Music affects us all in many ways, some more subtle than others. Songs will rise, unbidden from the subconscious, at the strangest of times, or even change the way we speak, as the stresses of a melody sneakily inform the spoken syllables of the most common or innocuous of phrases.
Here are 10 examples of words or phrases that have either been taken over by music - so there's now only one way to hear them - or act as a trigger, making the person speaking (or in one case, the person being spoken to) suddenly burst into song with very little warning.
1. "It wasn't me"
We should all offer a collective thank you to Shaggy for providing the perfect stone-faced denial - even in the face of some fairly despicable two-timing involving sofas, showers and kitchen worktops - for anyone who finds it too much effort to have to think up plausible excuses for poor behaviour. It Wasn't Me is not so much a song as a musical mnemonic, a crutch for a panicked mind in times of great stress. Granted, it's not going to get you off the hook, but at least you won't stand there with an open mouth and a vacant expression on your face.
2. "Let it go"
The song Let It Go, as sung expertly by Idina Menzel, and the expression, as commonly used in speech, have slightly different meanings. When someone advises a friend that a situation is too toxic to handle and should therefore be best left in the past, they're not recommending a release of pent-up feelings, any more than they are suggesting it would be good to exile oneself to a frosty mountain. Nevertheless, when it comes time to offer that advice, the first thing that comes to mind is the song, then the movie, then the ice palace. Thanks a lot, Disney.
3. "I just can't get enough"
A term that can be used to describe feelings of intense need towards anything from crisps to compliments, "I just can't get enough" is hard enough to say straight the first time - thanks to sterling work by both Depeche Mode and The Saturdays in nailing the musical refrain into the collective subconscious - but even if you manage it, your music-minded friends have a responsibility to sing it back to you, and even if they don't that nagging synth riff is going to play in your head for the rest of the day.
4. "Breaking the law"
Some musical catchphrases don't even need to be said out loud to be triggered. Anyone who has known the giddy thrill of committing some relatively minor transgression - whether crossing the road before the green man comes up or playing football next to the sign that says, "Do not walk on the grass" - will be familiar with the sudden arrival of the chorus of Judas Priest's ode to rebellious youth on their mental iPod. Someone actually calling out, "Hey, you can't do that, don't you know you're breaking the law?" would just be gilding the lily (or whatever the metal equivalent is).
"Hello" has the distinction of having two potential musical interpretations, both equally likely to take the voice in a musical direction, depending on who they're being used towards. The most recent is Adele's (see above), which can be used to turn every sudden greeting, no matter how joyful, into a monochrome call to the past, on a creaky old flip-open mobile phone, somewhere cold. The other belongs to Lionel Richie and is a little more optimistic in tone. He's asking if it's him you're looking for while she is pretty sure you're keeping quiet on purpose.
6. "It's Friday"
The curse of this particular musical motif is that there are actually very few occasions when anyone would find themselves saying "it's Friday" without also feeling a bit happy about it. Which is precisely what Rebecca Black's song Friday is about. And Rebecca's song is, it's fair to say, not considered a lyrical masterpiece, so there's quite a journey from noting what day it is to humming "gotta get down on Friday", and on to the odder stuff about which seat she wants to sit in, while cruising with her besties. It's enough to make you TFI Tuesday instead.
Be warned, this example is not only a trap, it also contains a rotten pun of the kind that Dads love, especially at Christmas time. If you're fond of starting sentences with a vague, "So..." followed by a brief and insecure pause - as if you're still working out the best way to ask a grumpy uncle if they're planning to stay for tea - don't be surprised if the family smart alec finishes the thought by singing, "...a needle pulling thread!" at frightening volume. The Sound of Music has a LOT to answer for.
8. "My name is..."
As a song, Eminem's My Name Is remains a perfect introduction to a remarkable talent. Its naggingly memorable chorus is partly built on an unstoppable funky vamp taken from a Labi Siffre song with the similarly unfinished title I Got The..., and played by a backing group featuring both future members of Chas & Dave. It's also riddled with a bewildering array of cartoonishly disturbing images, in the guise of his alter-ego Slim Shady. All of which comes rushing back the moment you find yourself making introductory small talk in a new environment. For extra musical points, try putting that slightly sarcastic "Hi!" in the front.
9. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
While some of the examples in this list take the form of unwelcome earworms, this one is actually something of a blessing. When trouble comes your way, when times are bad and poor fortune is the only kind of luck you can muster, there is always one consoling friend who trots out the well-worn untrue truism that things that do not kill you, only give you strength. It's nice to have Kelly Clarkson's lovely voice to hum along with, as you mentally list all of the definite exceptions to this 'inspirational' claim, from chronic fatigue to irritable bowel syndrome.
10. "It's Christmas"
Or, to spell it properly, "IIIIIT'S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIISTMAASSSS" with about twelve exclamation marks on the end. As you awake on Christmas morn, just you try telling your family members to shake a leg because Santa has been and there are presents to open, mince pies to scoff and eggs to nog without picturing the gurning face of Noddy Holder emerging from deep within a cloud of sandy hair, his mirrored top hat a-twinkle as Slade run through Merry Xmas Everybody for the billionth time. And then try and say the words without bellowing like a reindeer with a twisted hoof. It can't be done.