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Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Did I Download This Song?

I have to say, I love the invention of the iPod, and I don't know how I ever got through life without one.

Well, okay, I used a Walkman and cassette tapes.  But that was so awkward because you could only listen to one tape over and over again, and you had at most eighteen songs that you could listen to before you got tired of them.  It was a nice fad for a while, but impractical.

But with iPods and mp3 players, you can have thousands of songs at your disposal (I myself have exactly 1,499 on mine so far - and I honestly don't know how much money I've spent on music, but take it from me, it's probably a high number).  And for the most part, I have a reason why I have the songs I have on my iPod.  Sometimes I love the band.  Sometimes I download an entire album.  And when you're looking up what songs were #1 for your birthday, it's cool to download all of those songs.  Truth be told, I have every single song that hit #1 on my birthday over the last thirty-four years.  Some I love, some not so much...but whatever the case, I have them all.

But then over time, you look through your playlist of songs on your iPod, and you come across a song that you downloaded that you don't know why you have it on there in the first place.

Just the other day, I had one of those moments when this song came up when I had my iPod on shuffle.

Yep.  You're reading this correctly.  That is "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow.  Not just any version, but the 1993 dance mix edition!  And for the life of me, I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to download this song in the first place.  I mean, yeah, I think Barry Manilow's stuff is good, but I don't see myself downloading every single song he has ever done.

(True story.  This is the only Barry Manilow song I have.)

The only thing I can think of is that I either heard it on a television show and I had to have it, or it was one of the rare songs that cost only 69 cents to purchase.  I mean, look at the album it came on.  I wouldn't dare download a whole album of disco.

So, it got me thinking about what other songs I have in my music library that I'm surprised I have on my iPod.  Again, no stories of buyer's remorse or anything like that, but I have to wonder if listening to these songs again will jog my memory in regards to why I bought the song.

I've managed to find a total of twelve songs (a baker's dozen if you count "Copacabana") that I wasn't sure why I bought them at first...but when I thought about it, I had the answer.

Let's begin.

Okay, so "Sex Bomb" by Tom Jones is a rather random song to have on my iPod.  I don't even claim to be the biggest fan of Tom Jones.  If women want to throw their knickers at him, that's their prerogative.  Personally, I wonder what the appeal is.  But the reason why I have this song?  It reminds me of college life and how this song was playing during my Frosh orientation at one of the events.  I remember everyone on my floor was dancing along to it, and I guess I kind of learned to like it through osmosis.

And no, I'm no sex bomb, sex bomb.  I'm no sex bomb.  All I do is turn them off.

I believe a Dr. Pepper commercial was the source of this classic song.  And, maybe I heard it on the Muppet Show a couple of times.  I don't know, there's just something so simplistic, yet goofy about the song "Mahna Mahna".

By the's the commercial that inspired me to seek this song out.

Ah, another song that reminds me of college, as the radio station I listened to at the time (KOOL FM) played this song over and over.  Didn't matter though.  It was - and still remains - a great song.  Too bad you don't hear much from Samantha Mumba these days - at least not here in North America, anyway.

To be fair, I have a couple of Gowan songs in my iPod library.  He's one of those artists that you most often can recognize just by hearing his voice, and he was a mainstay on Canadian radio.  This particular song here though?  I sought it out one day when I was a teenager.  At the time, CBC was rebroadcasting old episodes of "Degrassi Junior High", and it seemed like this song was played at every school dance.  It's a slow number that played when Joey and Caitlin danced at the grad dance before the school exploded.  Good times.

I've heard so many people mocking Celine Dion over the years, and to be honest with you, I never got the point of it.  As far as I am concerned, she has more than proven herself to be a great artist.  This is a song that was a huge hit in Canada (CFJR used to play this one a lot back when it was still an AM station), but not so much in the USA, and I have to say, I still like it some 24 years later.

My condolences to Celine for the recent deaths of her husband and brother.

This one is no contest, really.  I downloaded this one right after Robin Williams passed away.  It's the love theme for the Disney film "Aladdin", which happens to be my favourite Disney film of all time.  I have this version, as well as the version sung in the film itself.  I don't know, there's something about the lyrics of "A Whole New World" that make it hauntingly beautiful, and realizing that one can find freedom if they allow themselves to be ready for it.

This is a classic example of "I heard this song at work, and it will not leave my brain until I find out who sings it".  It took me some time to try and figure it out though, as working on the loud sales floor kind of obscures you from hearing the lyrics correctly.  After a few tries, I finally heard a clear part of the chorus as I was leaving work, entered it into a Google search, and presto...Jude Cole's 1990 hit became my latest acquisition in my iTunes library.

And this is one of those songs where I remember liking the song, but couldn't remember why I liked it so much.  Certainly Madonna's had a few hits that I can admit to liking, but of these, "Cherish" was the most confusing because it was a cutesy-poo song like "True Blue" or "Holiday".  At least, that was the case until I saw the music video for the first time in years, and I was like...oh, the mermaid video!  I loved that video!  It's funny what sticks in your mind years later, doesn't it?

Okay, let me state for the record that I would NEVER purchase a record that is called #PlanetPop.  Anyone who uses a hashtag in an album title should be thrown off a bridge, as far as I'm concerned.  That being said, there's a reason why I have this song from this album.  The song "Are You Jimmy Ray" was a pop culture fad at my high school.  The posters were everywhere, the song was blaring out of people's's one of the few good memories I have of high school.  But, it - much like Jimmy Ray's career - was a flash in the pan.

This is one of those purchases that I am glad I have, but wish I could find a better version of.  Looking Glass' 1972 single "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" is probably one of my favourite songs from the 1970s, and I don't regret purchasing the song at all.  But unfortunately, on iTunes Canada, this is the only version that is not covered by other artists, and when you play it, you are subjected to one of the "Charlie's Angels" actors singing this same song off key for 20 seconds.  If I could find a better version that omits this lousy singing part, I would be in heaven.  For now, this stays.

You know how sometimes when you watch a movie, there's that one song that is used in a scene that you absolutely love?  That's why I have Pharrell Williams' "Fun, Fun, Fun" on my iPod.  That song always reminds me of Gru taking his girls to the amusement park and how he won that lovely "IT'S SO FLUFFY" unicorn prize for little Agnes!  That song will forever have a place on my iPod.

Finally, I'll show you the latest song that I downloaded...Meghan Trainor's "Better When I'm Dancing".  I dare you to listen to this one without tapping your toes or clapping your hands.

Go on...I dare you.

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