« he who shall not be named | Main | the operative word here is "tool" »

we had joy, we had fun....

Everyone has a special song, maybe more than one. I don't mean the let's hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes songs. Nor do I mean the man I miss those drunken college days songs. I'm talking songs that grate on your every last nerve, songs that get stuck in your head for days on end, songs that make you think bad, bad thoughts.

I have several of those songs, but none that get under my skin more than Terry Jacks' Seasons in the Sun. You know the one:

We had joy we had fun
we had seasons in the sun

Yea, that one.

What made this song so spectacularlly horrible for me was the mention of my name:

Goodbye Michele, it's hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky

When this song came out, it surpassed singing the Beatles' Michele as the number one way to bug the living shit out of me.

The song was sticky, syrupy sappy. The lyrics made me cringe. And everyone knew this. My sisters, my neighbors, my classmates who needed no further excuse to make fun of me to begin with. If you wanted to get under my skin, you just stood in front of me and sang Seasons in the Sun.

A little known fact about Seasons in the Sun is that the 45 (remember those?) had an equally disturbing and morbid song on the flip side. Titled Put the Bone in, the lyrics went something like this:

Put the bone in
she yelled
at the store
cause my doggie
got hit
by a car

I am not kidding. Looking for a link to the lyrics, I discovered that Soul Asylum did a cover version. I can only hope it was for laughs.

There were plenty of songs I could use against friends, if I had any. Billy Don't be a Hero was a very popular song at the time, full of war time angst and sadness, but I didn't know anyone named Billy. Besides, if Billy was the hero, it just wouldn't have the effect I wanted it to.

Then there was Run, Joey, Run, a song about a boy who got a young girl pregnant and the girl's father shoots him, leaving the mourning young woman to wail at the end of the song (presumably while holding Joey's dying body in her arms):

Daddy please don't
we're gonna get....
(pause for effect)

I think there was a slight obession with over-wrought emotions and death in the 70's. Maybe it was to counter the happy hedonistic disco craze.

The 70's was also the height of my mother's show tune craze. I was almost afraid to get off the bus each day, as my mother had a penchant for opening every window in the house and blasting her soundtrack of the moment. Do you know what it's like to get off the bus with a group of people and have every stare in horror at your house as the songs from Hair drift out the window?


Father, why do these words sound so nasty?

Can be fun
Join the holy orgy
Kama Sutra

And you wonder why I am the way I am? These are the songs of my childhood. War, death, sex. It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Mom and dad also schooled us in the way of doo-wop, forcing us to listen to the Sunday night show on CBS-FM. There was nothing like having a few friends over on a summer Sunday night, hanging in the backyard and your mom turns off your "hippie druggie" music so she can embarass the hell out of me by dancing with my dad on the pool deck to lyrics like "Sh-boom, sh-boom." Doo wop seeps into your brain like on other kind of music. Three days after hearing a song, your mind is still going ramalamadingdong.

There are plenty of other songs - without my name - that get stuck in my head and cause me to writhe around on the floor in agony. McArthur Park, Copacabana, The Pina Colada Song, Whoomp There it Is, song, just to name a few. The only way to combat the phenomenom of a horrible tune playing on repeat in your head is to listen to some Cannibal Corpse. Trust me, after hearing those lyrics, you will forget all about the cake being left out in the rain.

And don't ever, ever sing that Seasons in the Sun song to me. You will regret it.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference we had joy, we had fun....:

» Michele's Christmas List from Blogcritics
Folks - As a public service announcement, I just wanted to let y'all know that Michele of A Small Victory [Read More]


what about "shannon is gone I heard she drifted out to see" about a dog... When I was very little I love "The night Chicago Died" ACK! Then there is anything by Cat Stevens which my husband likes , only to make me crazy.

Oh My God! And I complained because I was forever being made to listen to opera and Mozart.
I swear to God I'm going out and buying my dad the best stereo system I can find.

Heh. You forgot about the choir at the end of the "daddy please don't" verse:

Daddy please don't
we're gonna get....
(pause for effect)
[Chorus: AAAHhhhhhAAAHhhhHOOOOOOoooOOOO]

People nowadays forget how sucky 70s music could really get, because all anyone ever plays now is the top 1%.

But hell, I like the Bee Gees, who am I to talk? :)

"as my mother had a penchant for opening every window in the house and blasting her soundtrack of the moment"

HAD???? One of the benefits of having your kitchen in the front of the house is that everyone who passes can see right in. So, what's more embarassing than hearing "The Wall" blasting from our little house from a block away and as you walk up, a group of friends say "Hey Lisa, is that your MOM dancing & singing to Pink Floyd???"

I completely feel your pain. My full name is Tamara (sounds like tomorrow) so whenever someone is introduced to me it goes something like this:
ME: Hi, my name is Tamara, like yesterday, today and Tamara.
THEM: Tamara, Tamara, I love you Tamara, you're only a day away!

Bonus points if you can name the movie that little gem came from...

The ending of Run Joey Run is even worse than you remember! The dad shoots at Joey, but HITS HIS DAUGHTER!! Her slow singing and the choir at the end is HER DYING! If you can stand it, I'll send you the mp3 with the proof.

I think her last words were, "Goodbye, Michele, it's hard to die ... "

I have several of these, also:
- "Macarena"
- "Achy Breaky Heart"
- Anything by Sheryl Crow, Santana or Barry Manilow

I also have a nickname that I absolutely hate, and everyone who knows me knows about it. (Not because I told them, but they found out somehow.) All they'd have to do to grate my nerves is make like Barbra and sing, "What's it all about...?"

"it's a misty, moisty morning
when cloudy was the weather . . ."

That was as far as my sister would get before I beat her into the ground. God I HATE that song.

And if one more person comes up to me and says "Play Misty for me" or comments about how they have a dog/horse/ferret named Misty, I'm gonna torch them on the spot.

"now allyson's in galveston, somehow lost her sanity."

Been to galveston once, but didn't stay. Jury is still out on the sanity part.

"Every time you look at me,
Something is on my mind.
If you do what I want you to,
Baby, we'll be so fine!"

Sh-boom, sh-boom, sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,
Sh-boom, sh-boom, sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,

OK, I'm outta here ;)

My first girl friend's name was Michelle. She was a nice calm person, but one day I started singing the Beatles' Michelle, and I thought she was going to kill me. I now stay away from a mention of that song whenever I meet a woman with that name.

I do have a friend whose middle name is Michele (one L), and I once wrote a parody of the Michelle song (although I can't find the lyrics right now). Her mother gave her that spelling because she thought she'd forget the second L. Anyway, the lyric I remember went something like this:

Michele, one L,
Why can't it be spelled like Albert Belle,
With two L's.

If I find it, I'll mail it to you, Michele.

"Havin' my baby"
"what a lovely way of saying how much you love me..."


Um, sorry, I',ll get someone from maintenance to clean that up for you....

You know my feelings on this subject. I couldn't even bring myself to read your entire post... sorry.

Must. Hurl. Now.

I have the Soul Asylum version if anyone is interested - if I remember, it's a hidden track on the CD "Hang Time" (early Soul Asylum, before they began to suck with Grave Dancers Union).

Perhaps I'll rip it when I get home and link it up.

How about 'Someone left the paper out in the Raines...."

BTW, my son works for Relapse records if you ever need some, well, whatever kind of music it is.....

Imperial Falconer (With Stipend™)

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you're lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile

Need I say more? Every morning someone in this hell-hole sings that to me. The only saving grace of actually hearing that song is that Nat King Cole sings it and I love him.

Lisa, I think you forgot this one:

Good morning sunshine, the earth says hello...

michele, I find that it helps if you change the words.

For example:

"We had joy
we had fun
we had phasers set on 'stun'".

I hated the Terry Jacks version because he changes the best part of the song completely... the dying man forgives his wife for cheating on him since one of her lovers was the friend he has said good-bye to at the beginning of the song,

For sheer creepiness nothing can top Wayne Cochrane's Last Kiss (1962) which was actually covered by Pearl Jam. You may be too young to remember that early 1960's Top 40 was eat up with dead teenager songs.

I do vote for Shannon as the worst creep-out pop song of the 1970's. Nothing can top country music's Teddy Bear by Red Sovine.

Wow, my soulmate. You hit on almost every syrupy, maudlin piece of crap song I have ever loathed or could think of, but wait, "Alone again Naturally". Poor little feller, everyone keeps dieing on him. Maybe if he stopped singing/whining for a few minutes. Sounds like an old cat in heat.

green eyed lady, ocean laaaaaaady. child of nature, friend of maaaaan hurl! hiccup

how do you feel about the guns and roses song? (Your daddy works in porno now that mommy's not around, etc)

the only song i know with my name is by camper van beethoven, and i love it.

Until it became a TV commercial I used Led Zep's Rock'n'Roll to cure bad song disease. Now, if I'm in a hurry I go straight for Oi Polloi. If I'm looking for a longer term fix to a really bad song I've found that listening to 'The heart will go on' works like a sort of musical anti-virus.

As for the 70s, while many of you were evidently listening to horrible music I was out there in punk-thrash-metal-headbanger land bringing the mosh pit from concept to market. The 70s rocked.

Oh, I totally agree the 70's rocked. I did the whole punk thing, but when I was home, it was musical hell.

ANYTHING by WHAM! or George Michael just makes me want to hurl. I HATE his voice. Yet, whenever I hear something on the radio, I walk around for hours afterwards singing it. It is the most awful form of torture....


Yeah, well, I get to hear

"Lovely Rita,
meter maid."

Not funny.

For a while my friends thought it was fun to impersonate Eddie Vedder...

Jeremy spoke in class today

and I usually responded with

Jeremy kicked your ass today

Goddamn you, Michelle. Now that fucking song is stuck in my head, a cloying reminder of my misspent youth in the 1970s, listening to shit music. I'm putting on Eminem as soon as I hit the car...

Nothing like being young and named Beth when "Beth I hear you callin, but I can't come home right now..." came out.

I'm with you on this one. Copacabana must die. Soon.

First, thanks to all for putting horrible songs back into my head after years of trying to erase them. blech.
There's only one Suze song that I know of, and it's an instrumental (mostly) by Bob Dylan - it's really weird, too. It's called 'Suze (The Cough Song)' because he starts coughing at the very end. Strange.

I'll generally endorse Scott Harris's comments (and not just because he has the same name as my brother-in-law), but I'd note that the lack of oomph in Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" was in part due to McKuen's bad English version of "Le Moribond".

I have McKuen's own recording (on Warner Bros.), and what's scary is that the Terry Jacks version is better.

Of course, the Jacks to enjoy is Susan, Terry's ex, who sang lead on the Poppy Family singles from this era.

McArthur Park?
Oh shit, I forgot the cake - now where did I leave that damn thing...

I love that parents sued Judas Priest - it was them, wasn't it - for leading kids to suicide - and no one got the bastard who did Alone Again Naturally.
....Aaaaaa! I just realized someone else mentioned this one! Thr horror, the horror!

But I still think the top two for me are Wildfire and Horse With No Name. Hate them hate them hate them. Thankfully I can avoid them these days...

Oh and unfortunately I like Wham's song Last Christmas.
I feel I should mention this for some reason.

I've got you all topped....... I married a girl that MADE me buy a Debbie Boone album! You know....

You Light Up My LIfe

For shits sake. Aaaaaaggghhhhh


Holy shit! You just quoted two of the songs that almost no one else ever remembered..... I mean, it's hard to tell the story of Terry Jacks committing suicide in the house next door to your friend's house if no one remembers Terry Jacks. And, Run Joey Run references never quite made sense .....for the same reason.

On a slightly different note, does anyone remember the movie "A Special Kind of Love" with Linda Purl and Shawn Cassidy? "I love you, Roger......" has always worked so well....

-- If someone tells me to row my fucking boat one more time, I'll kill. On the other hand...

-- I'm eagerly awaiting the jokes when I get pregant. Really. Because when your first name's Rosemary and you're having a baby...

-- Or, on the other hand, you can have -- yes! -- that fabulous 70s song, "Love Grows where my Rosemary Goes." HUUURRRRLLL.

Kill. Me. Now!

(By the way, I used to play that cover of "Put the bone in" on my radio show alll the time. :D "'Cause the meat...from the pork...is so sweet...." And no fear, they so didn't do it seriously.)

anything...ANYTHING by Shawn Cassidy...


and also...my mother singing along with....Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline". My mom is a wonderful lady but a) she can't sing and b) she can't sing.

Where the HELL IS my Pepto Bismol?

Michele, how could you forget Afternoon Delight? and how Annie used to sing it?

John "Akatsukami" Braue is agreeable McKuen v. Brel --- but without McKuen I wouldn't have discovered Brel. Or, at least not at that more effectively impressionable age. That much is good.


Can u believe I can't find a copy of "run joey run" on limewire...... Uuuhhhh I need another drink.....

You have all forgotten the worst of the worst...Timothy. Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go oh oh oh? That and I shot the Sherrif REALLY make me gag.

You have all forgotten the worst of the worst...Timothy. Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go oh oh oh? That and I shot the Sherrif REALLY make me gag.

thats nice