“Be Gone, Ear Worm!” the angel cried.

I said, “Where should I begin?”

The psychiatrist said, “At the beginning.”

I said, “Look, this is costing me a lot of money for this session — do me a favor — don’t state the obvious. Say something a little more sophisticated, please.”

“Fr Joseph,” he replied, “I am not here to take your money and run …”

“Go on! Take the money and run … whoo oo … (#11 hit for Steve Miller Band, 1975).”

“Oh,” he said, “I see – you want to play. Okay fine … let’s play a little word association. I say a word or phrase and you tell me the first thing that pops into your head. Use your imagination …”

“It was just my ‘magination, once again … runnin’ – (The Temptations, #1, 1971).”

“Ah yes … that’s fine. Now … according to your file you were born in the 60s …”

“Late December, back in ’63 – what a very special time for me …”

“But you weren’t born in 1963 …”

“Yes, but you told me to say the first thing that popped into my head … December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) was a hit single by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — on the group’s 1975 album Who Loves You.”

“Who loves you?”

“I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family … (Barney the Dinosaur, popular earworm of the 90s). Doc, listen, let me give you a bit of background …

My friend Steve and I used to be fanatical about keeping track of Casey Kasem’s American Top-40, back in the 70s. Steve’s family was not real churchy; I mean, well, they never went to church, which worked out good for our weekly project. Because, by the time I got home from church much of the show had already passed.

Steve would write down the position, song title, and artist beginning with number 40 and working his way up to … oh, whenever I called him to tell him I was home, at which time I would take the task and log the songs from about #18 up to number one.”

“I see,” he said …

“I can see clearly now, the rain has gone … (Johnny Nash, #1, 1972).”


I said, “It just popped into my head.”

“I don’t follow you …”

“Follow me and I’ll follow you … (Phil Collins & Genesis, 1978, only got to #23). Anyway! My great bane and blessing is that I can usually tell you the title, chart position, players and writers of any song that made the charts from, oh, 1973 thru 1989,” I blurted.

“What happened in the 90s?”

The 90s? Musically? Other than the Barney Theme Song? Nothing …

The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

This is a rebroadcast from last year. BUT, it has been fabulously enhanced — as in, I sing a lot less — by my producer, Ron Smith. Give it a listen!

Also — here’s the link to a note from Doctor Earworm himself with a correction.

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