiously when I was little. The song, somehow embedded in my subconscious, resurfaced to ambush me one morning. Here you go:

I think I'm going to continue with this experiment in 2019, just for the fun of it (maybe my grandchildren will find it interesting one day). In the meantime, the question remains: Am I the only one with built in Spotify, or do others wake up like this too?...


  1. Music has always been such a big part of my life and permeates my brain throughout the day. Sometimes I wake up with music in my head, but in most cases it's something original. Sometimes I'll latch onto whatever music I've woken up with and write it down to create a song. Most of the time (sadly) I forget it or let it recede into the back of my mind to reemerge on another day.

    Your experiment sounds interesting. The songs in my head that are not my own have been the same for many years. They are true ear worms.

    Keep us posted if you make any fascinating self-discoveries related to the music in your head. It must all mean something.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  2. I don't wake up with a song stuck in my head nearly as often as you do, but it does happen. I never thought much of it, I pretty much assumed it happened to everyone haha. Well then...

    I'm thinking I should also keep track of it. If it happens often enough, maybe I'll also share my results. I find stuff like this pretty interesting. :D