This Isn’t How Earworms Are Supposed to Work

This might come as a surprise to readers who haven’t heard this story yet, but my family didn’t listen to secular music until I was in middle school. Even then it was limited for religious reasons.

We knew a few hymns. We knew a lot about worship music, old folk songs from my parents’ childhoods, and Contemporary Christian music.

We didn’t have cable until I was a preteen. Some years we didn’t own a television at all. Other years we did, but we were limited to the free channels we could pick up with an antenna when the weather was clear. We didn’t have Internet access until I was in high school. Most of the places we lived also weren’t close to any record stores or malls.

It’s hard to imagine that world now. I feel so far removed from it as an adult, but it was all I knew growing up.

When I was old enough to make my own media decisions, I started catching up on the pop culture I’d been completely unaware of as a kid. It happened in a slow, piecemeal fashion. Occasionally I still come across a reference to a celebrity, or a song, or a TV show that most people my age remember but that I do not.

I still hear the religious music of my childhood in my head sometimes. It’s something that I assume happens to everyone, regardless of what kinds of music they like as adults or what they think of the music of their childhood.

Recently I had this song stuck in my head for a few days. The interesting thing about that is that I’ve always thought of earworms as something that mostly happens with songs people hear as children because of the nostalgia factor.

So why is a song that I first heard many years after it was originally released getting stuck in my head in 2015?

This isn’t how earworms are supposed to work!

What assumptions have you made lately that turned out not to be true? What song(s) have gotten stuck in your head recently?

 

 

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