On Earworms, Briefly

I had one part of one song running through my head the other day.  It was the final line of Kander and Ebb’s “The Happy Time”:

I want to remember you remembering
The happy time …

Over and over.  Nine hours of that one line. 

The only way I could dislodge this earworm was to replace it with another one, so I set about deciding, in advance, what my next earworm would be.  A song about earworms, maybe?

I know only one song that is about earworms, and it’s Sam’s Song:

… Nothin’ on your mind
And then you’ll find
you’re hummin’ Sam’s Song
Why, it makes you grin
Gets under your skin
as only a song can do …

Music and lyric by Lew Quadling and Jack Elliott, about whom I know nothing more than wikipedia is able to furnish.  Which isn’t much.

Such a number must, of course, itself be an earworm to succeed, and Sam’s Song is pleasingly earwormy.  Although Bing Crosby gave it a classy debut (backed by his son Gary), and Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr chewed the scenery with it, this is the best version:

If it’s now driving you mad, I’m sorry.


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