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Thursday, September 13, 2007 :::

Songs I hate irrationally, rationalized.

There are certain songs that make me inexplicably angry, which apparently is not all that usual. My friend Stacy has the same response to any version of "Lean on Me". It doesn't necessarily need to be a bad song to get my blood boiling, although many of them are. Regardless of quality, hearing even the first few notes makes me indescribably mad, so it's usually a race to the radio to switch the station as fast as possible. But sometimes when I am at the bar or attending a party, the fuming is inescapable. So I will try to rationalize my irrationality:

Songs I hate irrationally, rationalized:

You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Possible Explanation: I think this one is a casualty that can be blamed on mediocre wedding DJs. I hate watching barefoot drunk girls in formal wear and guys in ties with rolled-up sleeves singing along to this lame tune, fists pumping in the air, sweaty hair clinging to sweaty foreheads, as if it signifies some form of rebellion.

Stupid Boy by The Gear Daddies
Possible Explanation: I think this one angers me because it is so dang bland. It's like the aural equivalent of a saltine cracker.

Dyslexic Heart by Paul Westerberg
Possible Explanation: Maybe it's because the word "dyslexic" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Or maybe it's how clever Paul thinks he is for describing a love/hate relationship as having a "dyslexic heart". Or maybe it's all the endless Na-Na-Nas that permeate the melody. Or maybe it's because it was on the soundtrack to one of the worst movies of all time. I don't know, but it makes my face turn red when I hear it.

Drift Away by Uncle Kracker
Possible Explanation: I'm not a fan of the original Dobie Gray version either. Nor am I a fan of the countless American Idol versions. Nor am I a fan of the barely-legal backwards-baseball-cap-wearing 21-year-old drunken ass who uses this song to serenade some random girl at the college town bar while simultaneously handing her a third raspberry kami. I'm just not a fan, period.

Calling All Angels by Train
Possible Explanation: Train is the worst band of all time, so I shouldn't have to explain myself. But I'm sure it has something to do with the schmaltzy sentiment of lame-ass lyrics that gets the adult contemporary music crowd humming. Train should be the standard litmus test for bad musical taste.

Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
Possible Explanation: I realize that by country music standards, this song really isn't all that bad. It could be a lot worse. But I think my hatred of it boils down to a single word: oasis. I like a good sing-along as much as the next guy, but when this song gets played in public and the chorus rolls around, there will inevitably be five guys that hold their mugs of beer tight to their chest, close their eyes tight, lean back, and belt out at the top of their lungs: "...I'll slip on down to the OOOOOO-AY-SIS!" Just that one line. It's like a bonding ritual for drunk ex-frat boys with fake southern drawls.

Suicide is Painless the theme song to M*A*S*H
Possible Explanation: Perhaps this song doesn't anger me as much as it gives me a sour stomach, but I think it has something to do with the vague memory of my grade school afternoons, when the light was fading, my cartoons were ending, the early-evening adult reruns were beginning, and the salty smell of Hamburger Helper hung heavy in the air.

American Pie by Don McLean
Possible Explanation: The inexcusable length? The rhyming of Chevy with Levy? The singer's doughy face and wispy hair? I'm not sure, but if this song doesn't make you inexplicably angry, then you need to lower your meds and start living for gosh sakes.

Those are all just theories, but it feels good to get it all off my chest. Constant self-examination is very important.

::: posted by dan at 11:52 PM :: [ link ] :: (24) comments Social Bookmark Button

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24 previous comments:

I'd like to add "Old Time Rock & Roll" to your list. Another song that conjures up images of sappy wedding DJs and women with bad hair in church dresses high-stepping it onto the dance floor with their hands in the air, fingers snapping, hips wiggling and a vicious white man's overbite. It's one of the worst songs ever and usually my excuse to go to the bathrom. I HATE it.

By Blogger Heather, at 11:42 AM  

Ooooo good one.

"Just take those old records off the shelf..."

* shudder *

By Blogger dan, at 12:02 PM  

Joe just posted about how he likes to use similar songs as ironic ring tones, hoping to goad someone into complimenting him on his good taste, while he secretly mocks them. Sort of like owning the nickname you hate, you own the music you hate by making it work for you.

I recommended Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton as a song that I find justifiably deserving of damnation. The Uh-huh, makin love with each other, uh-huh lyric makes me shudder.

By Blogger Scooter, at 12:42 PM  

“guys in ties with rolled-up sleeves singing along to this lame tune, fists pumping in the air, sweaty hair clinging to sweaty foreheads, as if it signifies some form of rebellion.”

Is that what you’re doing here? Rebelling?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 PM  

If it's rebelling, at least it's NOT to the tune of You Shook Me All Night Long, that's for sure.

By Blogger dan, at 1:26 PM  

Your explanation of why you hate Suicide is Painless made so many memories flood back. I get that same empty, defeatist feeling whenever I hear the Jeopardy theme song.

It was the winter of my older sister's first year away to college and the house was so lonely without my only sibling. I used to watch Jeopardy with my mom in the premature darkness that comes too quickly after daylight savings ends.

By Blogger Rob, at 1:50 PM  

Ug, I feel your pain. My triggers are anything by the Spin Doctors or OAR, especially "Hey Girl". What trite, stupid lyrics - and I write songs so I can critique.

"I took this girl out last night, we left around 12".

Well, whoopee shit. Why do I care?

By Blogger Raechelle, at 2:13 PM  

I despise "Brown-Eyed Girl." Maybe because there have been millions of songs since time began, the majority of which I have never had the pleasure to have heard, but I have heard this one an inexplicably large number of times. I can't get that time back! Or because a very shallow girl I knew had it as her anthem. Either way, don't want no "Brown-Eyed Girl."

By Blogger TC Byrd, at 2:20 PM  

I totally agree, Rob. Memories came FLOODING back. When I read, "the salty smell of Hamburger Helper," I think I actually salivated a bit.

By Blogger Twinkie, at 2:38 PM  

"Wanted, Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi seems to come on the radio whenever I've had a particularly bad day at work and I'm stuck in terrible traffic. I already hated that song, and now it seems to mock my pain.

I also hate "Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha" by James Taylor. Reminds me of all those long, painful summers I worked at Ross Dress for Less during college.

By Blogger Lynn, at 4:45 PM  

I've always felt nauseous when hearing the song "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

I'm absolutely certain that the MASH theme song will make someone murder their mother one day.

By Blogger E.B. Whitehead, at 7:11 PM  

"king of Pain" by the Police is the one for me. You guys are too young, but it sufferred from excessive overplay - crippling, excessive overplay. It represented the lame sellout that was "Synchronicity," and it sucked and why was that popular when there were so many good songs around. The opening riff gives me angina.

Hate "brown-eyed girl" too.

The Todd part of toddbee hates "Lady in Red." No explanation needed.

By Anonymous toddbee, at 8:22 AM  

cool, I get to be the first to say GREAT WORK KMACK! We love you!

Don't worry Dan, we love you too but somebody was doing her homework there.

And I nominate 'Margaritaville'.

By Blogger Trudy, at 8:46 AM  

K MACK.'re as funny as Dan! that was hilarious!

By Anonymous Rebecca, at 8:51 AM  

American Pie takes me back to my 1982 summer day-camp overnight trip to Petoskey State Park in Michigan. Katie Shire, that total bitch, made my life hell that night for no reason then to life up her own self esteem (I'd like to add that she's STILL fat - there is a God). American Pie was playing on the boom box that night. SHUDDER.

By Anonymous Noelle, at 8:55 AM  

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Phil Collins here. (Am I that old?) I absolutely loathe "In the Air Tonight." It was so worn out in the early 80s accompanied by the urban legend of witnessing his friend's death and then giving the murderer front row tickets so he could sing the song to him.

I can identify the opening notes & get that station changed faster than anything else.

By Blogger otimak, at 9:40 AM  

I thought I was the only one on the planet that hates American Pie. That song is just plain horrid. (I guess you had to be there when it came out)

By Blogger PeteDudar, at 11:48 AM  

Hotel California. I hate that song so much I once told a girl at camp, who was trying to sing it in our dorm after lights out, that she had to stop because I once was sexually abused while that song was playing and that it gave me flashbacks... judge me if you want to, I know it was a horrible thing to lie about but it was the only thing I could think of to say that would make it impossible for her to continue to sing! I swear to Christ if I saw Don Henley today I'd punch him in the dick for bringing that song into existence. -Samara

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 PM  

I just called to say I love you...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:39 PM  

"I'm sure it has something to do with the schmaltzy sentiment of lame-ass lyrics..."

Sounds like you are uncomfortable with sentimentality. Hits a little too close to home?

By Blogger KTG, at 5:06 PM  

Lady in Red
Brown-Eyed Girl
Take on Me
You Look Wonderful Tonight


Do Not Want

I feel so much better. I don't have a blog so I don't have an official place to put that list, but I have
always wanted it out there!

I totally feel you on that Mash thing. For me it is 60 Minutes.

By Blogger Kristi, at 12:45 AM  

Ah I did a post on this same topic:

And American Pie is on my list as it makes me want to scratch my eyeballs out. You made my tummy hurt with the MASH theme song.

By Blogger Jen, at 11:00 AM  

Oh Dan, I love you.

That M*A*S*H nostalgia trip freaked me out because I thought you were too young to have my childhood memories!

The phrase "shut the f*** up" never flies so readily out of my mouth as when that whining, insipid song "Cruising" comes on the radio. It's Gwyneth Paltrow and some other croonie vanilla voice. They should have taken that song out and shot it years ago. Why do they still have it in rotation ANYWHERE ON THIS PLANET?

"I'm So Happy I'm Still Stuck With You" also makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

By Blogger PeaceBang, at 11:14 PM  

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