They are the songs you cannot get out of your head. Now scientists may have found a way to help anyone plagued by those annoying tunes that lodge themselves inside our heads and repeat on an endless loop.
Researchers claim the best way to stopping the phenomenon, sometimes known as earworms – where snippets of a catchy song inexplicably play like a broken record in your brain – is to solve some tricky anagrams.
This can force the intrusive music out of your working memory, they say, allowing it to be replaced with other more amenable thoughts.
But they also warn not to try anything too difficult as those irritating melodies may wiggle their way back into your consciousness.
For those unwilling to carry around a book of anagrams, a good novel may also do the trick.
Recently the 1812 Overture took over my mind. I have no idea how it got there, all I know is that for the rest of the day I had the last five minutes (cannons and all) playing on a constant loop in my head while I was trying to work. If only I had known that a quick game of scrabble would have taken care of it.