Busy With a Deadline Today, So Keep Yourself Busy With This Question

Which is:

What is your favorite relentlessly popular song?

By which I mean: The song that everyone knows (or did know, at the time), that took over the world in its day, which may or may not be good, depending on your definition of these things, but which you still listen to all the way through every time you hear it.

Here’s an example from the 80s:

Another, more recent example:

Yeah, you got it now.

So: Share in the comments.


By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

241 replies on “Busy With a Deadline Today, So Keep Yourself Busy With This Question”

[Deleted because it’s not on point to the thread. Folks, if you don’t want to play along, don’t play along — don’t post about how you’re not playing along, however. That’s silly – JS]

It would have to be something by The Beautiful South..maybe ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ or ‘A Little Time’. I heard a theory once that they were either everybody’s second favourite or second worst band. I don’t think it’s true but there is mediocrity and fabulousness to all of their songs and these are definite ear-worms for me.

Call Me Maybe.

When we first started doing Crossfit, that had just gotten big, and would come up at least once per workout, sometimes 2-3 times, so it has lots of positive connotations. I can’t hear it without thinking Crossfit and smiling. That, and it’s a fun, upbeat song. :)

Probably anything 80s Prince. Also 60s Motown.

And aw hell, “Hotel California”. You simply can’t listen to that song without going all the way to the end, singing along and doing air guitar with the solo.

“Wild, Wild West” by The Escape Club. Choice lyrical phrases include “headin’ for the 90s” and “gimme gimme wild west, gimme gimme safe sex.”

The song namechecks Reagan. It’s so bad, but I don’t care. I love her eyes and her wild, wild hair. OH GOD I’M DOING IT TOO PLEASE HELP ME

This is one of those, “Well, well, that’s just like, your opinion, man” things, soooo….”Happy Together” or “Hello Goodbye” are as close to a perfect pop songs as you could get.

This decade: Bad Romance. The 80’s (my people!): Karma Chameleon (sorry!), Culture Club. Stand and Deliver, Adam Ant. Love Shack by the B-52s. And Walk of Life by Dire Straits.

The Bad Touch by the Bloodhound Gang. So lame, so nasty, yet so catchy. Flag Pole Sitta – Harvey Danger is another one of those one’s that you can’t help but hum out every now and again; Yellow Submarine…. The Lion Sleeps tonight….

Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh…..

for pure earworm enjoyment, Hey Jude by the Beatles has always been a favorite of mine. (dating myself, but I remember that when our local radio station named it the best song of the year my sister disagreed, saying it was too simple. To which I replied, yeah and it just keeps playing in your head.

Favorite must-listen? Had to call; here’s some older ones that might be overlooked:

“City of New Orleans” – Arlo Guthrie
“Stand By Me” – Ben E. King (a bit of a cheat, as it’s our wedding song)
“Montego Bay” – Bobby Bloom or the Amazulu cover
“She Bop” – Cyndi Lauper
“Iko Iko” – The Dixie Cups
“Beat Goes On (Switch Into Glide” – The Kings
“Swan Lake” – Madness
“There She Goes” – The La’s or Sixpence None the Richer
“We Almost Got It Together” – Tanita Tikaram

But if forced, I’d go with:
“Gorilla You’re A Desperado” – Warren Zevon

From the 90s: “It wasn’t me” by Shaggy. (which is pretty terrible but amuses me.)
“Laid” by James.

From this century: “Golddigger” by Kanye West.

Oh joy, an earworm thread.

“Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes
Not sure if it counts as relentlessly popular, but Wikipedia says it hit number 1 for a couple of weeks, and I still love the song and it’s freaky video.

Large chunks of the hits from late ’83 to probably about ’95 probably also qualify. Less so by the ’90s, since I was pretty much only watching Headbangers Ball by that point.

the most pernicious instance of what you describe is Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey – not only will I listen all the way through but I will SING all the way through. No matter where I am.

I am also a completionist about Toxic by Britney Spears, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police, and Bang Bang by K’Naan.

Hmm – most of my popular music listening takes place at the gym, so I tend towards either club music or contemporary Bollywood songs (which is suspect few people here would recognize). Off the top of my iPod, I’d say:

“Blow”, Ke$ha
“Born This Way”, Lady Gaga
“Evacuate the Dancefloor”, Cascada
“Blitzkrieg Bop”, The Ramones
“Poison Arrow”, ABC

So, so many options. In the Air Tonight (though really, that only needs to be listened to up to the massive drum riff) or Against All Odds, both by Phil Collins. Another that I’ll actually sit in the car and wait for the end is She Blinded Me with Science.

The following MUST be turned WAY UP when they show up on my iPod:

“Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil.
“Vodka” by Korpiklaani (which I’ve probably mispelled)
“Charm” by Wild Colonials
and the Shostakovich 5th Symphony. Yeah, I have an eclectic musical range, and NO ONE does gut-wrenching emo like the Russians!

All time? I gotta go with “Workin for the Weekend” by Loverboy. That song makes my soul smile.

Last decade, probably “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle

Most recently is “Call me Maybe.” I’ll leave the car on til it’s finished.

“Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle. The first time I heard it was when first arrived at a clubhouse which was to become my home-from-home for the next three years, and it started right on cue as I walked in through the door. Good times!

“Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles would be a close second. Why yes, I did grow up in the eighties ;-)

On the subject of “Take On Me”, there’s a currently popular track which uses the riff from it, and which my ten year old daughter loves. So I played her the original, and she hated it. Kids of today! No, I have no idea what the current track is called or who it’s by.

“Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin by Wagner. Still in use 163 years later.
In Canada, “March of the Priests” from Mozart’s Magic Flute (the composer of our national anthem lifted the tune wholesale). Played at the start of every sporting event.

What are you looking at me like that for? Those were pop songs back in the day!

Walk like an Egyptian. (note: am Egyptian, grew up in Egypt). Thank you ever so much for all the earworms that are buzzing in my head, bumping into each other. I guess I have to go to the grocery store now to listen to the 80s music and relive my childhood.

This century: “Bad Romance” and “Raise Your Glass”. I use both as stay awake songs.
Last centrury: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, in part because I had the pleasure of seeing Queen perform this at the Boston Garden in the late 70s.

@NotSMOF – Shostakovich? Really? Tchaikovsky eats Shostakovich for breakfast and picks his teeth with Stravinski! I’ll put Tchaikovski’s Caprice Italien against any music anywhere. There is only one way to settle this: caviar and champagne at dawn!

You are dead on with the classical emo note; the Russian composers were emo before emo was cool.

Other earmworms – “Hang On Sloopy” by the McCoys, “Green Tamborine” by the Lemon Pipers, “Orinoco Flow” by Enya, “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was), and “Future’s So Bright” by Timbuck3, along with most of Bruno Mars’ stuff.

Lady Marmalade “Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?”
Inspired me to learn French, because I’d heard the words were “naughty”.
Still love to dance to it, though am no longer 13.

A lot of mine have been named already, but:

Girlfriend – Avril Lavinge (She’s SO MEAN but I love it)
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jespen (YouTube has her performing it live on one show or another, and she’s got wonderful energy and a great smile. Also, in that video, her drummer is singing along. You can’t hear him, but the camera caught him and it’s awesome)
Gangam Style – PSY (Also, it goes with everything, like the Ghostbusters theme)

Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. I’m a bass player, so…. Still, blew my mind when the bride to be wanted it tobe played by my band at her wedding reception…. Another fav is Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla. Back when I was working housekeeping at a hotel, and had one of those days when the guests were particularly obnoxious, I would go home at the end of the day and play the bass line to that song while imagining the Big G stomping on the cars that belonged to the biggest jerks I had to deal with that day. Sure helped relieve the stress levels!

I will still sing along to “Livin’ On A Prayer” every time it comes up on the radio, with no shame. I love that song. Embarrassing as it may be to admit, Bon Jovi was my introduction to the entire concept of writing music about people with hard lives, rather than Yay Teenage Love or Yay Jesus; almost all the other music I heard fell into one of those two categories.

Oh, and that Ironic song by Alanis Morisette. Yes. Even though I was an English major. Language changes! It’s a valid use of the secondary and more colloquial use of “irony”! And I love the way her voice works in that song.

I’m shocked to not see “The Final Countdown” on this list. That’s not my song, just shocked.

My must listen to is “Holding Out For A Hero”, heck anything Bonnie Tyler

Another one here for Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jespen. At least, that’s my most recent one because I’m a total sucker for these types of songs, and found myself nodding along to several others people above have mentioned. I used to be embarrassed about it, but now I embrace it because having fun is better than catering to haters. :P Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go play Call Me Maybe and dance like nobody’s watching!

Probably that song by Outkast. I don’t remember what it’s called. Actually, I don’t even remember how it goes but I do remember being completely caught up in it whenever I heard it. And I’m pretty sure I remember Tina Fey and Amy Poehler doing the dance on SNL.

I agree with Neal_with_an_a on “Walking on Sunshine”. That’s a perfect upbeat pop song. I’ll be happy to have that running through my head the rest of the day.

Not on topic, but when my wife and I lived in Norway for a year one of the guys in a-ha lived in the apartment next to us. We rode up in the elevator together a couple times but we never talked to each other.

OMG I love this whole thread. I have a lot of favorites, so I’ll just say “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen because I am from New Jersey and everyone in this state has the lyrics to this song inscribed upon our SOULS.

99 Luftballoons by Nena. Saw someone posted the English version up thread, but IMO the original German is much better. Why yes, I was studying German in High School in the 80s when this was popular!

Walking on Sunshine really does nail it. As do so many others on this thread. The one I still can’t get out of my head though is “Bring the Noise!” By Public Enemy…

Mumbles to self, “Back is the incredible, rhyme animal, dope criminal D!!! Public enemy number…” Oh sorry, was I doing that outloud? Sorry, it was the wax that the Terminator X…sorry sorry….

I came over here to say “Call Me Maybe,” but that’s been done several times. So, instead, I’ll point out that no one’s said “Sweet Caroline” yet.

Also of note: back when many of these songs were popular, a list like this would be fodder for a compilation album (K-Tel, anybody?) Now it’s just impetus to go make my own playlist…

The times, they are a-changin (which, now that I think about it, also belongs on this list…)

Thank you all greatly for building me a new playlist. -)

My Modern Examples
Dance in the Graveyards by Delta Rae
Raise Your Glass by P!nk
The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams

My Classic Examples
Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones
For Once in my Life by Stevie Wonder
Bone Against Steel by .38 Special

From 1970s: “Rasputin” by Boney M
From 1980s: “Poison” by Alice Cooper
From 1990s: “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails
From 2000s — enter the memes: “They’re Taking The Hobbits To Isengard” by Erwin Beekveld
From 2010s — memes continue: “Gangnam Style” by PSY

*sigh* All this sloshing in my skull…

I’m surprised that “Every Breath You Take” by The Police hasn’t made the list yet. That song was EVERYWHERE in the summer of 1983, and it hit during the sweet spot when my musical tastes were just coming together.

Somebody has already mentioned Bolywood here so I’ll just say that some of the ’80s Bollywood songs were perfectly horrible AND should have their own circles in earworm hell.

But yes, coming back to something more people are likely to recognise:
Bachelor Boy – Cliff Richard
Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio version
November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

Many of mine have already been listed, but I have to add
Come Dancing by the Kinks
Life in a Northern Town by Dream Academy
Turn the Page by Bob Seger
Jukebox Hero by Foreigner
No One is to Blame by Howard Jones
to the list of must listen to the end of songs. Almost forgot, 1985 by Bowling for Soup, which explains everything about my other choices.

At first I was feeling really, really old, but since other people put down “Hey Jude,” I can relax a little.
Here are two that immediately sprung to mind and I don’t know why, “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan and “My City Was Gone,” by the Pretenders.

You are an evil, evil, man, for starting the Earworm From Hell Thread.

“Wish You Were Here”, by Pink Floyd.

“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” by Zevon is a great halloween song, totally undanceable to, and kills earworms dead.

Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feelin'” — heard it over and over that summer and still always turned it up. And Amy Winehouse, “Rehab.” Not to mention Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” But my still-gotta-blast it 1980s earworm is “Jump” by Van Halen. It’s the only song of theirs I actually like!

Harry Chapin’s “Better Place to Be” … don’t know if it was ever a mainstream big hit, like his better known ones, but his fans loved it and he even admitted at a number of concerts that it was probably his personal favorite.

And just about anything from the movie version of “Godspell”, in particular “Day by Day”.

It’s harder if I restrict myself to songs that I love but that I don’t think are objectively good*. So with that in mind, and coming up with things nobody has mentioned yet, I’m gonna go with “Santa Monica” by Everclear, “Punk Rock Girl” by Dead Milkmen, and “All the Pretty Girls” by fun.

* for example, I consider the several-times-mentioned “Come On Eileen” to be a great song, in addition to its catchy/poppy/singalong qualities. Other examples of this: “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, “I am the Resurrection” by The Stone Roses, “In My Time of Dying” by Led Zeppelin.

Child of the 80s here, so I remember when MTV actually played like, you know, music! I loved the astronaut planting the MTV flag :) So keeping with the theme, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles is still a catchy tune but probably a terrible song.

Others that are genuine guilty pleasures that I would have never admitted to my high school dude bros at the time:

“Pop Muzak” by M

And of course:
Safety Dance!

The Hallelujah Chorus (Handel)
‘Shang-a-Lang’ – Bay City Rollers
‘Sad, Sweet Dreamer’ – Sweet Sensation
My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust
Teo Torriatte – Queen

(Not saying I liked all these – except Handel and Queen – but they didn’t half stick!)

Roll To Me by Del Amitri. You couldn’t turn on a radio in the UK in the summer of ’95 without hearing it. That takes me right back to the fortnight I spent on the Isle of Wight that year. 15 is a great age :-D I should also note that Justin Currie is still one of only a tiny, tiny number of artists who’ll get me to go actually go out at night for gig.

Knights of Cydonia by Muse is another one I always have to finish. I don’t even like that sort of music usually. Hell, I can’t even define it. It’s kinda dancy and electronic but they have guitars and… trumpets? Whatever. It’s a good compromise when I’m in the car with my brother – I can’t be *totally* lame if I own a Muse album, right?

Sooo many… but here are just a FEW of the “popular” ones I’ll sit in the car, in the driveway, listening to should they come on too close to my destination (and haven’t been mentioned above, to the best I could tell from skimming):

“Baba O’Riley” – The Who (or Blue Man Group — their live cover with Tracy Bonham on vocals & violin is outstanding)
“In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel
“Witness” – Sarah McLachlan (the song AFTER “Angel” on the album. And better.)
“Nothing Better to Do” – LeeAnn Rhimes (a delightfully swampy romp)

There are quite a few more, but they’re either “classics” that everyone regards as such (much of early Yes, for example), or not particularly popular (“Teardrop” by Massive Attack, which was on heavy rotation with me well before it got used as the theme for “House”; “The Ubitquitous Mr. Lovegrove” by Dead Can Dance, “A Talk with George” by Jonathan Coulton, to name a few).

“Friday” by Rebecca Black — don’t necessarily like it, but It. Won’t. Go. Away!!!
“Hurt” covered by Sad Kermit — look it up on You Tube. Johnny Cash did the definitive version IMHO.

I can’t believe just how many songs people have posted that I completely agree with. I turned 18 in ’89 but got into all Queen in about ’87 then fell into a big metal hole. The songs I have to add to the list are:
Metallica – One, it still gives me chills every time I listen after all these years
Soul To Squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just a beautiful song and my favourite band, a band I’ve loved for all my adulthood.
Ministry – Jesus Built My Hotrod. Just because.
Fish – A Gentleman’s Excuse Me. Fond memories of an old friend.

Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues
Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
Donovan – Atlantis, Mellow Yellow, and Sunshine Superman
Led Zeppelin – everything they ever recorded. Yeah. And I’d STILL leave home for Robert Plant…even at our advanced ages!
Still love me some Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me & Love Bites; Duran Duran – Girls on Film & Hungry Like the Wolf
Golden Earring – Twilight Zone and Radar Love

Many already listed (Tubthumping, Rock Lobster, etc.), as well as some where I threatened to hurt myself the next time I heard them (The Final Countdown, anything Whitesnake), but for all time listen all the way through / sing along, there’s:
Play that funky music – Wild Cherry
Last Cigarette – Dramarama
Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
Year of the Cat – Al Stewart
Hi-de-ho – Blood, Sweat and Tears
Hitsville UK – Clash

And at least some of these are *positive* earworms! :)

Someone mentioned the Ghostbusters theme, and now it’s my own personal earworm. “What did you do, Ray?!?” I’m pretty surprised no one has mentioned any of the big movie soundtracks like Star Wars or Batman, or the plethora of TV theme songs. Who can’t identify things like Knight Rider or Hill Street Blues within about 5 seconds of the intro riff?

“Roundabout” on the Fragile album by YES; first seven minute song played on the AM radio stations in a world of 2 to 3 minutes topy forty rock songs. And YES is still touring here 44 years later! Still playing Roundabout, usually as the first encore song.

* Pulls up chair, sits down *

“You Get What You Give,” New Radicals.
“Our House,” Madness.
“Sledgehammer,” Peter Gabriel.
“Where The Streets Have No Name”, U2.
“Summer Breeze”, Seals and Crofts. (It is a good song and it is pretty. Deal with it.)
“Rehab,” Amy Winehouse.
“Somebody That I Used To Know,” Gotye. (You just wait, y’all are just sick of it because it’s recent but you’ll come back to it because it is also a good song, deal with it.)
“Moondance,” Van Morrison.
“That’s All” or “Turn It On Again,” Genesis.

At one time I would also have included “Come On Eileen”, but I broke my foot dancing to that a year ago and so it now has Unpleasant Associations.

Okay, it’s not a “song,” but…George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” closely followed by his “Rhapsody in Blue.” Next week, they may flip-flop. Not many songs really get to me emotionally; these two do. And I’ll listen to them any time.

I’ll second Hey Ya. That some was everywhere in 2003/04 and it never got old. Two songs I didn’t like at the time but have come around on are I Want It That Way and Bye Bye Bye, though I can never remember which is N’sync and which is The Backstreet Boys.

arrrghhhhh!!! How could I forget — two more: Come on Feel the Noise (the original one) by Slade (and no, I’m not going to spell it phonetically or however they did it!) and Rock and Roll, Hootchie Koo by Rick Derringer (with all the drama of Winter not wanting to play it attached :) )

I can’t believe that no one has mentioned the ubiquitous Adele. Rolling in the Deep literally caused me to dance every time I heard it and I heard it A LOT. Many of the songs in this diabolical thread are fighting for dominance in my brain now, but I think Come on Eileen is winning the war. In that same 80s vein, I give you all You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).

Lots of my favorites mentioned above. A few more:
Tainted Love – Gloria Jones (I like the Soft Cell cover)
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Girls just wanna have fun – Cyndi Lauper

And not popular, but I’ll always sit and listen till they end:
King Kong Tonight – Rhoderick Land (…it’s on YouTube.)
Code Monkey – Jonathan Coulton

“Ar Hyd y Nos” – a traditional Welsh folk song, often recycled for various situations (movies, shows, etc.).
I bought a CD in Wales that has a performance by an a-capella men’s chorus – exquisite.

Every Breath You Take by The Police.
Don’t know if anyone ‘s mentioned this song. It was on the charts for months during the mid -eighties. I love it but not for the nostalgia factor but be pause I think its a nearly perfect,seemingly simple and thoroughly creepy love song.

@John Winkelman, I had my first car crash to “White Weddding.”

Here are a couple of semi-obscure ones. I’m not sure if their obscurity makes this post off-topic, but I am occasionally ashamed of loving them:
“Wine, Women and Song” – Whitesnake
“Ca Plane Pour Moi” – Plastic Bertrand
“Wild Side of Life” – Status Quo

I’m old enough that I’m really dating myself here:

Beatles – “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
Kinks – “Summer in the City”
Anything by the Beach Boys
The Left Banke — “Walk Away Renee”
Don McLean – “American Pie”
Pure Prairie League – “Amie”

And then there was the bunch of one-hit wonders who for no known reason became popular. Want to hear the least musically intelligent song in history? Try Question Mark and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears.” You’ll cry to think that it got a LOT of airplay. Fortunately, to contrast that, we had the Zombies, possibly the most under-appreciated musically talented group of its time.

“Walk of Life” by Dire Straits and “Your Wildest Dreams” by the Moody Blues. There was a period of a few months in the spring of 1986 where every other song on the radio was seemingly one of those two tunes.

Several of my favorites already named

American Pie, Don MacLean
City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
Total Eclipse of the Heart, whoever that was
Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper

I don’t see mentioned any Jim Croce – Time in a Bottle or Operator
Peaceful, Easy Feeling – the Eagles
Desperado – I’d go for Linda Ronstadt, but the Eagles would do
Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, Emmylou Harris
Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight, Emmylou Harris
Both Sides Now, Judy Collins
So Far Away, Carole King

How about some John Denver? Rocky Mountain High, anybody? Take Me Home, Country Roads?

Just about everything everyone else has listed here, with the addition of:
Rockit by Herbie Hancock
1999 by Prince
American Girl by Tom Petty
Anything by Meat Loaf
Word Up by Cameo
Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House
Red Red Wine by UB40 (yes, I like that version better)

Purposefully only including songs I was around to hear played on the radio a million times. And the list is in no particular order, and not all-inclusive. I’m sure I could think of more and better ones, but these are just what I think of off the top of my head.

“Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
“Like A Prayer,” Madonna
“Hey Jealousy,” Gin Blossoms
“Mysterious Ways,” U2
“Gold Digger,” Kanye West
“Stronger,” Kanye West
“Your Love Is My Drug,” Ke$ha

Most songs by Billy Joel, but especially “Piano Man”, “The Entertainer”, and “The Longest Time”.
Anything from Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album.
Achy Breaky Heart (yes, I like Billy Ray Cyrus, please don’t hold it against me)
It’s the End of the World by R.E.M.

BTW, I’d never heard the song (nor heard of the artist) you linked to in the second video there.

I always listen through to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band, to see if the radio station is going to do the “son of a b**ch” version or the “son of a gun” version.

Earworms, yes. Worse yet is a feedback loop between earworms and book re-reads — one of my “mind candy” books is a Nora Roberts that uses the lyrics to Love Shack in a pivotal scene. Hear ths song, think about re-reading the book, read the book, need to go hear the song….

Cinnamon Girl
Gone Away
The Acid Queen
Burning for You
Magic Bus (but only the Live at Leeds version (actually, most of the songs on Live at Leeds are in this category for me (once I had a dream of Henry Rollins singing Substitute)))
Sweet Jane
Nantucket Sleighride
Wild Thing (Troggs, although the Ton Loc song is amusing (say what?))

Somebody already said Bohemian Rhapsody and that ‘rickrolling’ song (never gonna give you up). I also liked Stay – Shakespeare’s sister, and Eternal Flame – bangles (I think?) from when I was younger. More recently there’s two Kings of Leon songs Use somebody and Sex on Fire, and Mr Brightside by the Killers. Also might be a Uk only one ( I heard that it didn’t go over too well in the US) Angels by Robbie Williams.

Wow, most of mine have been named already! A special extra mention must be made of Since U Been Gone, though, since I couldn’t stand it back in my high school days when it was all the rage, but now I get this big doofy grin on my face whenever I hear it, because, y’know, nostalgia.

Ones that no one’s mentioned yet:
I’m Yours, by Jason Mraz
Fireflies, by Owl City
All the Small Things, by Blink-182
Billie Jean, by Michael Jackson

And, um, Wannabe, by the Spice Girls *hides in shame*

Oh, I just thought of some more British ones, the verve -Bitter sweet Symphony, Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life, Blur – Parklife, Pulp – Common People and Year 2000, Human League – Don’t you Want Me, Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars, James – Sit Down, Paloma Faith, – New York. Duffy – Mercy. I think I could keep going all night but it’s 1am and I need to go to sleep. No, wait, Savage Garden – Truly madly Deeply, and Natalie Imbruglia – Torn, both aussies. Just one final US one, The Calling – Wherever you will go. Done.

Feel so Close – Calvin Harris
The Fighter – Gym class heroes
Rock the Casbah – The Clash
Luckenbach, Texas – Waylon Jennings
Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet

Oh, there are so many. But if I had to pick the first three that came into my head, they’d have to be “Closing Time,” “Head Over Heels” (the Tears For Fears song), and “Open Up Your Eyes.” (The Tonic song gets bonus points for having a gratuitous cameo by Mick Fleetwood in its video, and I think we can all agree that our daily lives would be that much better if they had gratuitous Mick Fleetwood cameos.)

“Walkin’ in Memphis,” by whoever is singing it this week. I have to listen to it all the way through when it comes on, even though I don’t actually deem it to be all that great. It makes me happy. I have to listen to “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers and “Always” by Erasure, but that’s different, because those are AWESOME.

@NotSMOF, I love you for mentioning Korpiklaani. If you have never watched their video for Wooden Pints, I dare you to view the entire thing without breaking down laughing until you cry. (They do an absolutely awesome live show, too. First place I ever saw people linking arms and dancing around like fools in a mosh pit.) The day Finnish folk metal hits “relentlessly popular” status will be a pleasant day indeed, though.

Wierd. Trying to find that ‘diamond ring mocking bird buy you’ lullaby got me to
Beth Orton, ‘stolen car’ (No!) and
which is awesome, but not a pop song.
So, the one that I almost remember has lyrics about how somebody is gunna buy
more stuff if the birdie don’t sing.
Female voice on what I recall isn’t in the first twenty that youtube suggests.
Oh! Mr. S. was talking about songs, not a song sung by a singer!
‘K. This song:,_Little_Baby

Has to be “You Spin Me ‘Round” by Dead or Alive. I recently attended a ‘reunion’ at a club that my crowd frequented in the 80’s. We’re all old(er) and grey(er), but that song had the dancefloor pumpin’. Pete Burns’ plastic surgery disasters notwithstanding.

My favorite durable songs/tracks of the moment:
“Back on the Chain Gang,” the Pretenders
“Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie,” Jay & the Techniques
“I Got the News,” Steely Dan

Is this a “subtle” way of populating an earworm database?

“I gotta Feeling” The Black Eyed Peas
“Come on Eileen” Dexy’s Midnight Runnners
“Save a Prayer” Duran Duran
“What I am” Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
“Only Happy When It Rains” Garbage
“Hallelujah” Jeff Buckley
“Justified & Ancient” KLF ft Tammy Wynette
“Unfinished Sympathy” Massive Attack
“Kids” MGMT
“Under Pressure” Queen / David Bowie
“This Must Be The Place” Talking Heads
“That’s Not My Name” The Ting Tings
“All I Want” Toad the Wet Sprocket

“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” Kylie Minogue (even the title suggests an earworm)
“Manic Monday” The Bangles
“How Many” Luba (I watched the Canadian music video shows. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to her.)
“Thunderball” Tom Jones
“One Night In Bangkok” Murray Head

“WaterBear” by Mal Webb. Dude has an unfortunately wide vocal range so anyone who sings along ends up out of range at some point. Song is also funny and very hard not to sing along with. I wish I was a waterbear!

“Justified & Ancient” KLF ft Tammy Wynette, white room remix especially. I have the single, with five versions back to back :)

Clash: “Lost in the Supermarket” is one of the not-really-a-hit that I can’t not sing along with when I hear it as muzak.

“Good enough” by Sarah Mclachlan (it’s not something I ever expected to hear in the supermarket but the other day, there it was)

Yothu Yindi – World Turning

Toto – Africa (especially the a cappella cover by Perpetuum Jazzile)

Here’s a few more…

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s — “Zero”
AC/DC — “Back in Black” — basically the whole album
REM — anything, take your pick….
Ministry — “Halloween”
The Plimsouls — “Million Miles Away”
Translator — “Everywhere that I’m Not”
Clash — “I Fought the Law,” ”
Wall of Voodoo “Mexican Radio”
Green Day — “American Idiot” and the entire “Dookie” album
Union Station “The Lucky One”
Most anything off the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack
The Decemberists — “Calamity Song”
Filter — “Take a Picture”
The Arcade Fire — “Suburbs”
The Civil Wars — “Barton Hollow”

Guess my stint in 1980’s college radio shows…..I could go on and on. Love “Call Me Maybe,” much to the chagrin of my children…

John, your appreciation for Journey has brought a lurker to comment. Seriously, I’ve had Steve Perry’s Oh Sherrie chorus worming away in my brain for a week now, and I was never particularly crazy about it the first time around. Make it stop!

On the other hand, strike up some Madness with Our House and see how bouncy we can get.

Pink Floyd’s “Money” – 7/4 time baby!
Crowded House “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – first time I heard this I thought it was a remake of a ’60s song.
and of course – Bohemian Rhapsody

Pink Floyd – Brain Damage/Eclipse
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Supertramp – Goodbye Stranger
Queen – A Kind of Magic, Flash Gordon Theme (Flash! Aaaaah, aaaaaah!)
Eurythmics – Missionary Man
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man
Elton John – Rocketman

Gonna show my age here but WTF.

All Down the Line – The Rolling Stones
Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire
Only the Strong Survive – REO Speedwagon
2112 Overture – Rush
So What – Miles Davis
Tomorrow’s Dream – Black Sabbath
Fall on Me – R.E.M.
Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin

OK, people always say Stairway is the biggest Zep song. Uh-uh. The true fans, the die-hards will tell you Kashmir is the essence, the source of all grandeur and mystery in the universe. That album came out just as I was graduating from high school but they were already playing it on the current tour and there were rumors, rumors of this song that left you crushed and breathless. By the time I hit college, it was taking on anthem proportions. You’d still hear Stairway at the frat houses and dorms but never at the nose-bleed, ear-shattering volume that students would crank Kashmir. When I finally saw the gods live on the ’77 tour, there was an actual split second after the song ended where the audience had to collect its collective breath when the last note sounded. You can’t shake a song like that.

Wow, this has been a trip through earworm heaven (or is that hell?) Many of mine have been mentioned, but here are a couple more:

Closing Time—Semisonic
Voices Carry—Til Tuesday
Tom Sawyer—Rush
Chasing Cars—Snow Patrol
Meeting Across the River—Bruce Springsteen (It’s practically the only song on Born to Run that’s not a hit, but it’s still the one I won’t turn off until it’s done).

Oddly enough, it’s the killer instrumental breaks that hook me, e.g. Walk of Life by Dire Straits, or I Don’t Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats. Oh, and Kim Karnes’ Betty Davis Eyes.

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned these few… (and yes, I’m dating myself…)
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Suzy Q
James Taylor’s Fire & Rain
Jackson 5’a ABC
Eric Clapton’s Layla
Boston’s More Than A Feelin’
Foreigner’s Fool for the City
Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing
Fine Young Cannibals’ She Drives Me Crazy
Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburger In Paradise
I’ll stop now. The earworm’s are devouring my brain.

A couple more that I’ve remembered:

I’m A Believer, by The Monkees (or the Smashmouth cover, I won’t be picky)
Tiny Dancer, Elton John (this one drove me crazy as a kid because it was ALWAYS playing on my mom’s preferred radio station in the car, but then I grew up and became an actual Elton John fan, so now I love it.)

And to the people who mentioned 500 Miles, Fire & Rain, Smashmouth’s All Star, and Perpetuum Jazzile’s Africa cover: YES.

And then there is Somebody That I Used to Know, which I fell in love with after hearing Pentatonix’s a cappella cover. If you haven’t heard it, seriously, go listen to it. It’ll change your life.

And then there is Somebody That I Used to Know, which is a decent song, but what really made me love it was Pentatonix’s a cappella cover. Seriously, go listen to it. It’ll change your life.

My kids, 9 and 6, love “Take On Me” and the video. We all felt pretty down when I dug up the sequel and it turns out that the couple from “Take On Me” have to break up forever or he’ll die.

My completionist songlist definitely includes “Take On Me.” Also “Hope Eyrie,” each part of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, , “That Ain’t Workin’,” “Dawson’s Christian,” “I’ll See Your Six,” “500 Miles,” and “Solsbury Hill.”

Fleetwood Mac – Don’t Stop
Boston – Foreplay/Longtime
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Def Leppard – Armageddon It
Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated
Living Colour – Cult of Personality
ZZ Top – My Head’s in Mississippi
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Superstition
Ke$ha – Tik Tok

This is a hard one, since I almost always have something playing in my head… A lot of mine have been already mentioned, so I won’t repeat deliberately. One that hasn’t been mentioned is “Lean on Me” – I have no idea who did the first recording, but that’s the one I hear in my head usually.

Yes, this thread is earworm hell. That’s OK though. I second all of the ’80s songs. Here are some I haven’t seen yet. I crank these when they come on the radio and usually sing along. And yes, I’m easy. :-)

From last century:
Copacabana by Barry Manilow
Anything from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Vogue by Madonna
She Drives Me Crazy by The Fine Young Cannibals
Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by The Spin Doctors
Two Princes by The Spin Doctors
Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong by The Spin Doctors

From this century:
Some Nights by Fun.
Too Close by Alex Clare
I’ve Got a Feelin’ by The Black Eyed Peas
All Star by Smashmouth
Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae (because you just have to love a song that can work in a verse about Zach Zach Galifianakis into the lyrics)

I now have so many almost-earworms they are canceling each other out and none stays long enough to be annoying.

Second “the Lion Sleeps Tonight”, I cannot turn that off if it comes on the radio and I absolutely must sing along, and it’s not ok to interrupt me.
Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
I’m Too Sexy
Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

Night Moves and Rock n Roll Never Forgets – Bob Seeger
Dancing in the Street – Martha & the Vandellas
Ain’t no Mountain High Enough -both the Gaye and Terrell version and Diana Ross version
In fact anything practically anything from early Detroit-based Motown

(Why yes, I am a certain age and did grow up in Michigan.)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. “Roundabout” (album version) by Yes. “You Were On My Mind” by We Five. “Alone Again Or” by Love. George Thorogood’s live version of “Who Do You Love?” The Bangles’ a-capella version of “Walk Like An Egyptian.” “Magic Bus” and “I Can See For Miles” by The Who. “Don’t Let Us Get Sick” and “Even A Dog Can Shake Hands” by Warren Zevon. “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys. Joe Bonamassa’s “The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall.” The last movement of Beethoften’s 9th Symphony. “Sympathy For The Devil” by the Rolling Stones. “Black Horse and Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall. “Your Hip-Hop Thighs” by Ike Reilly. “Let The Big Horse Run” by John Stewart. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence. “Pink Cadillac” by both Springsteen and Aretha Franklin. And probably a half-dozen or more each by Jimmy Buffet, Leo Kottke, ZZ Top (“Velcro Fly.” How could I have forgotten “Velcro Fly?”), Supertramp, Santana, Pete Townshend, Paul Simon, More than a dozen by Richard Thompson.

Hell, I’ve got a iTunes playlist named “Speeding Ticket.” A good half of what’s on there falls into this category. Thanks to this post, it’s now playing.

I think of the Seinfeld when some of the characters hear that certain song and stop what they are doing and just stare off. Candidate # 1 Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots, # 2 The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News # 3 Wrapped around your Finger by the Police.
From the spirit of the show, Seven Bridges Road by the Eagles.

A couple more to add to the pile: Supermassive Black Hole by Muse and Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

@ Paul: Every time I hear Come Sail Away, I think of the Cartman version. Does that make me a bad person?

A few that have been mentioned, plus every guitar student’s fave, House Of The Rising Sun. The Animals by choice, but there are a lot of good versions.

A trip down memory lane on the between what I said above (which mostly weren’t
pop songs) and here and here’s what I was at.
Tanita Tikeram Ancient Heart Track 07.
Fuck, track 07.
Ok, this
Not a pop song.

But still, If that diamond ring doesn’t sing I’ll buy you a mocking bird.

I’m normally out of the loop, so I never know why these things happen. But Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah seems to be everywhere now.

Dating myself, but
“Peg,” Steely Dan;
“Maggie May,” Rod Stewart;
“Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynard Skynard;
“Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett;
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen;
“Janie’s Got a Gun,” Aerosmith.
More recently,
“Time is Love,” Josh Turner;
“Something More,” Sugarland;
“Smile,” Uncle Kracker;
anything by Joe Satriani

Having commented above, I realize now that the song running through my head almost constantly for the past few weeks has been “I am a fine musician” from Captain Kangaroo – talk about REALLY dating yourself…

>Has to be “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive
Like record, baby, yeah, yeah, oh yeah.
Could of sworn that was by Blue Oyster (Don’t eat blue oysters) Cult (also
don’t eat green oysters).
Oh, not OK. Now I want to cut some Bob Seger songs rid of the guitar solo
so’s they’ll be an adequate listen.

>Kyle J? Joan Jett and … Best is ‘Crimson and Clover.’ YMMV Huh, sounds like mono
audio. Is one that I bought a
second time because of a problem with a compact cassette tape player
mangling tapes and wow have my tastes have changed-Great for a slow
dance long ago. Needs an edit for being worth a listen now.

I’ll go waaaaaaaay off the beaten path with some earworms of my own:

“Protectors of the Earth” by Two Steps From Hell
“I Am The Doctor” by Murray Gold (The live version from “Doctor Who at the Proms”)
“The Streets Of Whiterun” by Jeremy Soule from the Skyrim soundtrack
“Down With The Sickness” covered by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine
“Enough” by Gravity Kills
“Vigil” by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick from the Mass Effect soundtrack (almost anything from that series, really)
“Convoy” by Kevin Reipl from the Unreal Tournament 2004 soundtrack
“Call Me Maybe” the death metal version by Andy Rehfeldt
“The Enterprise” by Jerry Goldsmith from the Star Trek The Motion Picture soundtrack (yes, the movie was underwhelming but the score was fucking epic)
“Keep Hope Alive” by The Crystal Method
The “Engineering” and “MedSci” portions of the System Shock 2 soundtrack by Eric Brosius – incredibly haunting and spooky
“Kharak Orbit” by Paul Ruskay from the Homeworld soundtrack
“Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston

No joke, I read this blog post while standing in line at Disney waiting to get on the mother of all earworms…

It’s a Small World.

‘Layla’, by Derek and the Dominos (Clapton) stops me in my tracks and I’m back on a wild Halloween night and I listen to the whole tune.

2nd choice: ‘Refugee’, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, again transports me, to my crazy off-shore fishing days (as does, Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London’/

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