Tomorrow and Sunday I will have more serious topics. But today, let’s have some fun. I guarantee you, more than anything, this topic will have disagreements. We are talking about music and nothing involves personal taste and personality than the discussion of musical preferences.
I was sitting in Mel’s Diner with my bride over lunch and a song came on the loudspeaker. It made two of the waitresses start dancing along. It is one of those songs that you cannot help but smile when you hear it. I will mention which one it is as we go through my list. On my mp3 player, I have a playlist called “Fun songs”. I am not talking stupidly fun songs like “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” or The “Channukah Song” either. These are legitimate songs that people have produced over the years that catch the imagination of people and just sort of inspire them to want to move and shake and smile at another person.
My list is obviously antiquated and represents someone who doesn’t know all that many fun songs produced in the 80s. During that time, I lived in a tiny little town in the mountains of British Columbia and we had only one radio station – it only played jazz and conversational human interest stories. We also had no music store. So, I admit I have a huge gap in my knowledge of music.
So here are my Top Ten Fun Songs…in no particular order:
1. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne. Can there be anything more fun than a 15-year old telling his old girlfriend that he thinks her mom is cute and could really go for a guy like him. The naivete aside, it is how 15 year olds think. I don’t feel embarrassed for the boy; I like his style.
2. Tubthumping – Chumbawumba. Yes, I know…it’s a drinking song and is perhaps suitable only for the pub crowd. But I love it and can’t stop dancing around to it. And the primary message, even if it applies to someone who keeps getting so drunk that he can’t stand up again, is a good one: “I get knocked down, but I get up again”.
3. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s amazing how this incredible song can get so political about a war that ended 150 years ago. And, that the main beef that the songwriter has is with a 60s anti-war singer from Canada no less. Yet, even with those overtones, it’s a fun song to sing along with. In light of that, my next favorite fun song is…
4. China Grove – the Doobie Brothers. This song and the next song are the type of songs that everyone knows the chorus and no one knows the lyrics. But who cares. They are not only fun, but well made.
5. Louie, Louie – The Kingsmen. Actually it doesn’t really matter who sings this song (ie. the Pharoahs, the Wailers, the Beach Boys…they all did it), it will be one of those that evokes such expressions of joy and pure musical excitement. It also doesn’t matter that no one can quite agree on what the words to the song are. We all know the chorus…well, at least two words of it.
6. I Get Around – The Beach Boys. This could be any Beach Boys song, for that matter, since they all have the same harmonies and basic chords. This one seems to be the quintessential one however and represents Little Deuce Coupe, California Girls and Be True to Your School as well.
7. Your Mama Don’t Dance – Loggins and Messina. I can’t really think of a song that makes me want to shake my ever slackening rear more than this. It is such a fun song that none of us even pay attention to the obvious moral decay going on in the back seat. Yea for the policeman with his flashlight.
8. All Star – Smash Mouth. Not too much needs to be said about this one. I just like the way they put it all together, especially the line “and the shape on a L on her forehead”.
9. Wipeout – The Surfaris. This song has to be fun…it starts out with a guy laughing, a drummer high on life with his baseball bat sized drumsticks and lyrics nobody could forget.
10. Man, I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain. The only reason some of you are cringing at this is because it got played so much for so many years that you swore you would drive a nail into your hand if you heard it again. But listen again and see how much fun it is. It is the female version of Sweet Home Alabama, which makes every guy within a hundred yards start playing air guitar.
The song I heard in Mel’s btw…was Wipeout!