It's also one of those rare songs where the chorus isn't heard until it's almost over. The actual words "Don't stop believin'" are revealed with 50 seconds left in the tune. Talk about a delayed earworm.
No. 3: "Come and Get It" by Badfinger
Badfinger didn't have that many mega-hits. But they did produce a mega-earwormer called "Come And Get It," which was penned by Beatle Paul McCartney. Bet ya didn't know that.
As the story goes, McCartney gave Badfinger the song in 1969 as long as they produced it exactly as he instructed.
It was a no-brainer, and Badfinger (at that time called The Iveys) was soon crooning, "If you want it ... here it is come and get it ..."
The single made it to No. 4 on the charts in the U.S., and was the opening theme for the movie "The Magic Christian," starring Ringo Starr. Didn't see that one? Neither did the rest of the world.
As for the original McCartney "Come And Get It" demo, it was released on the "Beatles Anthology 3" CD. It's a bit slower, and you wonder to yourself, "Who are the Beatles covering here?" Answer: Badfinger.
No. 2: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
It happened while watching CNN during the daytime (which is quite dangerous if you don't want to see dopey advertising).
On the screen: a svelte Tony Orlando, declaring he had lost a zillion pounds through some weight-loss thing and now sporting a 34-inch waist. Likely story.
Unlikely story? Tony's lead vocals on the uber-earworm "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree." That 1973 number out of nowhere topped the U.S. charts for four weeks. It's also No. 37 on Billboard's list of Greatest Songs Of All Time.
Tony-O doesn't get top billing, though, because the song was released by "Dawn, featuring Tony Orlando."
Been three long years since you've last heard it? One listen and it'll stick with you for another three.
That's not hard to believe.
Thirty-four inch waist? Right.
No. 1: "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tunelessly singing "I'm as freeee as a biiiird now ..." as annoyingly as you can to yourself is one thing.