"It's fun to stay at the Y...M...C...#&%!"
July 28, 2006 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Maim That Tune "Are you plagued by Stuck Tune Syndrome? Do you have a song stuck in your head you just can't get out? Take heart friend, for your suffering is over. The Maimograph Machine, through complex analysis and calculation, will find an even catchier tune to counter-act the one you already have."
posted by unknowncommand (44 comments total)
For best results, listen to your tune while watching 787 pieces of clip art, in a loop.
posted by riddley at 8:33 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

I got "House of the Rising Sun." It's a good suggestion, a catchy song--but I just don't know if it will be enough to counteract my endless mental loop of "Steal My Sunshine."
posted by Iridic at 8:38 AM on July 28, 2006

I often use "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." It rarely fails me.
posted by weston at 8:39 AM on July 28, 2006

Funny, last night, every time I woke up, Bohemian Rhapsody started playing in my head.

It was gone when I got up this morning.
posted by Floach at 8:42 AM on July 28, 2006

It let you go.
posted by weston at 8:43 AM on July 28, 2006

I Dream of Jeannie + 787 pieces of clip are in a loop = mesmerizing.
posted by linux at 8:45 AM on July 28, 2006


No! It will not let you go!
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:46 AM on July 28, 2006

Spanish Flea always cleans those stray songs right out of my skull.
posted by lyam at 8:48 AM on July 28, 2006

I'm a little teapot is my choice. It works better if you include the actions.
posted by raedyn at 8:51 AM on July 28, 2006

I don't know if it was a chemical thing or what - but I had almost an entire year waking up with duran duran playing in my head. At first i didn't mind so much, but as it wore on I started to feel as if I had committed some great sin - and my punishment was mortality spent echoing the sounds of le bon & rhodes. . . Grace jones even made the occasional cameo dans le tete.
posted by isopraxis at 8:52 AM on July 28, 2006

Pretty much anything by the Beatles. I usually go with Hey Jude.
posted by bpm140 at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2006

There are a lot of TV theme songs on here, as I discovered upon OCD-reloading the page to get the badabeedle badabeedle badabeedle badabip badaBEEdle badaBEEdle badaBEEdle badaBIP guitar solo from Sultans of Swing out of my head.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2006

I can't go for that, no, no...no can do, no I can't go for that , no, no...
posted by argybarg at 9:03 AM on July 28, 2006

I was often vexed by this problem until I heard the song "Give Me a Headache" by Skip North and Bipolar Disorder.

It always works its magic in a matter of seconds.

Unfortunately, it is apparently not available online. Sucks to be you.
posted by soyjoy at 9:04 AM on July 28, 2006

I thought it was commonly held that "Yellow Submarine" is at the top of the stuck-song hierarchy. No other song can defeat it.
posted by jenovus at 9:04 AM on July 28, 2006

The Greatest American Hero was made for 787 cliparts!
posted by Crash at 9:10 AM on July 28, 2006

What a horrid concept. It's like forgetting about a toothache byhitting your foot with a hammer. no thanks.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:35 AM on July 28, 2006

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring
posted by hangashore at 9:39 AM on July 28, 2006

Haha, MIDI. Those were the days.
posted by reklaw at 9:56 AM on July 28, 2006

Hey, Bananaphone is the ringtone on my phone. That and the theme for Happy Tree Friends.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:25 AM on July 28, 2006

Heh. Kind of obscure, but this site is (intentionally or not) named after Fila Brazilia's "Maim that Tune", which I had on unlabelled audio cassette for a year back in 1996. It was one of my favorite tapes at the time, and it took me bloody ages to figure out who did it. Anyway, a classic example of late nineties "chillout" if ever there was such a thing.
posted by dvdgee at 10:26 AM on July 28, 2006

It keeps giving me "Achy Breaky Heart."
posted by sourwookie at 10:35 AM on July 28, 2006

I thought it was commonly held that "Yellow Submarine" is at the top of the stuck-song hierarchy. No other song can defeat it.

Okay, this is how it breaks down:

"Love In An Elevator" trumps "Yellow Submarine," hands down. The only thing that'll beat Aerosmith is the extended version of "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" by Barry White, one of the best tunekillers around. Its only vulnerability is its ability to remix itself with some particularly persistent songs...like the theme from "The Deer Hunter."

(That was not a good week.)
posted by Vervain at 11:15 AM on July 28, 2006

I've had Brazil (the title song from Gilliam's movie) stuck in there for a month or so. This site hasn't dislodged it. Considering Achy Breaky Heart, maybe I should stick with what I've got.
posted by anotherbrick at 11:25 AM on July 28, 2006

I'm sorry, no. Even if Aerosmith tops Yellow Submarine, there is nothing on earth that can trump the theme to I Dream Of Jeannie. Nothing. Try it.

I've got the song it picked for me--Funkytown--playing on my headphones right now, and I can still think of I Dream Of Jeannie over the top of it.
posted by darksasami at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2006

In Junior High, when every day would stick some new insipid thing in my head for hours on end, I discovered an odd phenomenon. Every time "Violet" by Hole would come on the radio, the stuck tune would free itself, but "Violet" itself would NOT replace it.

Now, this isn't a particularly great song, but there's something about it that's catchy enough to dislodge anything else, but where you would have to consciously hum it to yourself to have it in your head afterwards.

I've suggested this to all sorts of friends, who have tried it under great hesitation (people tend to HATE this song, likely because of Courtney Love) and it always works. So seriously, if you've got a hiccuping song, this is like drinking from a glass backwards.

Oh, and "Rag Doll," totally trumps "Love in an Elevator."
posted by Navelgazer at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2006

I've found that "Afternoon Delight" is pretty much the DDT of stuck-in-the-head music.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:33 PM on July 28, 2006

I think I hit the jackpot with a cheesy casiotone version of Whip It by Devo.

Anyhow, seriously if you want to stop a tune from playing in your head. Listen to the ambient noises around you. An electrical hum, a whoosh of air, cars going by, perhaps voices in another room, footsteps, whatever. Just actually listen for a couple of minutes. The looping song will stop playing, guaranteed.

Drinking a glass of water with your nose pinched while standing on your head and counting backwards from a 100 works too...
posted by Skygazer at 12:45 PM on July 28, 2006

Apparently, if you try to imagine singing the lyrics to "amazing grace" to the tune of the gilligan's island theme song, it'll wipe any previously stuck songs right out of your head. Try it, it really works...
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:46 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

Come on, people! No mention of "Seasons in the Sun"?
posted by Skot at 12:46 PM on July 28, 2006

Scarily, several of these are on my iPod.
posted by NYCinephile at 1:12 PM on July 28, 2006

Haha, MIDI. Those were the days.

Hey, some people still make a decent living writing General MIDI! It's still alive and well.

Semi-related tangent: I'm semi-close to finishing a program that algorithmically generates hypothetical hit singles by bands with a very set formula - say Linkin Park - the actual music, not just lyrics.

It relies on the creation of a "playbook" containing progressions, phrasing, voicings, modes, rhythms, and melodic elements that the band overuses, and assembles them into MIDI files in a random tempo and key. That it's even possible to distill a band's very essence into such a "playbook" is debatable, and of course it's impossible with even marginally versatile acts, but whatever!

I was really hoping this link was to some sort of doctoral-thesis highly advanced algorithmic generator that, through neural networks and a massive cross-cultural aesthetic database, generated a new, catchy song.
I can imagine it now:

if (song_length_percent > 80 && current_part=chorus)
next_part = chorus(truck_driver_gearshift(1));

Humans form their own such algorithms anyway when learning to become songwriters, but it's still pretty rad to contemplate it being done by machines.

Now, can someone hand me a spoon so I can scrape My Sharona out of my head?
posted by jake at 1:26 PM on July 28, 2006

Listen to the ambient noises around you. An electrical hum, a whoosh of air, cars going by, perhaps voices in another room, footsteps, whatever. Just actually listen for a couple of minutes.

Whoa, dude - so you're actually saying John Cage's favorite piece is the best to get other songs out of your head? Crazy.
posted by soyjoy at 1:32 PM on July 28, 2006

hangashore, I've had 'Bananaphone' in my head for days. In an attempt to get rid of it, I passed it on to a huge email forum of which I am a member. I am now the most unpopular person in cyberspace.

I was once visiting a neighbour who was babysitting her 8-year-old granddaughter. I taught the little girl "Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken, Lay A Little Egg For Me". Then I went home. Heh.
posted by essexjan at 2:09 PM on July 28, 2006

My default earworms are Marvin Gaye's Let's get it on and some Zeppelin tune, but now it's I dream of Jeannie as well. Hive mind madness.
posted by goofyfoot at 2:17 PM on July 28, 2006

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she'll die.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2006

Mnah Mnah cures all my earworms.
posted by scruss at 2:57 PM on July 28, 2006

King of the Road is my preferred earworm removal tool.
posted by marmot at 3:07 PM on July 28, 2006

What, no one mentions Lump by The Presidents of the United States of America? Isn't that about the catchiest tune there is? Its also a great dislodger, as long as you don't mind it being stuck in youre head for the next several weeks.

Also, a coworker of mine never heard of Wesley Willis before, so I played one verse of Cut the Mullet. That was all it took to get stuck in his head.

For me, though, the best way to get a song out of my head is to listen to it all the way threw, then continuing listening to other music. For some reason that will get it out. Usually.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:21 PM on July 28, 2006

I don't think I've had a song stuck in my head in years.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:57 PM on July 28, 2006

essexjan: hangashore, I've had 'Bananaphone' in my head for days.

Yeah, I noticed that the other day. Probably what inspired me to put it out there. Sorry.
posted by hangashore at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2006

next_part = chorus(truck_driver_gearshift(1));

That made my day, jake.

I've always got something stuck. Always. Sometimes it really gets old. No matter how much you like something, after a few days you just want it to stop. Its like the soundtrack of your life is stuck.

I've had "Hallelujah" playing in my head since I read the "A Bunch of Dudes Sitting Around Singing" in the blue July 16th.

I think "I Dream of Jeannie" might actually help, but I draw the line at listening to Courtney Hole.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:03 AM on July 29, 2006

I had "Red River Valley" stuck for most of 1995. I guess because I moved far out West that year, somehow the song's message resonated with me: the lyrics specifically tell you to remember it (and the cowboy you loved so true). A far likelier explanation for the song's stuckedness is that I am particularly obedient to use of the imperative voice, be it a WALK/DON'T WALK sign (a source of much of my own intermittent longing and wavering self-doubt in 1993, and that of most San Franciscans' to this day: The DON'T WALK actually counts down the seconds), or the lyrical content of this and other old cowboy songs.

Currently, every time I make it out of the BART station alive, I bellow the entirety of "Oh, Bury Me Not (On the Lone Prairie)." That is, "Hey, You, Don't Bury Me Here." I listen and obey. I won't bury anyone there, on the lone prairie, not in a shallow grave, just six by three. I'm certain the other passengers on my commute are relieved as I am. Their songs lay dormant in their hearts.

Whereas I'm sure to yodel forth Hank Seniorly even if I can't yodel. I can't yodel. Someone needs to write "Yodel Not on The Olde BART Platform", sing it to me repeatedly, and I will I acquiesce. Additionally, a flashing red sign or a follow-the-bouncing-ball visual aid would get me in line right quick. The red light would startle me, the ball would bounce too fast, and the resulting shame and confusion would make me swallow my gum and shut the hell up right quick.

This affects me so much so I'm surprised I ever stopped dancing, rocking, throwing my hands in the air, and doing it till I was satisfied. Whatever it was.
posted by eegphalanges at 2:51 PM on July 29, 2006

My wife gets on my case about my constant whistling of "If I Only Had a Brain." It pops into my head at completely random moments... sometimes more than a year between occurences, and will stick with me for days, without explanation.

This amuses me and I have no desire to change it.
posted by empyrean at 12:53 AM on July 31, 2006

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