What is it about those songs that just won’t get out of our heads? The songs we love to hate and always make us groan or chuckle or stare intently at our watches pleading with time to go faster so it passes…
Sometimes songs needle under our skin like musically inclined Ceti eels… burrowing deep and waiting to intrude on your quiet moments until you just can’t take it anymore.
While I suppose it’s possible to weaponize songs in a manner worthy of Star Trek villain Kahn Noonien Singh (which we do not encourage, of course), tunes get stuck in our head for an actual scientific reason: it’s called Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI). Current all-the-rage Facebook group IFLS discussed the findings of a study focused on INMI, noting that “All in all, the researchers conclude that ‘INMI is a common internal experience recruiting brain networks involved in perception, emotions, memory and spontaneous thoughts.’”
I’ll paraphrase: they play on repeat because they’re a) awful b) were played at the right or wrong moments in our lives or c) were played so repeatedly we can no longer stand them.
This validation of INMI comes at an opportune time – right before the Reno Ronald McDonald House® heads back to the Reno Aces Ballpark for year two of Bad Songs for a Good Cause. Bad Songs for a Good Cause allows spectators to purchase “bad songs” of their choice to be blared over the speakers as players go up to bat. Songs already on the list are $10 and songs not listed are $20.
As you can imagine, this event is a lot of fun to work on. But because half the fun is in brainstorming bad songs, I’m sharing a quick countdown of those I believe are some of the worst offenders.
If you love them (or sang them, should any artists stumble upon this post), my apologies. Music is highly subjective. Feel free to nicely discuss your thoughts or nominate “bad song” in the comments. You could win five tickets to the Friday, July 31, game to experience Bad Songs for a Good Cause first-hand.
5. “Chacarron Maccaron,” El Mudo
This song is representative of a certain “type” of bad song: the ones we can’t believe were actually made. I can’t be the only one who remembers staring in front of the computer with my jaw on the desk, befuddled by the complete lack of sense this song makes. And yet, it has it’s inexplicably catchy moments, followed quickly by sounds that make you question whether the singer might be suffering from an undiagnosed illness.
4. “Cotton-Eye Joe,” Rednex
I feel guilty because the Aces play this during regular games, but every time I hear it I regret I haven’t made ear plugs a permanent purse item. I’m really sorry if the electric twanging, square-dance calling song is close to your heart but, if it is, feel free to keep it there.
3. “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly splashed into a hot summer with “Call Me Maybe,” and the ditty blazed fiercely, fueled by parody after parody after parody. From the Harvard Baseball Team to the cast of The Big Bang Theory to the United States Swim Team before the 2012 London Summer Olympics. It’s not “bad,” per se, it’s just tiring.
2. “Friday,” Rebecca Black (poor, sweet, Rebecca Black)
Few songs have taken so little time to get on people’s bad side than “Friday.” Not that we all haven’t rejoiced when a Friday rolls around, but it’s hard to make a song your anthem when its lyrics anguish over where to sit in a car and break down the days of the week like a low-rent nursery rhyme.
1. “I Love You,” by the crack-savvy squad at Barney and Friends
I probably don’t have to explain myself, but just in case, we can all thank our younger siblings for this song ranking at the top of the list. No more, Barney. Please?
If you made it to the end I applaud you. You can put these and other questionable compositions to good use at the Reno Aces Ballpark. Bad Songs for a Good Cause is a night of cringe-worthy tunes that will go toward lifting up those who avail themselves of Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern Nevada.
And hey, even if you don’t manage to snag a song in time (we sold out pretty quickly last year), you’ll get to enjoy the Aces battle the Fresno Grizzlies while strolling down a musical memory lane thanks to INMI. Who knows what awful incredible memories the night could unearth for you?
What bad songs would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below and be entered to win a package of FIVE tickets to the Reno Aces game on July 31 to witness Bad Songs for a Good Cause in person! We’ll pick a winner from the comments on this post after Thursday at 5pm.
Rachel Gattuso is the marketing and communications manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern Nevada*, a local non-profit that houses families who have children receiving critical treatment at area hospitals, and a board member of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She splits her time between marketing, public relations and development responsibilities at work and winning the war on laundry and general upkeep at home. She has no clue how people with children do it. Good on you, parents.
*Opinions are solely those of Rachel Gattuso and do not necessarily reflect the company position of Ronald McDonald House Charities®.