20 Most Annoying Songs Of The New Millennium

"What's that comin' over the hill, is it a...." you'd already finished it hadn't you?

It's a cruel trick of the music industry that the most profoundly addictive earworm songs also tend to be the most annoying. Not addictive in that you actively want to rush out and buy a copy of that incredible new song you heard on the radio 26 times today so you can play it over and over again; oh no. Despite your desperate mental protests, your mind will do enough of that for you. Have you ever got up at 3am for a glass of water with The Cheeky Song reverberating around your poor tired mind whilst you blearily reached for the tap? Or suddenly found yourself humming 'Call Me Maybe,' then whipped your head around to make sure no one was around to hear the moment you realised? Yes, that stereo in your mind just adores the annoying ones. But the songs we love to hate aren't always the ones most generally perceived as really irritating - not at first, anyway. Some are reduced to nothing more than tracks we'd rather forget because radio and music channels just will not stop playing them. Then every advert and TV show starts using them too, while others are such blatant attempts at controversy that we're sick of it after the first listen. So very catchy though, dammit! The new millennium has spawned more of these infernal compositions than you can shake (or throw) a stick at. The following 20 are the best of the worst - the crème de la crème of infectious drivel - the ones we suffered at the hands of for weeks because we just could not get them out of our heads. Warning: By continuing to read you risk your own sanity...

20. Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgjkth6BRRY 'Exactly what is a hollaback girl?' was the question from just about everyone when this minimalist, ragingly-catchy track was released. Definitions across respectable information sources such as Urban Dictionary and Yahoo Answers vary, though the most common theory is that a hollaback girl will simply spread gossip in response to spreading gossip (i.e. holla-ing back) rather than settle the problem by becoming embroiled in a physical confrontation - which Gwen is totally going to do, because she's been around that track a few times, you know. However, what we can all agree on is that Hollaback Girl manifests itself as an obnoxious earworm that drives us completely B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Stephanie is a writer and free spirit who likes to pretend she's a Londoner, though strictly speaking she's from Watford. She likes books, music, elephants, and hairspray.