Queen Rules Scientific Study Of The 20 Greatest Earworm Songs

September 2, 2016

It's happened to everyone: that song that you just cannot get out of your head. That's what is known as an earworm.

Scientists have actually constructed a formula for what an earworm is: Receptiveness + (predictability-surprise) + (melodic potency) + (rhythmic reparation x1.5) = earworm. According to this formula, the ultimate earworm is none other than "We Will Rock You" by Queen.

Researchers from the school of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews have assembled a top 20 list of the greatest earworms using this formula. Researcher Bede Williams said of their results, "If you look at the songs which emerged from the research, they all have a distinctive rhythmic fingerprint. If we remove the melody, they're still recognizable by their rhythm alone."

Oddly enough, Queen has secured three of the top 10 spots!

  1. Queen - We Will Rock You

  2. Pharrell Williams - Happy

  3. Queen - We Are The Champions

  4. The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

  5. The Village People - YMCA

  6. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

  7. Europe - The Final Countdown

  8. Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer

  9. James Pierpoint - Jingle Bells

  10. Baha Men - Who Let The Dogs Out

  11. Psy - Gangnam Style

  12. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

  13. Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

  14. Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk

  15. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

  16. Michael Jackson - Beat It

  17. Kaiser Chefs - Ruby

  18. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - The TImewarp

  19. Meghan Trainor - All About The Bass

  20. Culture Club - Karma Chameleon


(source: NME)