My Song Addiction: Earworms and Playlists

I mentioned on Tuesday that I have an unhealthy love of the song Sail by AWOLNATION.  It’s atypical of the music I usually like (Florence+Machine, Of Monsters and Men, U2, Coldplay…seriously, I don’t wear Mom-jeans, but I might as well).  But the first time I heard this song, played on my brother-in-law’s iPhone on my MIL’s kickass stereo system, I was hooked.*

So I listened.

And listened.

And listened again.

In the month since I downloaded the song, iTunes says I’ve listened to Sail 74 times. That’s more than twice a day for the last month. Heh, I listened to Sail for my entire 20 mile commute to work one day. Yeah. But that’s the way my mind works. A song gets in there and stays. It doesn’t get old. Well, eventually, it does, but at first, I can listen to it on a loop and be completely happy.

That’s also where my stories begin, usually with one song. I wrote a contemporary YA last year, more literary than most of my other work, and I struggled with it until the song Paradise by Coldplay was released as a single. The first time I heard it, I got chills. It was as if Genna, the main character, was showing me the wounds painted on her heart. How in the world did Chris Martin know how an eighteen-year-old basketball player felt? One of those mysteries of life, I guess.

iTunes tells me the song I’ve listened to most (as far its tracking feature is concerned) is Forbidden Friendship from the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. Yeah, that’s right–I listen to movie soundtracks. Of animated features. Loud and proud, yo!  But I know why I listen to that piece of music so often…there’s a quality of discovery, an air of trust-building, that my characters often need.

Plus, I totally want a dragon like Toothless, but that’s a post for a Tuesday.

Anyway, I frequently suffer from earworms, but most of the time, those are self-inflicted. Listening to one song over and over will mess up your inner ear, causing you to wail, “SAIL!” at inappropriate moments. Not…that I’ve, um, done that or anything.

What about you? Do you listen to the same song over and over again? What song gives you the worst earworms?

*PS (My two-year-old nephew apparently loved Sail  before I did…so, Doodle, thank Daddy for playing it for me, ‘kay?)


  • I am BAD about playing the same stuff over and over. And over. My current music addiction is Jason Gray. I have 3 of his CDs, and all 3 are in my car’s 5-disc CD changer. He’s a Christian artist, a lot of guitar, thought-provoking lyrics, and a non-mainstream sound. I’ll listen to a song 100 times, then suddenly HEAR the lyrics, what they’re saying, and it’ll change my outlook.

    As for earworms, it’ll typically be whatever song was playing when I shut the car off. But right now it’s one of those lyrics:
    “When we step aside / from the center of our lives / and learn to love mercy / more than being right. / Pursuing peace and honesty / starting down the road of selflessness and seeing where it leads…”

    Resonated with me because I am one of those people who Has. To. Be. Right. And I’ll argue ’til I’m blue in the face to convince you. Those words helped me see that, and reminded me that there are things that are more important than being right.

    Anyway, you asked. LOL! There are SO MANY sections like that in his music – I could fill the page with them. But I won’t. 😉

    Loved this topic!

    • I don’t know how many times I’ve caught a favorite song just right and realize I’d had the lyrics wrong…only for the song to be so much more AWESOME!

  • Oooh, I am an absolute sucker for the self-induced earworm. Different songs for different moods. A couple of weeks ago I had “I Will Survive” blaring on repeat while I cleaned….It’s kind of a requirement if I want to get any real cleaning done. 😀

    Other stuff I listen to on repoeat…. In the Hall of the Mountain King, certainly. Leah Andreone’s “Never Stop Trying” is a big one, too. I know there’s others, but somebody just woke up. 😛

    • Awesome, now I will have “I! I will survive!” running through my brain the rest of the day. Woot! Dance party, anyone?

    • Grieg FTW! My husband had to play a solo (on the Tuba no less) for admission into his music fraternity. He played…you guessed it– In the Hall of the Mountain King. It was hysterical on the tuba.

Leave a Reply to Maria Cancel reply