The lost songs

I have this theory that in everyone’s life there is a collection of lost songs – those once beloved tunes turned cringe-worthy things of auditory and perhaps emotional pain.

Where at one time they were the songs that made you happy, made you dance, made you swoon, at some point the joy was heartlessly taken away from you by a two-timing boyfriend, a creepy American Idol contestant, or an infuriating commercial that twisted some inspired lyrics with the hopes that the greatest love song of the 80s might sell some burgers.

Every so often, I’ll stumble across one of these songs and it jars the memories, and then I mourn the days that I loved the song before I hated it. A few that come to mind:

Melt With You – This is always the one I think of first. You blew it BK. And BK’s ad agency. And whoever represented Modern English and sold out one of the greatest songs of all time for a few thousand dollars and some magic beans. I hope you bought some nice hair plugs with your earnings, you miscreants.

Ray Charles: Anthology – Man, I was addicted to this album. And then I had to go and fall head over heels with his number one fan and we listened to it every night and smooched on the couch to it until the day he told me that oh by the way he was going to drop out of civilization and become a bartender at Club Med starting now. I listened to Crying Time every day for a week and then threw it out.

Don’t Stop Believin’ – There was a time that this was my ring tone. And it wasn’t all that long ago. Thanks, Sopranos, for making it everyone’s ringtone. Hmph.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Wayne and Garth gave us schwing but took away Queen. I’m not sure that was a fair trade.

Total Eclipse of the Heart
– I dated a guy in high school and for the full 10 days of our relationship this was Our Song. No idea why, really, because the video was actually kind of creepy. I’ve since reclaimed the song, but it was a bumpy ride there for a while for me and old Bonnie Tyler.

Kiss from a Rose – Death by overplaying. My bad entirely.

Sister Goldenhair – Frienemy got custody in our divorce agreement. These things happen.

Goodbye to You – Patty Smyth’s hit with Scandal actually had fantastic kitsch value until a former ad agency boss suggested we use it in a car commercial to represent “rock n roll luxury.” At that point I decided that it was cheese. And no, we didn’t use it. (There is only one other person out there right now who knows what I’m talking about by the way. And if he’s reading, he’s laughing his ass off.)

We Got the Beat
– Last night. Dancing with the Stars. Enough said.

(Okay, who am I kidding. I still love Don’t Stop Believin’. I listened to it twice on You Tube while I wrote this post.)

So how about you? What’s the backstory on your favorite lost song?


34 thoughts on “The lost songs”

  1. So odd… I was just in the store earlier today and heard The Cure “Just Like Heaven” which was an anthem of my highschool love affairs gone wrong and it made me want to call and reminisce about simpler, more acne filled times.

  2. The ol’ wedding standard: At Last. Like everyone else in the world, we were going to use it as our first-dance song.

    Then, Etta James was having a concert in Boston, so we got all excited and went.

    She’s a dirty, nasty old lady. She sits up on stage and gropes herself while she sings. And then launches into a 15-minute tirade about how annoying it is when people come up to her in the supermarket and ask her to sing At Last for their wedding. Then she (very begrudgingly) sang it. Completely killed it for us, and I can never hear it the same way again.

  3. I saw the cover of Journey’s “Escape” and almost peed my pants! I hijacked that album from my brother when I was 11 and played it into the ground. I’m pretty sure both my brother and sister still hate me for it.

    I know it’s a completely annoying and cheesy song, but Rock Lobster always reminds me of the best high school dances that we had back in the late 80’s, therefore, I have to love it.

    I completely agree about “Melt With You”.

  4. We must be about the same age, because that list just took me back!

    I will have to add Billy Idol, “Mony, Mony” Unfortunately I killed that one by overplay, along with most of his other top hits!

  5. “I’ve Got a Crush On You” by… some obscure late-80’s band. (“How did you know/’cause I never told/you found out/I’ve got a crush on you…”)

    Memorable for playing during a frat party whilst I was dancing with and falling hopelessly in love with my college boyfriend, who was only my boyfriend for about 10 minutes, after which he went back to his on-again, off-again girlfriend and left my heart shattered.

    Not that I’m bitter, or anything.

  6. I really hate those jerks over “Melt with You”. One of my all time favorite songs. *sigh*

    The hotel where I work does about 150-200 weddings a year and let me tell you there are A LOT of songs I would do fine with not hearing again. The worst? Although it wasn’t an all-time favorite of mine, if I never hear “Brick House” again in my life it will be too soon.

  7. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. I loved it until some stupid freshman on the floor above me in our dorm decided to play it over and over and over. “Repeat” on CD players is a really bad thing. Along the same lines, Whitney’s “Greatest Love of All”–decent song until I realized all the Moms loved it. Eeeww–so over it now! And “Pour Some Sugar on Me” will never be the same after finding out that my friend performed her first, *ahem* sexual act on a boy with that song playing in the background. Ahhh, there’s so many!

  8. I am so with you on “Melt With You”.

    When the Tampa local rock station started up back in 1990(ish) they started by playing “Stairway to Heaven” for 24 hours straight.

    I’m done with that one.

  9. LeeAnn Rhimes – “How Do I Live Without You” Well, after our divorce he found a way… with his second wife. lol

  10. I am going to go with Phil Collins’ AGAINST ALL ODDS — teen love, agnst, pain, loss all tied up with a pop-ballad ribbon…talk about drama – oh my and kill that song please!!!

  11. Oh great post!

    Okay, my 3 year old’s favourite song is No One by Alicia Keys. It’s a special song especially between him and his father. He is so cute, and sings along so nicely to it, it always makes me smile.

    I CANNOT LISTEN TO THIS SONG if I am alone in the car without him! I feel like crying! So right away, if it comes on, I turn it off if he is not with me. I feel like I am not allowed to listen to this if he is not with me!

    When I was 18 and in my last year of high school, a friend died from cancer who was also 18. Her funeral was the first ‘young person’ funeral I attended. On the way there, on my radio, that song by Nickelback was on, ‘an old mother dies, a new mother cries…..’ (can’t remember the name) but I can NOT hear that song, ever. Way too depressing.

  12. In middle school I used to listen to all this gangsta rap, so now it makes me cringe with embarrassment if I happen to stumble upon some Dr. Dre or old Snoop. But I do know all of the lyrics to Nuthin But a G Thang, which can be a fun party trick!

    Conversely, in college all I listened to was Ani DiFranco. Not as cringe-worthy, but when I say it was all I listened to, I mean it. If I hadn’t already been engaged I would have totally made out with some chicks in order to have a more authentic Ani experience.

  13. I still love “Melt with You” I guess we don’t have that BK ad in Candan, thank god. But I love the fact that CSI uses The Who. Enough to make me download their songs even though I bought and then gave away all their albums in high school.

  14. Wish you were Here by Pink Floyd….the song that my friend and I sang at my brother’s memorial service after he was killed. And every time I hear it….a butterfly always seems to happen by….a sign… a soul set free to fly!

    But hey thanks now I have a cross between total eclipse of the heart and Don’t stop believin running over and over and over in my head! What a special day it’s going to be! =)

  15. Sister Golden Hair was just recommended to me by the iTunes Genius. Me and you? We’re like this.

    *pointing from my eyes to your eyes*

    But of course, I already own it. Of course I do.

    For me, it’s Triumph. Played their album, the one with “Magic Power” on it, to death when I was dating some guy whose name I don’t even remember. I think I would like to forget the songs forever too.

  16. “Stairway to Heaven” was being played repeatedly at the school carnival booth where I met my first crush. I must have been about 10. I played the song e.n.d.l.e.s.s.l.y. after that and dreamed of this guy (who never did pay any attention to me). Completely wore that song out.

  17. Hi-lar-i-ous. Seriously.

    You could do an entire post on songs ruined by ad agencies: Femme’s “Blister in the Sun,” “Stars” by Hum, Bob’s Segar’s “Like a Rock”… not to mention all The Who tunes ruined by CSI Las Vegas, Miami, Tallahassee, Des Moines…

    Maybe that’s why people start listening to jazz?

  18. Totally agree on the Seal song. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. I think it is heartbreakingly beautiful but it also “our song” with my abusive ex-boyfriend who I wasted five years of my life with. Now I hear it and want to cry from dirty memories not from a beautiful song.

  19. “…infuriating commercial that twisted some inspired lyrics with the hopes that the greatest love song of the 80s might sell some burgers.”

    You are referring to Sir Mix-a-Lot again, aren’t you??

  20. Ha Alana! Yes, some of my most tender, romantic moments of all time occurred in the back seat of the van with Baby Got Back blasting out of the front.

  21. ummm any song from the 80’s really, like Paula Abdul, or how about Janet Jackson’s What Have You Done For Me Lately? or Michal Jackson for that matter? I found a complete 80’s station like a month ago and now it is a Spanish station, what happened??? Led Zeppelin will always rock for me!

  22. Oh, LORD! Whoever it was that said Phil and Against ALL ODDS. Had a girlfriend that kept giving me that 45 back in high school.
    “just listen to it, okay… Then give me a call… Please”

  23. First, I agree with your thoughts on Melt With You. Sad, sad use of a pure ’80’s song. But you forgot THE most horrendous use of a song — the “I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” Football Song. It makes me want to throw something at the TV every single time. And worse? I had to explain to my husband why it is wrong.

  24. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  25. johnny cash ‘ring of fire’ after i heard that preparation h wanted to use it in a commercial. totally killed it dead for me.

  26. Wow – Goon Squad Sarah nailed it – I remember that station playing Stairway To Heaven – it was New Years Eve and we kept compulsively checking back to see if it was still on – I know have memories of driving around in my boyfriends Trans-Am all night, mmmmm. My lost song – Babylon AD – Bang Go the Bells (Yes, I DID go to HS in southern Florida) makes me cringe.

  27. I always loved the song “Come on Eileen”. It's a fun party song and it was always played at least once at each house party I attended in college.

    My sophomore year of college I started dating a great guy… we were always laughing & always had a great time together. Just when things were rolling along nicely he suddenly broke up with me. I was pretty crushed….

    I few days later my friends dragged me out to a party. I agreed to go even though I knew my newly minted ex would probably be there. He was…. and as the song “Come on Eileen” played I saw the real reason he broke up with me… her name was Carrie.

    I've never been able to hear that song without seeing him flirt with her…. it's been years and years but I can still feel it sting.

  28. I just listened to “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey this morning!! Actually…we’ve been listening to them for DAYS now!! That doesn’t age me, does it? But do you remember locomotion by Kylie Minogue? Wow.

  29. Anything by U2 before Bono started using the falsetto.

    My ex-boyfriend, The Tool, was major-big into U2.

    We broke up well before they started sounding like The Fine Young Cannibals, though.

  30. Breaking up is Hard to do – an ex once sang this to me while ending our relationship. Totally ruined that song for me.

  31. Ugh! I was so upset by that “Melt With You” ad. That song is sacred.

    “One Way or Another” comes to mind. I think it’s Swiffer commercial now.

    I’m also going to go with “Communication Breakdown,” because whenever a radio station plays a block of Led Zeppelin they use with that or “The Immigrant Song” because they are short.

  32. Hilarious! Totally reminds me of my French excahnge boyfriend. We were there for all of ooohh five/six days so I was totally in love and must have listened to Total Eclipse of the Heart about four thousand times on the 19hour coach journey home. Makes me smile every time I hear it. God we were all so innocent back than.
    Baby got back – every time I hear it I see “Friends”.

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