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?)