earwormI discovered today that the charming German word Ohrwurm – a tune you just can’t get out of your head and you find yourself humming despite yourself – is making its way into the English language as earworm.

I have an earworm today, and it’s The Girl from Ipanema. I found myself humming it, not having heard it on the radio before, and I asked myself: why this song? (Often with earworms, there is something in the lyrics that makes my subconscious dig it up.) Today, these are the reasons.

  • The sun was shining. I can’t emphasize this enough. The last few days were so grey and dreary, this was just delightful.
  • I had just spent a lovely afternoon with my mother, shopping. Mostly window-shopping, as it proved, so I hadn’t even spent much.
  • I wore a nice outfit. Nothing new, just something I feel good, and well-dressed, in.

So I felt great. I don’t think I turned any heads, but there was a spring in my steps.


How do you get earworms? Do the lyrics play any role for you? What are some recent titles you couldn’t get out of your head?

– Rike Horstmann

Rike Horstmann
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High school teacher. Soccer fan (Werder Bremen, yeah!). Knitter and book-binder. Devotee of mathematical puzzles. German.