And “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? Makes Me Sad And Anxious

January 29, 2012


Over at H.E. Ellis, she’s been celebrating her 100th post with 10 lists of top 10’s. In one of them, she mentioned the song “Goodbye Horses” being forever rendered creepy by the movie The Silence of the Lambs.  Now, it’s not a particularly good song, really, but it got me thinking about songs that, because of a particularly association, inspire a totally irrational response.

"Sir, don't act so put out. I asked very nicely for you to turn off the song, and you declined, okay? And I think you owe the gentleman I hurled through the glass a gift certificate."

For example, I had a job many years ago that I hated.  Hated.  Oh my God, I hated that job.  I needed something for extra money and it fit my schedule, but anyone who ever came in to the store (whose name I won’t say, so I’ll make up something impossible to decode), was greeted with, “Hi, welcome to Beer Fun Slimports, I’m only working here because I’m doing post-grad work to get my teaching license and this fits my busy schedule and it’s within walking distance of my apartment.  Normally I wouldn’t even shop here, like, ever.  How can I help you?”  So, they had a 60-minute loop of music that played all day, every day, and to this day if I hear “Walking In Memphis” I immediately get twitchy and mad and want to throw someone through a window.  Not a good song, but a benign song, and one that shouldn’t inspire window hurlage.

Then there’s The Ronette’s “Be My Baby.”  Even if you don’t know the song off hand, you probably recognize it from either Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets or Dirty Dancing, depending on your, you know, inclination.  This is a great song.  A just dead, solid pop song, and that drum beat at the beginning is fantastic.  Yet it makes me so sad.  Why?  It’s not a sad song.  To the best of my recollection, The Ronettes did not beat me up, ever.  It was not playing when Heather McDonald broke up with me; nothing was playing.  Nothing to hide the sounds of my heart shattering.  WHY, HEATHER?!  WHY WHY WHY??!!  Well, I’m MARRIED now and I’m VERY HAPPY and I am a BIG-TIME BLOGGER.  I’m HUGE.  AND I’M RESPECTED IN MY FIELD AND I STILL HAVE MY HAIR.

Sorry.  What was I saying?

Oh, right, I was introducing this week’s Weekly Question of the Week question!  Maybe it’s because the emotional response is off-kilter, maybe it’s inappropriate hate, maybe it’s any other bizarre response, but What songs provoke a completely irrational response from you?

, ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

38 Comments on “And “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? Makes Me Sad And Anxious”

  1. disseminatedthought Says:

    Hearing “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba makes me want to throw throw furniture out of windows and go on a murderous rampage, but given it’s such a crap song, that response may not be as irrational as I think it is.


  2. becomingcliche Says:

    Anything by Frank Sinatra drives me to the brink of violence. And I am not kidding. My husband thought it was funny to play Old Blue Eyes as a joke, until he saw the look in MY eyes. No Frank. No Dean Martin. No lounge-lizard tunes at all, please.


  3. WSW Says:

    Virtually anything by the Eagles makes me feel like I’m walking on my toenails, but Witchy Woman is by far the worst, with Lyin’ (WHY or why do the leave off the -g?) Eyes a close second. Don’t even get me started on Hotel California — once that gerbil gets in your brain, it’ll run on the wheel that powers the endless loop until you are stark, raving mad.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I remember once someone telling me that The Eagle were doing a concert in town and asked if I was going. I believe my response was, “If The Eagles were playing just off to my right, and all I had to do to attend was turn my head slightly, I still wouldn’t go.”


  4. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Ahh! I love this line, quite possibly the best line ever. Oh, thank you for the laughs today.

    I worked at a Yankee Candle store about 15 years ago. People used to ask me how I could stand the overwhelming smell. I would tell them it wasn’t nearly as bad as standing there eight hours a day listening to an endless loop of Mannheim Steamroller.


  5. H.E. ELLIS Says:

    Oh I’ve got it. As a whole I DETEST country music with the exception of one song, and that song is SHE WOULDN’T BE GONE by Blake Shelton. Every time I hear it my ears pick up some kind of “pentameter” prose-like quality to the lyrics, and I become obsessed with figuring it out. Not to mention it’s a blast to sing with a drawl. And a beer.


  6. thesinglecell Says:

    “Centerfold” by by J. Geils Band. A) Horrible song. 2) Cannot. Get it. Out. Of your head. Played incessantly during my time in retail, at a clothing store, my senior year of high school and during breaks my freshman year of college. That was 16, 17 years ago, and I actually still clench my jaw when I hear it.

    Ugh, I’m angry just having typed this comment.


  7. audreygjohnson Says:

    Everytime I hear “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood I start randomly spouting Zoolander Quotes… I might need help.
    So, your previous place of employment – I can’t even imagine what it would be based on your secret coding. You won’t give us any clues, really??


  8. Rocket Says:

    Dang. I had one. I know I do, it was also due to me hearing it play on a loop on a crappy job. I can assure you everyone likes it though.

    Why can’t I not remember?!? I guess I will the minute there is a chair flying through the air.


  9. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    All pretty good responses……
    I can NOT take that Beyonce song “if you like it then you shudda putta ring on it….” The background “beat” sounds as though it was made by running a loop of the sound of nails on a chalkboard through a synthesizer. Wow, just writting about it has raised my blood pressure and lowered my IQ…….must resist ……no, I will not wear pleather……


  10. Sarah Wilken Says:

    I had a roommate in college who always played “I Would Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf. I hated that song and I was not a big fan of the roommate. In fact, I may or may not be sitting in jail right now after a little “incident” in a bar that occurred (or didn’t occur) after some nimrod played that song. That is all I can say about the matter….where is my attorney? No comment.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I remember that song. I always tried to figure out if it was serious or parody, as I did with a lot of Meatloaf songs. Sounds serious… can’t be serious… but sounds serious… (etc.)


  11. secretlyhardcore Says:

    I have made this point elsewhere, but I detest the Happy Birthday song. No, detest doesn’t even cover it. It makes me want to shove chopticks in my ears until my eardrums burst. Look up worst renditions of happy birthday on youtube and you will see why this song should simply be banned.
    Worst. Song. Ever.


  12. gojulesgo Says:

    Well, Heather sounds like a real you-know-what. And that giant fork and spoon I was holding in my Zest and Zeal post? That picture was taken in Beer Fun Slimports (actually, a store called Beer Fun Slimports sounds awesome)!

    Another GREAT question. Gosh. “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” always brings back dark memories of a 6th grade dance (might have been 7th grade), where some boy asked me to dance only as a joke (unbeknownst to me until I landed in the middle of the dance floor alone), and then ran away with all of the other boys, laughing at me. It’s impossible for me to hear that song without thinking of terrible, terrible middle school dances.


  13. benzeknees Says:

    Worst for me – an irrational fear paralyzing me completely every time I hear Bad Moon Rising by CCR. I think it has to do with the song being so popular when I was babysitting age & it would come on when I was all alone in some strangers house, the kids in bed & scared out of my wits.
    I heard a very interesting discussion of why we love the songs we do on TV the other day. Apparently, the songs we hear when we are 14 years old play a very important part in our lives for the rest of our lives. These songs can influence the type of people we will be even based on the songs we are attracted to. Interesting hypothesis!


  14. PCC Advantage Says:

    “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion makes me want to rip off my ears. And, if I see the video, my eyes too.

    It’s horribleness assaults my hearing and vision every time.

    There is no other song in this world that elicits that kind of a response from me. Except anything else by Celine…


  15. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    Dammit. I know I have these, because I related exactly to what you wrote (YES! THIS!), but I can’t remember a single song. The only ones that are coming to mind are the ones it’s totally rational for me to hate, such as that freakin’ “brand new pair of roller skates” song that my mom played 4,000 times, until I had enough sense to throw away the cassette of torture.


  16. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt and Ricky Martin’s Christmas song both make me want to commit suicide. The fact that either of those songs were created makes me want to die.



  1. I’m Cooke’d | FiftyFourandAHalf - January 30, 2012

    […] songs that drive him crazy, and opening the floor to those that drive his readers crazy.  It’s here.    I started to leave a comment, but well, it didn’t quite fit in with his theme of “songs […]

Leave a Reply to The Byronic Man Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: