It happens to all of us, and without warning. You’re happily going through your normal daily routine when some song gets stuck in your head, and it just won’t go away! You have an earworm, and as the song loops endlessly in your head, you know there will be no peace until you can evict it. But how do you get rid of an earworm? Stabbing yourself in the ear is not a good idea, and 4 out of 5 doctors don’t recommend it to their patients. Besides, it doesn’t work. There are only two ways to rid yourself of an earworm, but I warn you: these treatments are not for the faint of heart!

But first, some examples of earworms that I have had in the past year. The first comes from an Icelandic show called “LazyTown” and is one of my wife’s favorites. This is guaranteed to raise the ire of my niece if she hears it playing.

You are a pirate

Here’s a classic song from Sheri Lewis’ “Lamp Chops Play-Along” that just goes on and on because…

This is the song that doesn’t end

Gary Brolsma became a web celebrity when his short webcam video of his lip-syncing to a Moldovian pop song became a hit watched by millions of viewers.

Numa Numa

But the earworm that has afflicted me the most in the past few weeks comes from another non-English song, “Adiemus” written by Karl Jenkins. TPK correctly identified that “Adiemus” was used in the trailer for “Mighty Joe Young” in our video collection. I don’t remember what brought the song to my attention last month, but here’s one of the best versions I’ve found on YouTube: Anastasia Volochkova dancing to “Adiemus.”


These aren’t the only earworms I have been afflicted with, but these ones have nice YouTube visuals for you to enjoy. I said that there are only two ways to get rid of an earworm, but neither cure is fun. The first cure requires singing the earworm until you dislodge it. And do you really want to sing Barney’s “I love you, you love me” song out loud in your office?

The second method often works, but at a price. To get rid of the earworm, you have to dislodge it by inserting another one in its place, even it takes several tries until you are successful. If, after several tries, you still fail to dislodge your earworm, you may have to break out the strongest of them all. If you are brave, you can listen to the sovereign earworm below.

The Sovereign Earworm

Oh, the humanity!

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