We saw The Most Annoying Pop Songs We Hate To Love (having missed most of it through watching The Lord of the Rings). One of the songs listed was Money for Nothing by Dire Straits. I never liked Dire Straits… I borrowed their Brothers in Arms album from our neighbour, and it was dull and flat to me; nothing stood out. I miss certain tones, so maybe that’s just how they sounded to someone with my type of poor hearing. Still, I wouldn’t have called them cheesy or annoying. Someone on the show said Money for Nothing shouldn’t have been on the list of Most Annoying Pop Songs and he wasn’t quite sure how that happened, but I said “it’s just that Dire Straits are old now. That’s all he needs to know.”
But I started thinking about the description ‘cheesy’.
“What does it mean, exactly?” I asked.
Mum said, “I don’t know, I expect different people would define it differently. What songs do you think are cheesy?”
I thought I would come up with something I thought was cheesy, but there was nothing. There are songs I hate for one reason or another, but ‘cheesy’ never seemed to be the first word to mind. I thought about new songs, old songs, 70s Christmas songs, Shakin’ Stevens, Achy Breaky Heart, Cliff Richard, centuries-old ballads, Scottish songs, pan pipes, yodelling, Gaelic songs, songs other people think are cheesy… and nothing really rang that bell.
Then I said “oh, yeah… I know what’s cheesy…. Rabbie Burns poetry.”
“We are not talking about poetry,” said Mum sternly, though I know she’s no Burns fan either.
“I know. I just couldn’t think of anything…”
Finally I thought of something. Celine Dion. The first time I ever saw her, singing something dramatic in the charts (I forget what)…. that was cheesy to me. I hadn’t heard of her before so I wasn’t going on what others thought, and nor was it something I had heard too much of. There’s another not so far behind… Mariah Carey. Years ago she was on TV singing Can’t Live Without You (I love the Harry Nilsson version and remember playing it when my father was so ill). I didn’t like Mariah’s version, but my boyfriend at the time was almost aggressive about it, saying “you know, she’s pretty good. I like it.”
It was he who introduced me to Heart of Gold by Neil Young, so I forgive him. 🙂 It was probably this very clip we were watching, though not way back in 1971! Neil takes up half the clip just ransacking his pockets. NOT a cheesy song. Just making that clear…
Oh well. I don’t think much is ‘cheesy’, but Celine’s and Mariah’s songs are the only two I could think of that I would put in that category. Their performances more than the songs, really.
Mum said “songs or bands are really popular for a while, and then they ALL go through into this region of ‘cheese’… overplayed and old.”
“Oh,” I said. “Do they ever get uncheesy again?”
She looked dubious.
‘…used to be really popular and then…’
I was looking on an internet page giving the definition of ‘cheesy’, and there was an ad with Tony Blair on it. Poor guy.
I want to give…
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold.