what’s in a name…?

Recently I’ve been thinking a bit about the songs I used to listen to “back in the day” (does that make me sound old? Am I old enough to be able to use that expression?) Well, I mean mostly the ’90s and early ’00s (but since I don’t remember when various songs were released, and I clearly can’t be bothered looking it up, there are likely to be songs outside of those years as well).

I wanted to do a post about all of these nostalgic songs, but quickly realised that that would inevitably result in a ridiculously long post that would never get published because I’d be constantly thinking of songs to add to the list. A possible solution to this: break it up into several, smaller posts. But how? I need criteria or something.

I was thinking about this as I browsed YouTube, and came across ‘Foolish’ by Ashanti. This reminded me of a particular game/challenge KR, LR and I played on our recent trip to NZ, which basically entails thinking of as many songs as possible that do not have obvious titles – basically the title isn’t part of the chorus, and isn’t repeated (more than a couple of times) elsewhere in the song. Another good way to think of it is that if you heard the song for the first time and had to guess the title, there’s practically zero chance of ever guessing correctly.

Well, since it was kind of the inspiration for this post, ‘Foolish’ (by Ashanti) gets to be first on the list. I was actually watching the MV for ‘Always on time’ (by Ja Rule ft. Ashanti), and this song was one of the related/suggested videos on the side. From the title alone, I couldn’t remember what it sounded like, so, of course, I clicked the link. My almost instantaneous reaction (after the opening scene, when the music actually started) was kind of like “Ahh.. yeah, I remember this”. You know, kind of like that feeling you get when you’re listening to the radio and you can’t quite think of the name/artist of a song for a bit, and then it suddenly dawns on you.

While I’m on it, ‘Mesmerize’ (Ja Rule ft. Ashanti) also qualifies for this list. Those two released some good songs. I can’t remember if I was old enough to fully comprehend what their songs were about, but I remember I liked their music.

One of the first songs I thought of for the non-obvious-title challenge was ‘The scientist’ by Coldplay. Such a lovely, haunting sort of song. (I also liked the ‘Glee’ cover of it.) I vaguely remember watching an interview with Chris Martin around the time of the song’s release, and he said he actually had to learn how to sing the song backwards so that the singing would look normal when played in reverse. Fun fact.

And sticking with the “haunting” theme (is it just me, or do I have a thing for sad/poignant songs?), I also really like ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls. I remember watching the MV as a kid, and for some reason I liked the whole concept of having a room at the top of a tower with a bunch of mismatched telescopes pointed in all directions. Not stalker-ish at all…

By now you’ve probably established that my music taste was pretty mainstream. I am not going to dispute that, and will actually finish this post off with another mainstream pop song: ‘Affirmation’ by Savage Garden. This is one of my most favourite songs ever. It just has such a good uplifting quality to it. And maybe I didn’t appreciate every line when I was a kid, but I appreciate it now, and could easily listen to it over and over again.

I know there are a lot of other songs that could be included in this, but I simply do not have the time to keep adding them in. Also, history tells me that if I start a post, and then save it as a draft to finish at another time, it will probably never get posted… But if you can think of more songs – whether in this same sort of era or not, but preferably songs that you at least like(d) – you are more than welcome to leave a comment about it!


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