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Tom Germond
Help needed to get rid of earworms
Article published on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
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I’m not sure I should be telling you this.

Some unidentified paranormal types have been playing head games with me.

Generally speaking, I try not to dwell on strange coincidences, especially when they involves the kind of music that makes me wretch, aka disco. However, a recent experience involving an old hit song called “More, More, More” has given me the willies.

The song, which hit No. 1 on the disco charts in 1976, was performed by the late Andrea True, who also was known as a porn star.

The lyrics aren’t risqué by today’s standards. And they’re shorter than a quarterback’s cadence over the center.

Here’s the chorus – if you want to call it that:

More, more, more

How do you like it, how do you like it

More, more, more

And now I can’t get the words out of my head.

A couple of months ago on a Sunday afternoon as I was driving along Gulf Boulevard, I heard the song playing on my satellite radio.

More, more, more.

Jeez, I haven’t heard that annoying atavistic wailing in 20 years, I told myself.

I remember that an ex-girlfriend, who we’ll call Melinda, used to like hearing the tune on the radio. We were in our early 20s.

“They’re playing our song, Tom.”

“Right you are, dear,” I said. I was an expert at conciliatory lying.

I think I’ve only heard “More, More, More” about three times since the disco era.

About 15 minutes after I heard the song a few week ago, I stopped into a restaurant. I hadn’t been seated for 15 minutes when blaring through the speakers was Melinda’s song again: “More, more, more.”

I told the bartender that I’d just heard the song on my car’s radio.

“That’s weird,” she said.

Twice within 30 minutes. Aliens? The raven? It’s like déjà vu all over again.

I started wondering whatever became of Melinda. Did she become an artist? Is she married? Does she still listen to “More, More, More?”

Not going to call her. She might ask me some annoying questions, such as what my credit score is.

And that would be more, more, more than I can handle.

I heard the song about a week ago, too.

Take me where you want to

Just get the cameras rolling

Get the action going

Now I’ve done it.

More, more, more

How do you like it, how do you like it

More, more, more

Why is this disco dirge stuck in my head?

Time to consult the Internet. Experts refer to such songs as earworms, which are similar to parasites that get stuck in your head and cause a brain itch, “a need for the brain to fill in the gaps in a song’s rhythm.” That’s according to the “How Stuff Works.”

“Unfortunately, like with mosquito bites, the more you scratch the more you itch, and so on until you’re stuck in an unending song cycle,” wrote Stephanie Watson, an author.

Advice from the Internet know-it-alls to get rid of the song is not much help.

“Very consciously, turn the song down to a whisper volume in your head. If it gets louder again, keep turning it down.”

Didn’t work.

“Try Prozac.”

The thought depresses me.

Other advice is to choose another song with repetitive lyrics. That’s kind of scary, too.

Let’s start with Eric Clapton

I shot the sheriff. But I did not shoot the deputy.

Sorry Eric, not working.

Having my baby

What a lovely way of sayin’

How much you love me

Makes me ill. Now I’ve done it. All kinds of hideous songs are running rampant in my noggin,’ thanks to my freak experience with “More, More, More.”

“I’m Henry the VIII I am, Henry the VIII I am, I am.

Wears thin, too.

“More, more, more.

Damn earworms.

Having my baby.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a long night.

Bring on the Prozac.

Tom Germond is executive editor of Tampa Bay Newspapers. Send him an email at tgermond@tbnweekly.com.
Article published on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
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