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
Somebody Loves You
Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady
Hold the Line
Time for Me To Fly
You Make My Dreams Come True
Caught Up in You
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.)