The 20 WORST Earworm Songs. (WARNING: Think Before You Click!)

I will not be responsible for what will go through your head if you continue to read this post. But if you’re (a) curious; or (b) a sucker for punishment, push on.

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews have come up with a Top 20 of songs that are most likely to be caught on an infinite loop in your brain. As earworms go, these are potentially the worst. (Note that this is a British study, so your level of neurological craziness may vary.) (Via The Mirror)

  1. We Will Rock You – Queen
  2. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  3. We are the Champions – Queen
  4. I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – Proclaimers
  5. YMCA – Village People
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  7. Final Count Down – Europe
  8. Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  9. Jingle Bells
  10. Who Let the Dogs Out? – Baha Men
  11. Gangnam Style – Psy
  12. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  13. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  14. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
  15. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  16. Beat It – Michael Jackson
  17. Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs
  18. The Time Warp – The Rocky Horror show
  19. About the Bass – Meghan Trainer
  20. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

9 thoughts on “The 20 WORST Earworm Songs. (WARNING: Think Before You Click!)

  • September 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Many of these songs are played at hockey games. They drive me crazy. Please Alan, do something about it!

  • September 3, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Wow. How did Zorba The Greek or Tijuana Taxi by Herb Alpert not make it on the list?

  • January 5, 2020 at 8:39 am

    The chorus of Baby You’re Out of Time, by the Rolling Stones. Devastating earworm.

  • June 8, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    “Its a small world” (disney) and the Muppets song “manamana” is much worse than the ones you have listed.

  • November 21, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Roxanne, The Police. Must get rid of it, that’s why I’m here- to find a replacement! 😂

  • December 28, 2021 at 5:50 am

    I’m sorry, you left out the #1 earworm in the history of recorded music.
    Funkytown – Lipps Inc.

  • February 4, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve had Hey, Why Don’t You Play, Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song stuck in my head for three weeks. I would gladly trade it in for any of the songs on this list.


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