Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SearchResearch Challenge (1/17/18): How do I find this song that's become an earworm?

I was bicycling home when it happened... 

wasn't thinking about anything in particular, I was just out for a ride. But somewhere along the way I got a terrible earworm--you know, one of those catchy songs that gets stuck in your head, and won't stop--it just keeps repeating over and over in your head. 

For whatever reason, I could NOT figure out what it was.  I could sing it, I could whistle it, I could even play it on the piano, but I was utterly unable to put a label onto it.

Of course, this immediately activated my SearchResearch instinct--how can I figure this one out?  

Here's a recording of me whistling the tune: 

           playable m4a file of the mysterious tune 

This is this week's SRS Challenge! 

1.  What's the name of this song?  
2.  If you can't recognize it... how on Earth would you search for this tune? 

Naturally, please let us know how you figured out the name.  If you just know it off the top of your head, that's fine, but tell us that.  If, like me, you know the song, tell us WHAT you did to figure this one out.  

This is an Open Internet quiz.  You may use whatever method works.  (Just tell us your secret.)  

Just so you'll know, I figured it out (using my SRS skills).  Took me about 10 minutes.  How long will it take you?  

The good news is that once I'd given the earworm a name, it went away.  I have my sanity back.  Thank heavens.  

Search on! 


  1. Tried Shazam app and Soundhound app first with no success.

    Searched [ recognize a song by humming or whistling ] to find Midomi.

    My answer

    1. Sorry I think I had Youtube autoplaying while I wrote my answer. Great music.

      This I believe should be my answer

  2. was the song by one of these two women? (GGGB, Release date: May 31, 2007) or should I search on?
    the one not from Norway…
    …if so, midomi (had another possible match - Wave - Antonio Carlos Jobim) but you seem more likely a Robyn Fenty listener/whistler…
    didn't ask SIRI or want to download any apps…
    Hawaii, Japan…
    We're gone forever
    We're gone forever
    We're gone forever

    this is the bad thing about music searches…
    if not, am going with this:
    [song played at sporting events oh oh oh]
    "A song or tune that gets stuck it your head, ironically one you most likely hate."
    Эрвээхэй (mongolian)
    cochlear implant worm…
    it said 'High Quality'

    …hard to whistle
    heavyweight worms

    1. Oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh! (Love that song. Thanks for earworm.)

  3. I think a way to find it using Google Assistant saying [What song is playing] this feature is not available in Mexico so don't know if it works. Also using Shazam or Midomi. Also once I found one by clicking microphone on Google App while playing the song. But this doesn't work anymore in Mexico.

    1. Searched [earworm] in Spanish Wikipedia sent me to SpongeBob episode. And says "Gusano auditivo" is what I was looking for. I don't think that is the name used by regular people. From Wikipedia English: "An earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm, sticky music, stuck song syndrome, or Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI) is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing"

      Then [biggest earworm in history]

      What are the top 50 earworms?

      Scientists name the ultimate earworm and explain what makes songs addictive

      These Are the 9 Biggest 'Earworm' Songs

      [Gusano Auditivo]

      Así llaman los neurólogos a esas canciones infecciosas que no podemos sacarnos de la cabeza. (Songs that we can not take out of our heads.

  4. literally…
    (my first answer has yet to appear… sad face emoticon)

    1. Hmm. I approved it. Wonder what happened? Debugging now.

    2. thx Dan… that Norwegian woman does get around - wonder how her physical turned out? (I'm just being difficult — like Jim Acosta…)
      anyway, look forward to the answer and methods you will reveal - whistling/humming, from memory, does add another
      level of complexity to the search…
      followed Jens Stoltenberg
      Norwegian press

      perfect title - from 2010
      Tom's w/music
      melody - Squeeze - Tempted

  5. …still no sign of my initial response‽‽interrobang…
    like Fred and Ramón I searched and found midomi, but got a different result…
    GGGB - R
    mobile apps are a different kettle of fish on bicycles… u2

    …made me wonder…
    According to
    Wiz Khalifa
    a fair number… wonder what happened to him?

    1. Remmij, Fred how you made Midomi work? I tried on phone and desktop and didn't find anything. Any of you tried with Google Assistant?

      Thanks Remmij for the links for this Challenge and for the Search by Image with site restriction. I'll read them now.

    2. @Ramón - Midomi asked for permission to use the microphone on my computer through Chrome. After granting permission, I played Dr. Russell's sound file in a different tab. Midomi returned 3 results. It wanted Flash in order to play them, but I no longer have Flash on my computer (or at least won't let it run.) I Google searched for the first result by Midomi and used that as my answer.

    3. Thanks Fred, I did the same but found zero results. Also with Shazam, zero results. I'll try again. I also don't have flash on my computer and discovered that you need "Proprietary Codecs" to run plenty of sites. I don't know what those codecs are but those are needed, Flash, I have like a year without and never needed.

      Also found this Musipedia"Melody Search: whistle it to the computer using a microphone." Sadly needs plugin not supported by my desktop.

      Glad you are searching with us more often, Fred.

    4. Fred described the desktop method well - I used two separate windows so I could see both "working"…
      and it took a few tries – then guessed at which I thought Dan was most likely listening too… and went
      back and tried to match the whistle rendition… ~ 30 seconds in
      he seems fairly eclectic musically so I thought something more urban/contemporary was in his sphere/ear…
      Fred - was the Rihanna/GGGB one of your three results?

    5. hmmm, seems like same website/app (Midomi) and the same audio file (and the skill of the whistler) would produce the same results?
      wonder how much, or if, ambient noise affects the search results? or the quality of the microphones? sonic input vs textual input
      Ambient, 1978

    6. I did what Fred did... open Midomi, playback the whistling file. Easy.

  6. … on a Norway jag…
    Norwegian Wood - nice cover
    Colin Hay - twitter
    …fwiw, while searching around, ran across this piece of shoreline - thought it was interesting but couldn't locate it – any ideas?
    may be near Norway… sorta…
    mystery shoreline, don't know who is on the cliff…
    …OK - so it is image searchable… very impressive!… but where does all the mystery evaporate to?
    does the Goo search engine ever take a timeout? relentless.
    out there
    Colin Hay - in a previous life

  7. c-notes of a different, but related sort…

    1. Hi Remmij! Thanks for the links. I liked a lot the one you shared about spotting fake images. And this one about Yucatan. I just watched this Sac Actun

  8. Wasted way too much time trying get shazam to work. Yes mic is on. So, I surrender to frustration. I know there are many sites for this but no more for me jontU

  9. To keep my answer short:

    * Googled something along the lines of "Find a song by singing or whistling"

    * Found site:

    * Played the whistling sample you provided into the microphone while the above website was "listening".

    * The site returned: Wave, by Antonio Carlos Jobim

    And that was the right song.

  10. Wave, yeppers - plausible /convincing, but hard to see/hear it as an "earworm"… but what do I know… Brees - jazz fusion…
    Antonio Carlos Jobim
    with lyrics
    old blue eyes
    … although, these catch me sometimes -
    Search-fusion on!

  11. is there a comparable command-F function for searching video, audio files, e.g.,
    can a specific word/phrase/image be searched in a video or large audio file by
    sound, the way music apps match for songs? or a specific person searched for in a long video?…
    by facial recognition - not unlike what Google is doing with this:
    Goo A&C
    a little search by hue…

  12. off current topic, but an engaging tool that may be of future sRs use…
    population projector
    applied to a recent sRs search area: (the date line seems to play havoc with the map…)
    Taveuni, Somosomo strait
    Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (sedac)
    The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) @ Columbia University
    flickr maps
    on twitter
    speaking of flickr… 2008
    the commons

    1. Thanks, Remmij! When I was reading your post, thought have any of you signed and used ESA Maps? I am trying to figure out if possible to try to find our island with their maps. Their Earth From Space Videos are fantastic. So thanks Dr. Russell for writing about the Comet in the past that leads to find those videos.

    2. Deb and Anne here. We searched in google for sound recognition tools got this result- Tried a few tools- Shazam, audiotag, musipedia, midomi. Couldn't access audiotag at work. Tried Shazam on Anne's phone didn't get a result. Musipedia didn't get a result. Tried midomi and didn't get a result at work so was going to try at home but we saw Fred's answer. As soon as we heard the song I recognized it. Anne wasn't as familiar but thought Charlie Byrd had done the song. She was right! Here he is with Jobim