Blame Barry Manilow. When we asked readers to tell us which songs most frequently get stuck in their heads, his "Copacabana" was the most frequently cited.
"One morning I awoke singing Copacabana. Do you know what kind of day you are going to have at that point?," one reader pleaded.
Other frequent offenders? The catchy "YMCA" by the Village People, "Funkytown," Disney's "It's a Small World" and any tune by Elton John. "'Crocodile Rock' has made my life hell," wrote one man.
Parents of small children moan over the repetitive lyrics of kiddie performers, Raffi and the Wiggles.
One woman complains that her teens know she's susceptible to the catchy tune of "Milkshake" by Kelis so they sing it to her when she's sitting in church. "It's pure Pavlovian torture," she writes. "Great. Now it's stuck in my head. Thanks a lot, guys."
Read on for more responses:
"You're So Vain." Every time I hear it, in a store, radio, my playlist, I can't get it out of my head for a week.
A.J., New York
"If I Only Had a Brain" from "The Wizard of Oz."
Sammy, Naples, Fla.
The theme song from Barney. "I love you; you love me ..." Now tell me you won't be singing that for the rest of the day.
I have frequently ended up with the opener of “'Funkytown” in continuous replay in my head. For a while this was so bad it almost seemed contagious, as I would complain about the apparent mental ubiquity of this accursed musical number and whoever I was talking too would also get stuck with it. Aside from that, any song I been listening to over and over usually gets stuck there, this means a lot of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “'Gloomy Sunday” and “Car Crash” (which is probably some sort of dreary testament to my mental state).
I have a small child who likes to listen to children's songs and I listened to "This Old Man, he played one, he played knick knack on my thumb with a knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home." That got stuck in my head for about a week straight. Drove me crazy.
Kasey, Middlebury Center, Pa.
"Money Maker" by Ludacris because it's got very catchy lyrics. I even know most of the words to the song because I hear it a lot. Even my friend can rap it in a heartbeat.
Megan, Coronado, Calif.
The song "Whiter Shade of Pale."Nancy Ockletree, Long Beach, Calif.
Songs that get stuck in your head are actually a result of a little known virus called songgotstuckitus. It is impossible to cure until the virus is given to someone else. The only way to get rid of the virus is to walk around all day singing the offending or afflicting song. The virus can only be cured once the song has been "given" to someone else. Try it, it works.
Sue, St. James, N.Y.
"It's a Small World."
Paul, Brooklyn, N.Y.
"Turkey in the Straw" because some warped neighborhood ice cream truck played it (quite warped and out of tune) over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, etc. etc. etc
Leila Oertel, Camp Hill, Pa.
"Macho Man" [by the] Village People
Robert, Clearwater, Fla.
"Wake me up, before you go go." "Dancing Queen." "Do you think I'm sexy?" "New York, New York." "Viva Las Vegas."
Chuck Hamil, Chino, Calif.
The Wiggles' "Big Red Car" and other of their songs my kids listen to over and over and over.
Sandra Schaffer, Bessemer, Ala.
"Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles. My college roommate and I actually used to try to out-do each other by singing the most annoying song before we left for class in the morning, so it would be stuck in the other's head all day. Couldn't lose with "Yellow Submarine."
Teri, McKinney, Texas
"Crocodile Rock" has made my life hell.
Tom Lenon, Seattle
"Seven Nation Army" by White Stripes. That bass line is like "The Terminator." It just keeps coming and absolutely will not stop!
"Copacabana," Barry Manilow
Annie, Irvine, Calif.
"Bananaphone" by Raffi. This song used to be in my iPod, but no longer. It plays nonstop on the music player between my ears.
Fel, Berkeley, Calif.
"Its a Small World"
Thomas, Birmingham, Ala.
Aaarrrgh! "Milkshake" by Kelis. I can hate that song in one note. I absolutely despise that song, and my teenagers think it's the world's biggest hoot to sing the first stanza to me. This can be done any time, any place (standing in line at the grocery store, minding my own business cooking dinner, sitting in church). They love to chant, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard ..." My brain is programmed to automatically respond "And they're like it's better than yours." It's pure Pavlovian torture. Great. Now it's stuck in my head. Thanks a lot, guys.
Maria Jaramillo-Bean, Cedar Falls, Iowa
"Copacabana" by Barry Manilow
"It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones
Karen, Tulsa, Okla.
"YMCA" from Village People, the worst song ever sung, is stuck in my head a lot! "Linger" by The Cranberries lingers in my head and I love it!
Mark McLaughlin, Hudson, Mass.