Pygmy Love Song, by Cameroonian musician Francis Bebey, has been stuck in my head for days. First heard on an episode of the second season of Our Flag Means Death (it's season 2 season).

Other recent earworms:

  • Out of Time Man, Mano Negra (heard the cover by Mick Harvey on the radio so went back to listen to the original)
  • Sultans of Swing (Alchemy live version), Dire Straits (found the record at the market)
  • Panique, Juniore (and really all of Juniore's album Ouh là là, excellent algorithm rec)
  • Sacatela, La Femme (single from their latest album, stuck in my head for a whole two months in December-January)

Bonus notes on Pygmy Love Song

Like a lot of Bebey's music, Pygmy Love Song is played on a Pygmy flute, a single-note flute that the pygmies of the Central African Republic carved from a papaya stem (says Wikipedia).

The musician plays it by "responding" to the flute, so the tune is more interesting than a single repeated note. The technique is called "hindewhu" and Bebey demonstrates it in this short interview.

Herbie Hancock and percussionist Bill Summers were also struck by hindewhu when they heard it on an album of pygmy music recordings. They ended up using it in the intro of Hancock's 1973 version of Watermelon Man. You can see Summers play hindewhu on the performance of Watermelon Man at the 1998 Montreux Jazz festival (1:47). Spoiler: he's not using a flute.