OK, I’ve been so involved thinking about religion and/or politics lately, that I’ve forgotten about the music that always sings in my heart. (Mrs. Ex might say that it sings in a different body part, especially after I’ve eaten beans.) Anyway, I’ve decided to share with my friends some songs that always make me gag. For your reading, listening, and viewing pleasure, they’re organized by category, and I’ve included short commentaries to explain my choices. I hope you don't lose your lunch when you click on the links.
Gaggiest Woo Song
Oh, there are so many songs in this category, where do I begin? Hardly anything can beat "Onward, Christian Soldiers" for militant Christian disgustingness or "Rock of Ages" for that old time self-righteous glow. When it comes to mixing patriotism and woo, it's impossible to top "God Bless America." But my all-time gaggiest Woo Song has to be When You Wish Upon a Star, for its crypto-religious message. In the version linked here, the "crypto" is elevated to "quasi." Or "Quazy," depending on your worldview.
Gaggiest Commercial Jingle
I first heard this tune in the 1950s, but it still goes through my head every time I’m ambivalent in the cereal aisle. So many crunchable treats, so few earworms. By the way, I blame The Betty Crocker Pick-a-Pack Package Song for my lifelong love of lousy alliteration. Bonus: If you listen closely to the commercial, you'll find out which cereal is gay.
Gaggiest Love Song by a Sperm Donor
I'm not convinced that every woman would find it endearing to know that some man interpreted her pregnancy as a sign of love for him. Having My Baby is clearly anti-abortion propaganda, but most people don't know that the voice of the person singing along with Paul Anka is a young Antonin Scalia. If you watch the linked video, you can see the result of a wild night the two guys had after recording the tune.
Gaggiest Hymnlike TV Theme Song
Whenever anybody asks me "Why," I'm always tempted to respond: "Why? Because we like you!" The Mickey Mouse Club Closing Theme is so simple-mindedly contagious that it's been elbowing far more important stuff out of my brain ever since I was a little boy. Why? Because I'm a fucking idiot.
Gaggiest "Everything’ll Be All Right, You’ll See" Song
Every song in this particular category is nauseating, but there's only one with a tune so sappy-catchy that it keeps ringing and ringing and ringing in my ears until I want to move into a cave just so I'll never have to see any sunlight again: Tomorrow.
Gaggiest "Well, That Really Fucked Up My Life" Song
Teenagers and young adults don't seem to melodize about personal tragedies any more the way my generation did. We had quite a few hit tunes about dying young lovers: in a plane crash, a motorcycle wreck, a drowning, and even from leukemia. Where do I begin to tell the story of how sick these ditties make me? But how can you beat a car crash during a stock car race for pathos? If it were up to me, Tell Laura I Love Her would be played before every NASCAR event. The cartoonist who created the linked video must have no soul. Hey, he's just like me!
Gaggiest Song That Mentions Both Kittens and Strudel
I don't know if there are any other songs in this category, but this number is definitely one of the most stomach-turning music-and-lyrics combos ever written. As most of my regular readers know, I don't tend to go gaga over kittens. However, I've never revealed before that crisp apple strudel is also not one of My Favorite Things. As far as I know, the linked version is the only performance featuring a woman who was found guilty of negligent homicide, and not just for killing the song.
Gaggiest Non-Children’s Song in Which a Word Is Spelled Out
I have very little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for any lyricist, even if she's a W-O-M-A-N named G-L-O-R-I-A or L-O-L-A, who thinks it's clever to resort to spelling; it’s really just a cheap trick for creating doggerel. Nine letters (no prizes for identifying them) rhyme with "me," "knee," and "chimpanzee." The worst of these songs, though, is the treacly D-I-V-O-R-C-E, even if it's used — as it is in the linked version — to help people learn English.
Gaggiest Song About Something Appetizing to Eat
You might think that I would love any song about food, perhaps with the exception of The French-Cut Canned Stringbeans Polka. But you may have forgotten this saccharine sweet ditty that my wife and I sing whenever we’re trying to resist dessert (which, to be honest, is rarely to never). This may be the only version of The Candy Man that doesn't put me into insulin shock.
Gaggiest Song Ever
Let's face it. Kumbaya is the sine qua non of gaggiosity. Someone's retching, my Lord.