Woe Is Me and My Music

Sunday night, fresh out of gray matter for the day, I checked in with my favorite channel as of late, VH1.

As pop culture savvy people know (or, really, the non-knowledge-seeking population at large), this is the home of such ingenious programming as My Fair Brady and Breaking Bonaduce (yes, that Bonaduce); my original pregnancy staple, The Surreal Life; and my current guilty pleasure, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School Starring Mo’Nique – which, if you ask me, should be subtitled Oh Dear God This Is Surely the Sign of the Apocalypse.

While the Celebreality shows were not on, something nearly as good was – 40 Most Softsational Rock Songs.

Was there ever a show title that called to a marshmallow-brained new mom-slash -former child of the 70’s more?

I laughed as I clicked over to channel 19, and began drifting away to cerebral nothingness as the hosts riffed on Seals and Croft, The Captain and Tenille (oh, that wacky Captain), and REO Speedwagon. There was so much comedy fodder inherent in the topic: The earnest melodies. The confounding lyrics. The confounding facial hair.

Then suddenly it struck me…

holy crap…

I was not listening to this ironically at all. I was totally enjoying it. Every song.

Of course I was riveted watching Steven Perry belt out Open Arms, although that should come as no surprise to long-term readers. Especially considering the devirginication associations with the ballad (which I’ll have to discuss another time). But I found myself wistful for Styx, honestly in love with Olivia Newton-John, and even humming along to…oh lord, I can hardly bring myself to admit it…ugh…can’t…do it… must…resist…getting…weaker…

Michael Bolton.


Every one of those softsational soft rock songs brings back a deeply entrenched memory: Lying on the radiator cover in our kitchen on snow days while Anne Murray warbled You Needed Me. Impromptu street kickball games the summer of Chuck Mangione’s Feels So Good. Singing Christopher Cross’ Sailing ruefully with gymnastic camp BFFs whose names I’ve long forgotten. Hoping a boy would ask me to skate with him when the rink dimmed the lights for Hall and Oates’ One on One. Watching the Rosanna video while experimenting with black eyeliner and heavy petting during the early days of MTV.

And of course, the hormonal flood of tears in a girlfriend’s arms to Styx’s Babe, during a particularly harrowing encounter with unrequited 8th grade love.

These songs are meaningful to me. I love them and I’m not afraid who knows it.

What’s more, I didn’t just watch the show, I recorded it.

So call me lame. Call me cheesy. Call me grandma, like Nate does. But I won’t hear you.

I’ll be too busy humming the Pina Colada song.


34 thoughts on “Woe Is Me and My Music”

  1. Hahaha… I sooo know what you mean. Every song from those days takes me back to a certain special time of my younger days. And I’m not ashamed of it, either!

  2. You lost me at Michael Bolton. Other than that…I love me some REO and I was just a kid when I first heard their music on the radio. I thought they were called Oreo Speedwagon. I wanted one of those as an eight-year-old.

  3. LOL! I love those shows that bring back memories…my favorite VH1 show used to be Pop Up Video. I could watch that for hours….

  4. Lately I’ve been nostalgic about 80s hair bands. Just insert Poison, Guns N Roses and Bon Jovi titles into your post and you’ll see my current mindset. At the roller rink, I was dreaming someone would skate with me to “Welcome to the Jungle.” Sigh. Nobody ever did.

  5. Oh Sailing, Oh Christopher Cross…how I miss thee!My husband and I met in Grade 11 over Sheriff’s “When I’m With You” and it’s still our song.I love me some sappy music.

  6. sailing…will forever remind me of being six playing at a friends house with the song in the background. I love that song! : )

  7. Hey, we may make fun of those oldies, but when they come on the radio there is nothing better. They just don’t play music like they used to 🙂

  8. Girl..I moved to Tanzania with nothing but 80s CDs. This way I’ll never evolve, never grow older, never let go….The 80s rocked! (softly sometimes)

  9. The pIna Colada Song is a damn good song.And I totally could not turn away from that particular show. I’m a sucker for any countdown show, but that one was fantastic!

  10. I still love Hall and Oates. Can I add to the hit parade?1 – Asia singing “Heat of the Moment” 2 – the Tubes singing “Dont Want to Wait Anymore”3 – Lionel and Diana singing “Endless Love” and the best of all “Air Supply” singing “I’m All Out of Love”. I saw them in concert with my BFF and I wore my rainbow shirt and had the big comb in my back pocket. To comb my Toni Home Perm.I was HOT 6/6/07 1:48 PM

  11. Yeah, you lost me at Michael Bolton. Not that I don’t know hie songs, but only because my mom was in love with him. But I find myself knowing exactly what you mean. I just realized the other day while trying to watch MTV, that I am just not that cool anymore.

  12. Styx, I’m with you. REO Speedwagon, I’m all over that. But Michael Bolton????I’m going to pretend you never wrote that.

  13. Oh, Sailing. How I love that song.And what about Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)?Good times. Sleepaway camp, my first year. Good times.

  14. So funny! I was hanging with my youngest lad last night, awaiting his sleep, and I could hear the husband upstairs listening to some TV show. It turned out to be a PBS show on John Denver. (Or so he claimed. Perhaps it was really an On Demand program.) Anyway, I was hearing the songs and I was enjoying them. Enjoying! Them! Wears the dog’s buzz collar when I need it? I don’t even have hormones to blame. (Well, some hormones, but not like you’ve got.)

  15. Oh, how I love me some VH-1 and well, MTV, too. I’m a reality slut if I’ve ever seen one. I can’t believe all the TV I’ve watched since I’ve had another baby.Great, now I have Air Supply stuck in my head!

  16. Thanks to you Bossy will now be humming the very tunes she hoped to never hear again. (Minus the Captain and Tenille – loved ’em, although looking at that photo made Bossy realize that that Zany Captain was probably only in his early 30s when he was famous instead of Bossy’s imagined 82) Could someone please inject Bossy with a Double Martini?

  17. I watched that! Would you like to know what’s funny? I thought of you. Yes I did! I thought “I can’t possibly be the only one who is enjoying these songs, can I? No! If Liz saw this she’d love it too.”And that just shows you how sad I am. I don’t even have a newborn to keep me home on a weekend night, tuned into VH1. Sigh.

  18. so, shameful admission: i was born in 1982. (no, that’s not the shameful part, though it does make me embarassingly out of the loop in some areas of the blogosphere.) and in the late ’90’s? i saw air supply in concert. and starship – previously jefferson starship, previously jefferson airplane.man, i am so out of my element when it comes to music. 😛

  19. Right there with you. I use to roll my eyes when my mom played “her music”, now it brings back memories of summer days and rides to school. Yes, I am the one in the SUV cranking up the oldies but goodies.You know you are old when the music you listened to in your youth is now musicak.

  20. OMYGAWD, the Pina colada song was stuck in my head this morning and I didn’t even watch that show. What is wrong with me???

  21. When you said you recorded it, you made me spit onto my keyboard. I could probably sing every lyric to every song you referenced in this post. Do you remember Little River Band’s Lady? That was a fav.My devirginification music was, alas, Steeley Dan.

  22. The music of your youth will never leave you. It isn’t dumb or bad music, just dated. I’m remembering thinking how dumb my parents’ music of the 50’s and 60’s sounded to me, only to realize that it was NEW to them and had the same memories of youth for them that “Red Red Wine” has for me…

  23. Oh, man. When I was in sixth through eighth grades, my school had monthly trips to the roller rink. I remember skating hand in sweaty hand to “Lady” by Little River Band. Good times.

  24. Any song to which I know all the lyrics is worth singing along to. Even Michael Bolton.I may have to look for upcoming show times. Never too early to start exposing our children to the classics.

  25. There’s a time and a place for good cheese. It must be balanced with less softlicious stuff, though, and I may need to work on your a little.Because when you said Michael Bolton I threw up in my mouth a little.

  26. OMG You Needed ME!! I used to belt that baby out like I meant it! No matter that I was a mere babe with not a clue! It spoke straight to my sappy heart! That and…yes, I can admit this…Jack Wagner ***sigh*** And yes, those songs made me cry, not exactly sure why but they touched me! Bahahahaa what a dork!

  27. Don’t feel too bad Liz, I consider myself an audiophile and I still get teary eyed singing along to Air Supply and Survivor every now and then.

  28. I have “Love Will Keep Us Together” in my iTunes, amongst other gems of my youth like “Lady” (the one by The Little River Band AND the one by Styx)They’re classics!

  29. Thanks to my neighbours .. I am living this post right now.I’ll post it in my own right, maybe.

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