Guilty Pleasure Songs, or why my iPod wears sunglasses at night


We all have them. Those songs we listen to in the car, when no one else is

around, that we even sing along with, when no one is looking. The songs we’re

slightly (or severely) embarrassed to admit we not only like, we have them on

a playlist on our iPod.

Some are truly bad songs. But others just don’t fit the image we’re trying

to maintain. The rest are slightly outdated, overexposed, completely random,

or contain lyrics that you would generally find offensive as a feminist, if

there weren’t irrevocably intertwined with happy memories that occurred before

your consciousness was sufficiently raised.

I bet you can already think of several songs like this, ones you only listen

to in secret.

But we all know where secrets can lead — to lies ("Yeah, I hate

Air Supply too!").

And where do secrets and lies lead us? If we’re Brenda Blethyn, a career-making

movie about re-connecting with our adopted daughter. If we’re anyone else, a

double life composed of furtively downloading songs when our partner/roommate/cocker

spaniel isn’t looking, and stuffing CDs in the glove compartment when we offer

our friends a ride.

So in the spirit of coming out of the musical closet, I offer 12 of my own

guilty pleasure songs below, listed in alphabetical order with links (when available)

to the song on iTunes so you can have a listen for yourself. I’ve even thrown

in a couple videos, for good measure. Because nothing takes you back to the

’80s like Samantha Fox and her pink hair.

"Against the Wind" by Bob Seger

It seems like yesterday, but it was long ago. Janie was lovely, she was the

queen of my nights, there in the darkness with the radio blasting….err, wait.

What was I talking about? Damn Bob Seger and his melodramatic musical epics,

they suck me in every time!


My Eyes Forever" by Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne

It’s a prom thing. I can’t explain.


Beloved" by Faith Hill

A hilarious ode to a marriage you know is doomed from the start, which asks

you to "raise your glass and join me / here’s to the bride and groom /

they’ll be together forever / until they find somebody new".


by Bel Biv Devoe

Completely sexist and lookist, but damn if it doesn’t make you want to dance!

In my defense, BBD’s "Poison" and "Do Me" are sexist, lookist,

and misogynist, so "Dope" is actually pretty good by comparison.


Day" by George Michael

The perfect song to unwind to after a long day of picking up gay men in public

restrooms and passing out in your car.


Free (Heaven Helps the Man)" by Kenny Loggins

Because if it’s good enough for Kevin Bacon, it’s good enough for me!

"Joyful, Joyful" by Lauryn Hill

Otherwise known as that song from Sister Act 2, and yes, it’s gospel.

I have to have my fix of choir music now and then. I make no apologies.


a Friend" by Biz Markie

So bad it’s good, especially when he hits the high notes in the refrain, "You…got

what I need." What he really needs is a voice coach, but then that would

take all the fun out of it.


Girls Need Love Too" by Samantha Fox

Cheesy? Completely. But the lyrics are so much deeper now that Samantha Fox

has come out as a lesbian…OK, that’s not true, but it’s a decent excuse.

I still remember the bikini-clad poster of Samantha my older teenage step-brother

had over his bed. Boy, was he barking up the wrong tree!


With Private Malone" by David Ball

Completely cliched country song about a guy who buys a Corvette previously owned

by a soldier who died in action, whose ghost then saves him from a car accident.

Yes, that’s right, it’s an ode to cars, patriotism, and God all in one! I can’t

believe I just wrote that.


at Night" by Corey Hart

When you’re future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades…oh wait, that’s a different

sunglasses song. Whatever, both remind me of dancing in my living room when

I was 11. And Max Headroom.


Companion" by Marc Cohn

Totally sappy, totally sucks me in. And I’ve totally ruined my edgy image by

admitting this.

"We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stewart

The only thing I remember from the fundamentalist Bible camp I attended in my

teens was this song playing incessantly from someone’s boom box (apparently

this was perfectly fine with the pastor, but that summer’s other hit song, "Red,

Red Wine" was crossing a line). Fortunately, the sermons about gay people

going to hell went right over my head.

Okay, now it’s your turn — cough up those guilty pleasure songs in the

comments below! The guiltier the better, so I can live down that "Private

Malone" song. Don’t leave me hanging!

More you may like