Guilty Pleasure Songs

You know how you listen to a certain song and instantly feel revived and happy? For some reason, most of those songs for me (with the sole exception of everything the Indigo Girls ever sang) are solidly rooted in the 70s and early 80s. I’ve no real idea why, other than I have sharp and delicious memories of the plastic wood record player in my yellow-flowered bedroom spinning 45s blasting Air Supply and Abba. Of course, I also used to put on low-attended shows where I’d interpretively dance to Barry Manilow’s Daybreak or Marie Osmond’s Paper Roses. Especially awesome was how I’d drag my dented cassette recorder to the junior high parking lot around the corner from my house and expressively rollerskate to the Fame soundtrack, hoping the drama teacher would glimpse out the window and star-struckedly ask me to be the lead in his next play.


That’s almost as bad as how I tried out for cheerleading 29 times and only made it once because the entire cheer squad quit to play girl’s basketball and the pep coach had to cobble together a pom pom group from the dregs of auditioneers. I was like the alternate’s alternate’s understudy.


I need to take a minute.


It hurts to think about sometimes.


I still have the picture of me in a hand-me-down cheer outfit trying to do the splits and only making it halfway down while I cover my lack of flexibility with spastic jazz hands.


Thank God for the music. At night, while recovering from my sore splits attempts and coming to grips with the fact that I had a way with words but not with cheers, I put on my 45s or my tapes and felt OK just the way Jesus made me. Always have, always will, forever and ever amen (a great song by Randy Travis).


My point is there are songs that will lift me up every time, and most of them are cheesy and I am sorry for that. However, I feel compelled to list them here because I just went on a song-listening rampage and I have to spread the cheese (in this analogy, the songs are the cheese and you are the cracker).

I’m betting right about now you can totally picture me rollerskating to Out Here On My Own, and that adjunctively, it will not surprise you to discover the drama teacher never did look out the window.


These are the songs that I’d sing at night (with some modern twists thrown in). Also, none of them have a unifying theme or throughline, other than they make me happy.


Looks Like We Made It



This One’s For You



Rainy Days and Mondays



Please Come to Boston





Dancin’ in the Moonlight



My Eyes Adored You



Hooked on a Feeling






Crazy Love



Danny’s Song



Somebody Loves You



Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady



Funny Face



Hold the Line



Time for Me To Fly



You Make My Dreams Come True



Caught Up in You



The Sign






and of course, the encore:



Aren’t you glad you stopped by today?


Look! Dorky jazz hands!


(What are your guilty pleasure songs? For the love of rejected cheerleaders everywhere, I hope they’re cheesier than mine.)


21 Responses to “Guilty Pleasure Songs”

  1. Laurie Ann says:

    Get out of my head!! Seriously, with the exception of three or four of these, (you lost me at 11-14), all of these are on my iPod and get regular play.

    Some others? Art Garfunkel-All I Know; Meatloaf–the entire Bat Out of Hell album;Gilbert O’Sullivan–Alone Again & Clare; Any Gordon Lightfoot; Bread–Diary; and pretty much any of the wonderful 70’s Super Hits. I love me some cheesy songs.

  2. Theresa says:

    Of course I remember that stint as a cheerleader :)

    I played basketball that season, only left the bench once but scored a hail mary lucky basket during my 2 minutes of glory. And years later when I coached middle school basketball because no one else would, I let everyone play equally and parents of the star players headed for the WNBA hired a hitman to take me out.

    But I digress….

    I love each and every song with the same crazed passion. And I have tainted my daughter now because I forced her to listen to clips of each… she thought they were “old-timey” and cute.

    And if Bill Reidinger is out there somewhere… Time for me to fly is still “our” song… if only for a moment at the 7th grade dance.

  3. Jessica says:

    OMG!!! those are the same songs I adore!! I too have a lot of these CD’s. Even though I was tortured by then I still love them all. WTF is up with at?

  4. Jenean says:

    KC and the Sunshine Band…Boogie Shoes…I made up a dance /baton routine in high school. I was on the dance team, sounds a little like your cheer squad, half of us couldn’t do the splits. I found out years later we were also known as The Dog Squad…sad but funny too, you know? Oh, the routine was really good.

  5. The hair! The hair is so terrible! I love watching old videos just so I can gawk at the hair and clothes.

    And I love jazz hands. I used to do them all the time, but luckily I realized how not cool it made me look, and I stopped. My kids are exempt from that, though, and get regular doses of jazz hands.

    Oh, and I’d comment on the music, but I’m music illiterate.

  6. rubbish says:

    I wouldn’t admit it in public but I quite like the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack!

  7. green girl in wisconsin says:

    Disco, punk rock,everything ever sung by Barry Manilow, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Neil Diamond. *sigh* Barry.

  8. Rima says:

    Why is “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” by Air Supply not on this list???

    P.S. I got the chicken pox the day before cheerleading tryouts, but I’m convinced it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Because if I’d made the team, I would have never been introduced to Doc Martens, Echo and the Bunnymen or Sylvia Plath. And I’d probably still have a perm.

  9. Oh My GOSH, Mmm Bop? That was a shocker… But hillarious. Hubby loves Hall and Oates, daughter and I have heard the songs so many times that we beg him yo yurn them off. I like Vanilla Ice and my new fave is Brown Chicken Brown Cow… It’s nothing like the name would make you think.

  10. The level of drama + cheese is admirable here; especially *anything* REO Speedwagon or Carpenters. However, not sure anyone can top my very moving interpretation of Leader of the Pack. It was epic; if ever I had performed in public, people would have wept for hours.

    I can also do a pretty awesome rendition of Hopelessly Devoted to You. We really should get together sometime ;D

  11. Barry owned me! And REO Speedwagon? The soundtrack of 7th and 8th grade dances.

    And because I quite like you, I’ll forget any mention of Hansen.

  12. San Diego Momma says:

    My heart is warmed that so many of you like the same songs. It’s kind of like birds of a freaky feather fly together!

    Stephanie: I have GOT to see your rendition of Hopelessly Devoted. I just might out-emote you though.

    And Theresa! I will raise you a Greg Anderson and I dancing to Goodbye Stranger at the 7th grade dance. First and last time we ever danced together.

  13. Me says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hubby and I enjoyed reviewing and bopping to these as we have collected most of them on CD!

    Happy Easter!!

  14. How the hell did you get into my basement and I demand that you give me my albums, cassettes and 8-tracks back RIGHT NOW. Oh my holy hell.

    At least I am not alone in my uber-cheesiness.

    You forgot the Partridge Family…

  15. ilinap says:

    Good Lord, I love you. I tune in to the same music, much to the chagrin of pretty much of everyone I know. I’ve seen Barry Manilow 3 times in concert and I’ve seen Neil Diamond 8 times. How cool am I?

  16. Oh my this brings back some memories of a girl who once was.

  17. childhood memories are so fun!

  18. Stefanie says:

    Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup, drink it up,
    Love her and she’ll bring you luck.
    And if you find she helps your mind, buddy, take her home,
    Don’t you live alone, try to earn what lovers own.

    Maybe the best four lines every written.

  19. Mama Mary says:

    How did I not see this post last week? Out Here ON My Own is one of my all time favorite songs, ever. Music is one of our many connections. Though I may need to have a word with you about Mmmbop. :)

  20. Deborah says:

    A continent away, I was belting out Please Come to Boston in the car at the top of my lungs! Along with We’ve Got Tonight, Bob Seger…okay, pretty much anything by Bob Seger and John Mellencamp (Cougar Mellencamp, back then!) Wow, what a trip down memory lane.

  21. KiKi says:

    Holy. Freakin’. Crap.

    I am dying! I don’t know if you’ve read any of the stuff on my blog, but…dude! You already know that you had my at Barry Manilow from earlier conversations (and yes, I know I’m a little slow on getting around to this particular post…), but — um…you are like…you are me, man. The rollerskating…the jazz hands…the one time making it for the cheerleading team because of a fluke, and being a total clod. Drama. Tell me you weren’t an Olivia Newton-John freak too….I’m not going to take over your comment section here, but I’m just speechless and totally laughing and nodding in agreement up here in my sleepy little LA suburb! Next time we bump in to each other somewhere, we’re totally going to have to compare notes on this one. LOL!

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