Brain Itch

So I was tooling around my favorite blogs and I started reading No Smoking in the Skull Cave’s Music Meme, where you go check what was a hit the year you graduated from high school and then wax on about it. I had no intention of actually doing this, but for a few minutes I was curiously nostalgic and checked my own year.

And then my brain shut down. Why?

I just freaking got that horrid Beach Boys “Kokomo” song out of my head — and now it’s back again after just reading the song title. (You do the math. I’m not telling you what year this was.) Make it stop! You do not know the lengths I’ve gone to in an effort to stop humming this song for years. I even listened to Wilson Phillips, whose whining excuse for singing at least made my brain stop saying “Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take ya/Bermuda, bahama come on pretty mama.”


Evidently this is called a “brain itch.” Some songs have an uncanny:

…ability to create a “cognitive itch,” according to Professor James Kellaris, of the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration.

“A cognitive itch is a kind of metaphor that explains how these songs get stuck in our head,” Professor Kellaris told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

“Certain songs have properties that are analogous to histamines that make our brain itch.

“The only way to scratch a cognitive itch is to repeat the offending melody in our minds.”

Maybe this list will clean out my brain. If not, I’m just going to keep singing “It’s a Small World” to try to counteract it.