The worms go in, the worms go out

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (another book in the Catchy title: Long boring subtitle category), explains why ABBA songs get stuck in your head. Meanwhile, the Earworm Research Institute has some tips on how to get them out.

Comments (12)
  1. John says:

    Was I the only one who thought the title of this article implied it would be about security?

  2. Boris says:

    Does everyone hate ABBA or what? Seriously, what’s wrong with them and their songs? I see this disdain on multiple blogs I follow. Why?

  3. nathan_works says:

    Boris, well, ABBA ain’t no DEVO.

  4. Chris Anderson says:

    You’re right… they’re better than Devo….

    It’s the style of the music, it’s infectuous and popy. I grew up on ABBA. I like ABBA. And I’m still kicking myself for not seeing Mamma Mia! when it came to town. So not everyone hates them. But people usually fall into one categories – love ’em or hate ’em.

  5. Steve D says:

    That Boston Globe article is dangerous.  Don’t start to read it, unless you are prepared to let the mental jukebox let rip with an Abba number or two (on endless repeat) for the rest of the day…

  6. BOFH says:

    From the article:

    Sweden’s fab four (or shall we say "fabelns fyra"?)

    If you do, you are saying literally "the fable’s four".

    How could they possibly arrive at that bizarre translation..?

  7. Mark says:

    BOFH: don’t speak Swedish, but it might be understood as "the four of fable"?

  8. Andreas says:

    @BOFH: Yup, it kind of makes the article a bit surreal. I guess they used an automatic translation tool or something.

    The intended meaning of ‘fab four’ really must be fabulous four which in Swedish would be something like ‘sagolika fyra’, which in wording is related (saga >= fabel) but in meaning quite different.

  9. Xepol says:

    But I don’t wanna get the ABBA songs out – I *LIKE* my ABBA collection!

    Now The Firm’s Star Trekkin – slowly going forward cause we can’t find reverse!

  10. BOFH says:

    Ja, allt är möjligt… I fablernas värld.

  11. Ståle says:

    It’s not a hate / love thing. They’re just totally uninteresting, like eg Britney. In one ear, out the other. Just silly bimbo music, forgotten in half a second…

  12. wtroost says:

    Interesting quote from the article:

    "For some reason, people who worry a lot are more earworm-prone than non-worriers."

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