Tuesday, December 31, 2019

316 earworms

This time last year I blogged about how I wake up with a song stuck in my head almost every morning. For an entire year I wrote down the songs in my journal, and compiled a list. In 2019 I repeated the experiment, curious to see how the soundtrack changed this year, or whether it changed at all. It was definitely a fun thing to do!

Last year there were 306 days when I woke up to music stuck in my head. Usually they are stuck so strong that I keep humming them over and over until I listen to something else. This year there were 316 mornings like this; but while last year's list contained 150 different songs, this year only had 137. There is still no discernible system or reason for which song I wake up to which morning. Some of them I listen to a lot, others I have not heard for years. Songs I like tend to show up, but spaced out over months, rather than in a cluster.

Here is this year's Top 5. Don't judge.

First place, with 12 mornings:
(The Moana soundtrack is still in first place; I woke up to We know the way 8, You're welcome also 8, and Where you are 2 times)

Second place, 11 mornings:
(Yes, this is Scarlett Johansson as a porcupine)

Third place, 10 mornings:
(Yes, I know, the Sing soundtrack definitely stuck with me; I also woke up to I've got faith 4 times, it's one of my favorite songs to walk around the city to.)

Also third place with 10 mornings (sticking to her place on last year's list):

Fourth place, 9 mornings:
(I don't even listen to this one and it still stuck)

Fifth place, 8 mornings:

Also fifth pace, 8 mornings:
(Not counting the Moana songs again; Halsey's Castle, from last year's list, also got 8 mornigs).

+1 I listen to on repeat while walking to work, and yet I only woke up to it once, I don't get it:

I also compared this year's list to last year's. Last year's first place, Little Talks, only got 6 mornings, and the second place songs, Ed Sheeran's I see fire and Demi Lovato's Confident only got 2 mornings each.

It was also interesting to look at soundtracks. As I mentioned before, I woke up to Moana songs a total of 30 mornings this year. Next to them, I really got hooked on The Magicians soundtrack - together with Under pressure from the list above, they were the song of the day on 22 mornings (Take on me 7, Here I go again 6, One day more 1), and countless workdays. I also added some badass blues songs from new favorites Larkin Poe on 15 mornings (Look away 6, Dandelion 5, Bleach blonde bottle blues 4). Hamilton is still alive and well with 12 mornings (Wait for it 6, Alexander Hamilton 4, Someday 1, Satisfied 1).

On the other end of the list there were quite a few WTF moments this year. My "favorite" was a children's camp song aptly titled One hundred purple fake dumplings marching in the desert, which is basically a version of 99 bottles of beer on the wall, and it drives adults nuts. And also, to give a nod to subconscious childhood nostalgia, this:

Thank God I only had to wake up to it once.

I shall continue the experiment in 2020. Can't wait to see how it goes...

Do you often wake up with a song stuck in your hear? What is your experience?


  1. Now that I think about it, yes! This morning was Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had a Boat.”

  2. Based on your blog post last year, I started tracking this for myself. I noticed that most days songs would pop into my head when I brushed my teeth or shaved in the morning. I only woke up with a song in my head 6 to 10 times a month. But based on my log, songs never appeared more than twice! And most of the songs stuck are ones that I enjoy-- no WTF surprises.