Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? Top 40, commercial jingle, or kid tune? It’s more than that — it’s an earworm. No, it’s not gross — that’s the actual name given to a tune that replays in your mind!

Remember that scene in “Inside Out” where the gum commercial song plays in Riley’s head while she’s doing homework? Or for the children of the 80s, Lambchop’s “Song that Doesn’t End?”

As the mother of a toddler who has recently discovered his voice and love of singing, my earworm playlist is on repeat every time we are in the car. Don’t get me wrong, hearing my son’s sweet little voice sing along to his favorite tunes is a milestone that I cherish and champion for him. It also tells me he’s developing a strong sense of memory. He has his favorite songs for sure, but there comes a moment when you could scream if you hear the Rock sing “You’re Welcome” one more time.

Music has always been a big part of my upbringing. As a child, I failed at violin, and my mother sang in the church choir. I sang in chorus and volunteered at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center through high school, meaning I got to see musicals that came to town for free. These days, it’s mostly shower singing and maybe a karaoke night or two.

When I was pregnant, I had a playlist that I’d play whenever I was in the car for Jackson to hear. Even when he was a baby, we’d play live concerts for him from our favorite DJs, and he’d dance in his highchair. Nighttime feedings included Coldplay’s “Yellow” hoping that eventually it’d be a calming mechanism for him. (It’s not.)

However, there are some songs Jackson associates with certain activities — “Something Just Like This” (yes, another Coldplay song) is known as the tubby song. He also refers to “Seasons of Love” as the piano song. He’s just 2.5 years old, so it’s not only entertaining but amazing to us all the lyrics he knows. He’s named for Jackson Hole in Wyoming, but he’ll belt out “Jackson” by Johnny and June Cash as if that were his namesake. Our new nighttime routine involves singing and dancing/jumping around to his favorite songs. He is our in-home DJ and will request songs, even lining them up on what to play after the current song is on. While I’m thankful he’s not into “Baby Shark” on repeat, we’ve officially entered a Disney phase of his musical preferences.

If you’re getting a little tired of your kids’ earworms, feel free to borrow some of ours today. Here are a few of my son Jackson’s favorite hits.

“Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King
“Baby Beluga” – Raffi
“Jackson” – Johnny and June Cash
“Seasons of Love” – Rent
“Something Just Like This” – Coldplay
“We Will Rock You/We are the Champions” – Queen
“You’re Welcome” – Moana
“Un Poco Loco” – Coco
“Get Your Head in the Game” – High School Musical

What’s your earworm playlist?

Courtney Medlin
Courtney was raised a Navy brat, growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in communications PR with a minor in English, and she earned her master's in marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of Jackson, 5, and stepmom to two 16-year-olds (boy and girl) and dog mom to Riley. Courtney is raising her family with a love of the outdoors, scary movies, and lots of laughs. Courtney works corporate communications/marketing/pr and lives on the South Shore. She has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the planning gala committee for South Shore Health. She loves days that start with a latte and end with champagne.