Why do we remember the lyrics of our favorite songs?
You haven’t heard that song in years but when you hear it on television you remember it all. The most widely shared theory is that the lyrics of songs have their own storage section in the brain, separate from the one used to store the melody. However, other studies attribute it to:
– The great presence of music in our lives. Music is everywhere: in stores, bars, cars, fitness centers and restaurants. Most people have no idea how much they have listened to their favorite songs, but it can be hundreds and even thousands of times. Repeated exposure increases the likelihood of retention.
– Emotional triggers. The second reason is that we can link them to strong emotions. They can be caused by the music itself or we ourselves associate them with emotional events so that they come to represent our great joys and sorrows. In general, emotional memories are easy to recall without the need for repeated exposure.
– Motor memory. Finally, the songs come to mind without difficulty as they are partly motor memory. A common reaction to music, lyrical or not, is learning to sing it, even if we do it only in the privacy of the shower. Memories that are motor in nature become habits and can be subconsciously retrieved without much effort.