Researchers recently monitored the behavior of thousands of people as they sang along to more than a thousand tunes and say they have uncovered the common traits in songs that are most 'catchy'.

That's right. If you like to song along to some songs more than others, there is a sort-of science reason why; it helps to be a man, though ironically with a higher-pitched voice.

The four core elements that trigger people's inclination to sing, according to musicologist Dr. Alisun Pawley and psychologist Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen are:

1) Longer and detailed musical phrases. The breath a vocalist takes as they sing a line is crucial to creating a sing-along-able tune. The longer a vocal in one breath, the more likely we are to sing along.

2) Higher number of pitches in the chorus hook. The more sounds there are, the more infectious a song becomes. Combining longer musical phrases and a hook over three different pitches was found to be key to sing-along success.

3) Male vocalists. Singing along to a song may be a subconscious war cry, tapping into an inherent tribal part of our consciousness. Psychologically we look to men to lead us into battle, so it could be in our intuitive nature to follow male-fronted songs.

4) Higher male voices with noticeable vocal effort. This indicates high energy and purpose, particularly when combined with a smaller vocal range.

What made the top of that list?  Queen's 1977 classic 'We are the Champions' gets more people joining in than any other song, they say. Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May said, "Fabulous. So it's proved then? We truly are the champions. Science is a wonderful thing!"

'We are the Champions' is followed by 1970s disco favorite 'YMCA', by The Village People. The Automatic's "Monster" took fifth place, five spaces ahead of shout-along anthem "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, so clearly a lot of very young people from the UK were in the study.

Good song, but #5 of all?  Really?

Iwan Griffith of The Automatic said, "When we first wrote 'Monster' we knew it was a pretty catchy little beast. It's brilliant that it's now been scientifically confirmed, and to have written the fifth most sing-along-able song in the UK no less, feels like an epic achievement."

Mullensiefen said, "Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology, from the physics and frequencies of sound that determine pitch and harmony, to the hi-tech digital processors and synthesisers that can add effects to make a song more catchy.

"We've discovered that there's a science behind the sing-along and a special combination of neuroscience, maths and cognitive psychology can produce the elusive elixir of the perfect sing-along song. We hope that our study will inspire musicians of the future to crack the equation for the textbook tune."

And now, the U.K.'s Top Ten Sing-Along Songs

1. 'We are the Champions', Queen (1977)
2. 'Y.M.C.A', The Village People (1978)
3. 'Fat Lip', Sum 41 (2001)
4. 'The Final Countdown', Europe (1986)
5. 'Monster', The Automatic (2006)
6. 'Ruby', The Kaiser Chiefs (2007)
7. 'I'm Always Here', Jimi Jamison (1996)
8. 'Brown Eyed Girl', Van Morrison (1967)
9. 'Teenage Dirtbag', Wheatus (2000)
10. 'Livin' on a Prayer', Bon Jovi (1986)

Pawley and Mullensiefen say their study highlights how science and engineering fundamentals can touch every aspect of our lives and the diversity of research projects that can be undertaken within this field. They hope it will inspire young people to enter their own projects into the National Science&Engineering Competition at Open to 11-18 year olds, it's an opportunity for young people to receive recognition for their ideas and the chance to win a share of the 50,000 pound prize pot.

The finals of the National Science & Engineering Competition take place at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, the country's single biggest celebration of science and engineering for young people, held at The NEC, Birmingham from March 15th to 17th, 2012.