The River's Badge

Friday, April 22, 2011

Songs That Just Never Go Away


I was sitting in the dentist chair yesterday afternoon, and those places are always tuned to the most innocuous radio stations, since sitting in the dentist chair is stressful enough; one does not need to be subjected to aggravating music, besides.

So, they've got the oldies station blaring away, which I like. And the hygienest's got that cavitron buzzing, and I'm just thinking, will this be over soon?

When what, pray tell, comes on the radio, but this:



Watching Van's discomfort while lip-synching this song is much like the discomfort I feel whenever I hear this song.

Granted, this was a good song at one time. But you know what they say about familiarity breeding contempt? Well, there you go.

It's funny how with some songs, one could hear them a million times and still enjoy them. Other songs just don't wear that well.

By way of contrast, I could hear this (awkwardly lip-synched) song over and over and over, and I would still get a little thrill every time:



So, what is it? The melody? I say yes. Some melodies are "decent"; some are timeless.

This proves my oft-repeated opinion that melodies are what counts.

Because, frankly, the subject manner of both "Brown-Eyed Girl" and "Don't Worry, Baby" are basically the same. Just little bits of fluff.

Thus, my little songwriting lesson of the day, because there really should be a point to this post, other than just posting videos of songs that I'm really sick of (although that does make me feel better).

So, seeing as how I'm old, and I remember stuff from back in the gramophone days (seriously, I don't), these are some of the songs that, in my opinion, just got overplayed ad nauseum on the radio, back when people used to listen to the radio. And if I hear these songs today, after lo these many years, I'm still sick to death of them.



In this particular performance, the tempo is sped up from that on the record, which is a good thing, because the song gets over sooner.

Even "moderned up", while the performance is nice, the song is still sickening. Sorry, Joe South.



Remember this? 1968? Most played to death song of the year. I like Tom T. Hall; he wrote a lot of good songs, but....



Okay, yea, Johnny Cash is a legend and all that. I'll grant you that, but this song isn't even that good! And it's so repetitive. If you overlook the fact that you're viewing a performance by one of country music's icons, you will admit that this song is just tiresome:



Even as a non-songwriter in 1972, I realized how bad these lyrics were. And I was sort of offended by the inanity. But the radio station just kept playing it!



Let's see if I've got this right: "Skippity doo-dah, thank you, Lord, for makin' him for me"......"I'll fix your lunch if you fix mine".....

No offense, Donna Fargo. I understand you're a really nice person. But back then, I was cleaning motel rooms for spending money, carrying my portable radio with me, and I had to keep hearing this whole skippity doo-dah nonsense, and it made me irate. It was bad enough just cleaning those rooms. I was seventeen, it was hot, and I just wanted to be lying out by the pool, and not getting up at 7:00 a.m. every day in June to clean toilets.

Fast forward to the eighties (all decades should be well represented). I was searching for this video, and I found some comments to the effect of, "thanks so much for the memories". Well, yea, I have memories of this song, too. Memories of every freakin' time I got in the car to drive somewhere, I had to be subjected to this song. "Uh-huh":



I've mentioned this song before, but it just has to be included here. Back in the sixties (I'm told), there was a big counter-culture drug thing going on. And it makes sense when one listens to this song. I'm imagining Hoyt Axton scribbling these lines on a napkin, and somebody saying, "that's heavy, man", when in reality, it's obviously complete nonsense.

Unfortunately for us (the listeners), and fortunately for Hoyt Axton, this song achieved heavy rotation on the rock stations. But anytime I hear the words, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog", I just have to punch that button to change the channel.



So, there you have it. Some of my least favorite, albeit, overplayed songs of the millennium.

I didn't include my all-time least favorite song, because, thankfully, it hasn't really been overplayed. But readers of my blog know what that is.

I would be interested in knowing what your most overplayed song is. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know.

No comments: