Please! I am begging you. DO NOT READ THIS! Please leave me with just a little bit of my dignity. I will explain.
As most people who know me will tell you, I am not a very religious person. I was raised as a Catholic, but much to my father’s anguish, I never really took that well to it. But just because I did not follow in my families designated religion, does not mean I am without faith. I actually do believe in God. Or I guess I might be better off saying Gods. You see, very similar to that guy Earl on the television, I believe that there is such a thing as Karma, only I didn’t need Carson Daily to explain it all to me. He got the general idea correct, the whole do good things, and good things will happen to you thing, but in the world as I see it, Karma is kind of the big god, the Zeus or Odin of this modern world, and she (Oh, did I forget to mention that in my world, God is a woman) dispenses the lesser gods out into the world to do her bidding. Have you ever wondered why it always seems that the expressway is always the most crowded when you are in the biggest hurry? That is because you have done something to anger the Traffic Gods. If you sufficiently piss off the Traffic Gods, they will make your lane crawl while the other lanes move at full speed. This is also referred to by many as The Michael Bolton Effect, after the character in Office Space, not the formerly long-haired singer.
Well, I am here today to confess, that in my last post, I lied. And my misuse of this forum in this way has angered the Radio Gods. During my search for the top ten songs I would crank up on the radio while driving in my car, I intentionally left several songs off my list for contention. These were all songs that I honestly do listen to in my car, and they are all songs I will crank up, but of course only when I am in the car alone, and the windows are up and I am absolutely sure the guy in the next car over cannot hear what I am singing along to. I am not even sure if some of these songs would have made that top ten, but the truth is I didn’t even give them a chance. These songs were eliminated simply for the fact that I was too embarrassed to admit that they exist in my automobile stereo system. And as punishment, the Radio Gods have caused these castaway songs to plague my ride to and from work for the last two days, creating such guilt, that I am now forced to come clean.
I reach out to each and every one of you for forgiveness, and I present to you, my top ten list of songs I was too embarrassed to admit I listen to at very high volume while driving my car alone. I hope this list will give me the peace and serenity I seek, and make amends for the grave injustice I have done to you all.
#10 – Sunshine On My Shoulders – John Denver
I have actually been a very big fan of John Denver ever since his 1979 Christmas Special with the Muppets. To be totally truthful, I actually thought he was one of the Muppets for quite some time. This song was his first number one hit, Take Me Home, Country Roads only managed to peak at number two a few years earlier. I also have to admit that I could have also chosen Annie’s Song for this list, but since I limited the original list to just one song per artist, I should probably follow the same rule here.
#9 – Cool Change – The Little River Band
Long before Men At Work invaded the states from the land down under, this Australian import graced our airwaves with such top hits as Reminiscing and Lonesome Loser, but it was this song that first really caught my attention. The song itself is like a piece of theatre when performed, the singer lamenting at great lengths about his love for the open sea, and spending time out on the water staring at the full moon. Once again, I have to be completely honest and say, I really have no idea what a cool change is, but from what this song tells me, it is time for one.
#8 – Photograph – Nickleback
Not to be confused with the much cooler Def Leppard song of the same title, I can literally hear Maureen’s eyes rolling back up into her head as she reads this. I know almost nothing about this band other than they seem to be universally despised yet still very popular. I cannot name another single song of theirs, but for some reason I can recognize their sound when I hear it on the radio. Possible because all of their other songs sound exactly like this one.
#7 – Kyrie – Mr. Mister
Basically, this is the Latin mass set to 80’s pop music. I am not entirely sure if Mr. Mister was indeed a Christian Rock group, but this song along with their other hit, Broken Wings, would certainly lead one to believe that were the case. I could find no existence of them in the Christian Rock genre outside of this song. As all good Catholic children are taught, Kyrie eleison translates as Lord, have mercy, so the song is a prayer for a safe journey during a dark night. My only problem with including this song on the list, is that I can never be truly sure if I listen to the song because I actually like it, or if it is some sort of misplaced guilt because of my falling away from the church.
#6 – Holding Out For a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
Once again, it is confession time. I have never seen Footloose. It almost seems as blasphemous as turning off the last song, but it is true. Flashdance and Fame both managed to make my viewing list back when we got our VHS rentals at President Video, but never Footloose. And the chances of me seeing the upcoming re-make based on the successful Broadway show are almost nil now that Zac Efron has turned down the leading role first made popular by Kevin Bacon. The song was written by Jim Steinman, most noted for his work with Meat Loaf, but he also penned Bonnie Tyler’s other big hit Total Eclipse of the Heart.
#5 – Rock-n-roll Dreams Come Through – Meat Loaf
Once again, I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. I had already set up that rule about not choosing more than one song by an artist, but does that extend to a song writer? Although there is a very distinct style to Jim Steinman’s song writing, and the songs do have similar sound, they are indeed two distinctly different singers. The reason I am second guessing myself on this one is because before Meat Loaf released this song in 1993, Jim Steinman also had a hit with the song back in 1981. The song was not nearly as produced as the Meat Loaf version is, and Steinman does not bellow the tune quite as well as Mr. Loaf, but the two versions are very similar. The song was actually going to be included on the follow-up album to Meat Loaf’s highly successful Bat Out of Hell, but when Meat was unable to finish that album, Steinman included it on his own solo project. As one more added side note, if you look up the video on-line, you get to see Angelina Jolie make her film debut. When you do, do me a favor and turn up the volume.
#4 – Single Ladies – Beyonce
This one is for Maureen to make up for that whole Nickelback thing. I am cashing in my man card and openly admitting I enjoy the song. And by the way, I watch Project Runway too. Until very recently, the song was used to torment me about the lack of a ring in our own relationship, but I only feigned distain. It’s a fun little tune. On a very rare occasion, and viewed only by a few, I will actually break into my own little Beyonce dance. But much like the elusive Loch Ness Monster, that is one sight that may never be caught on film. You will just have to listen for the tales that have been passed around by the few that have actually seen it.
#3 – Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
Well, I already tossed out the man card with the last one, so what does it hurt to add this one in too. Of all the songs on this list, this is the one that had the best chance to make it to the original list if I had kept it in consideration. Let’s face it, it is a chick song. But it is also a very well written song. The song has been covered both live and recorded in a variety of style from rap to country, and by artist as diverse as the punk rock cover group The Gimme Gimmes. But this is the version I most enjoy. Simple, sweet and a tad sentimental. Well at least it wasn’t Wilson Philips.
#2 – Let Her Cry – Hootie and the Blowfish
I am not really sure when it became so uncool to like Hootie and the Blowfish, but I obviously missed that boat. Cracked Rear View, the album that the song came from, was the top selling record of 1995, selling more than ten and a half million copies. Not bad for a new, relatively unknown band. The song itself won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, and the band also won a Grammy for Best New Artist. And although I can logically rationalize that sales and awards don’t necessarily mean it is good, there were certainly an awful lot of people in the mid-nineties that thought this was a really good song. What changed? Well, I am not hiding out anymore. I am coming out of the closet and proclaiming myself a Hootie and the Blowfish fan. Oh, and one more thing. Last night on the Country Music Awards, you will not believe who won the award for New Artist of the Year. Darius Rucker. You got it, the same guy who was the lead singer on this exact song. It turns out Rucker has racked up three number one hits on the country charts in the last year. Where have I been? I really did miss the boat on this one.
#1 – Paparazzi – Lady Gaga
Ok, this one I just can’t explain. Never have I been so repulsed yet so attracted to a song at the same time. I’m like Faye Dunaway in Chinatown. It’s a good song, it’s a bad song, it’s a good song, it’s a bad song. It’s like watching a car wreck. You want to look away, but something just slows you down and you have to take a look. And the video is not much better. The whole dance sequence on crutches strangely reminds me of the opening number to Springtime For Hitler. When you’re done watching it, you just sit there with your mouth open, not sure what to do. And maybe that’s the attraction. I can’t tell if it’s a joke or not. And quite honestly, I’m not sure if Lady Gaga can anymore.
Well, I feel so much better now that I got that off my chest. I hope the Traffic Gods are pleased with me and provide me with a smooth ride home. And I also hope the Food Fairies left something in the refrigerator for me. Maureen and the kids are gone.