An Ode to the Earworm: a mixtape by Edie Adams
Here’s to you, earworm, you nastily beautiful creature, you. Sometimes when I think of you, I’d rather eat a quiche made of human hair than listen to your excruciating melodies. Yet, there’s something about you, earworm, that I just can’t quit. Maybe it’s the unfathomable way that you tow the line between dream and nightmare, occupying that bizarre liminal space between genius and banality. Or perhaps it’s your ability to titillate me with your sublime catchiness while simultaneously making me want to fill my eardrums with solid concrete. Oh, earworm, you are a tempting, odious mistress. And by god, I can’t explain what’s happening deep within my loins, but I think I might just love you.
Do you remember, sweet earworm, when we had our first scintillating tryst? I was just a nubile babe learning to use and love the Internet when you showed me that naughty forbidden fruit known as The Llama Song. To my virginal twelve year old ears, the lyrics “I was once a treehouse / I lived in a cake” were the pinnacle of human creation. “But I never saw the way / the orange slayed the rake” ??? Pure poetry. But nothing, oh earworm, could compare to the sonic explorations we shared as our relationship heated up like a country club sauna. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” made me feel like someone was poking hot needles into my eyes, and yet, those atrocious melodies will haunt me every Friday until my sweet, sweet death. And who could forget about the Nyan Cat Theme, a true exploration into the beautiful splendor of the mundane.
But in all seriousness, earworm, there’s something about you that I find truly extraordinary. Many great artists of the 20th Century, like Andy Warhol and David Foster Wallace, have flirted with the finding poetry in the ordinary, and I’d be willing to bet that they’d find some poetry in you too. It’s not easy to be so simultaneously loved and loathed, yet you do it with the utmost style and grace.
So with that I say, three cheers for you, earworm. I’m never gonna give you up. No no, never gonna let you down.
1. Europe “The Final Countdown”
2. O-Zone “Dragostea Din Tei”
3. Ylvis “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”
4. PSY “Gangnam Style”
5. Nyan Cat “Nyan Cat Theme”
6. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe”
7. Rebecca Black “Friday”
8. Miley Cyrus “Party In The U.S.A.”
9. Toni Basil “Mickey”
10. Bloodhound Gang “The Bad Touch”
11. Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”
12. Hot Butter “Popcorn”
13. Rednex “Cotton Eye Joe”
14. Los Del Rio “Macarena - Bayside Boys Remix”
15. Rupert Holmes “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”
16. Hanson “MMMBop”
17. Kim Mitchell “Patio Lanterns”
18. Bobby Darin “Splish Splash”
19. Petula Clark “Downtown”
20. The Tokens “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)"
ALBUM ART by Winona Bechtle