Why Music Gets Stuck in Our Head (Complete With Medical Reasoning!)

This is the only thing that should make you hear music. Not your brain. Stupid brain. Do your job.

It happens to me everyday. I’m sure it happens to everyone else just as frequently. You wake up, ready to start the day, when, without warning, a tune you have not heard in the past 10 years pops into your head. Suddenly you find yourself singing Ice Ice Baby or thinking through the lyrics of a Smashmouth song.
There is no reasoning or explanation for it. It’s like you have Pandora on in your head and you accidentally gave every song in the world the thumbs up.
For instance in the past day, my brain has forced me to listen Green Day’s Longview, TLC’s Unpretty, and Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire on repeat over and over. Never the whole song, of course, but just the parts that are repetitive.
It’s enough to make a man go insane.
I went through what I had done in the past few days to see if I had perhaps insulted my brain, causing it to force these unwanted tunes into my mind. I couldn’t remember any major head trauma, so I was back to square one.
Why did I get these random songs stuck in my head?
Fortunately, Al Gore invented the internet for just such an occasion. I immediately grabbed my computer and Yahooed it (Googling it is so overdone). What I found was actually medical reasoning why this would happen.
Apparently, this topic is up for great debate in the medical community, becoming the topic of many studies. It’s priority is definitely below cancer, but it is higher than emptying the bedpans, so you know they’re going to study the crap out of it.
According to Dartmouth University, the brain automatically finishes songs that it hears. This was part of a very important study where subjects were forced to listen to half of the Sanford and Son theme song. Inevitably, every person in the room continued to sing the tune, causing 62% of test subjects to be institutionalized for a phenomenon called “Sanforditis” (The last two sentences are likely not true, but you weren’t there, so you don’t know either).
This has caused an uproar in the research community as several colleges try to explain this phenomenon. The University of Cincinnati has decided that its what happens when our brain is idling, kind of like a computer screen saver, but much more annoying.
Other colleges who weren’t named in the article I read, so we’ll call them Nantucket Community College, say that these songs are thoughts we’re trying to suppress and the more we try not to think about them, the more we do. This creates a never ending unpleasantness loop. It also occasionally leads to a male belting out Kelly Clarkson when he thinks no one is listening, so this idea leads to a lot of fun for everybody.
All I know is my brain better switch to a better station, because if I hear MMMBop again, I may blow it out.

This information came from Discovery Health. To read the actual educational article, click here.


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