WASHINGTON – It happens to nearly everyone: A song — let’s say Abba’s “Waterloo” — is stuck in your head and just won’t go away.
Now science has not one but three ways to dig that dreaded earworm out. And none of them are too surprising, as researchers surveyed 18,000 residents of Finland and England and reported their findings in the journal PLOS One.
Researchers at the University of London found that earworm victims say you can listen to the complete song or sing it; you can just not let it bother you; or you can try using another song to shove out the offending tune.
How about “God Save the Queen?” “A tune that’s not too catchy itself might do the trick,” psychology researcher Lauren Stewart of the University of London said. The British national anthem, which Stewart concedes is not the type to get stuck in the head, was mentioned most often by the Brits as an earworm replacement.