23/09/2014 11:54 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Frozen's 'Let It Go' Voted Best Song To Keep Kids Happy On Car Journeys


Disney's Frozen soundtrack is the best music to keep children happy on car journeys, according to new research.

Research by Oxford University's Dr Ruth Herbert found that the hit song 'Let It Go' from the animated musical was the most effective at keeping kids occupied on the road.

This was followed by Happy by Pharrell Williams, Wheels on the Bus, Roar by Katy Perry and One Direction's That's What Makes You Beautiful (my kids prefer Linkin' Park's Hunting Party, but hey, we're a weird family).

Music psychologist, Dr Herbert looked into what the most popular and effective means of occupying kids on long trips were.

And – surprisingly, perhaps, given all the technology available to children – music was the overwhelming favourite ahead of iPads and games.

The survey revealed that 73 per cent of families still love a family sing-a-long and the top choice of songs is Frozen's 'Let It Go'.

And there's a scientific reason for that, according to Dr Herbert: put simply, it's catchy!

She explained: "The chorus of Let It Go uses the famous 'four chords of pop' progression (I V VI IV).

"This has been used as the basis of hundreds of pop songs. Whether or not you study music you will, consciously or unconsciously, be familiar with this progression. This means it's easy to join in with."

Dr Herbert, who carried out the research for Alamo Rent-a-Car, said memorable hooks and melodies were also good factors.

She said: "Let It Go and Happy are littered with small memorable, really rhythmic phrases that coincide with repeated, striking and simple lyrics.

"The strongest, most 'ear-worm like', hooks occur at in the chorus - 'Here I stand and here I stay' in Let It Go and 'Cos I'm happy' in Happy.

"Both songs have a feel-good quality. They could both be considered to be 'pop anthems' - celebratory, positive statements."

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