Where’s the Cheese?

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?”

Long silence…

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 live,
I want to give…
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold.
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7 responses

  1. Rabbie Burns poetry is cheesy. Oh, and I’d add Liza Minelli to your Dion and Carey – what a cheesy trio they would make.

  2. Just had a thought, they could perform as the Gorgonzola Sisters.

  3. And have cheese and wine parties… LOL.

  4. Ultimate of Cheesy = Karma Chameleon 🙂

    A lot of 80’s bands seem to fall into that for me actually…like Wham, Rick Astley, that sort of thing 🙂

  5. I love heart of gold but that has reminded me of how much I love Band of Gold by Freda Payne. (I think) I’ll have to go on youtube now before I go to bed.
    Cheesy is novelty songs! The smurfs… anything by Black Lace. That Frog thing… (WHATWASALLTHATABOUT!)
    I can’t agree with you on Dire Straits. They were my second concert at the SEC in Glasgow and I had the time of my life. I also fainted but it was sooo hot. Either that or had a thing for Mark Knofler.;o)
    Oh Kylie & Jason…. so much cheese!

  6. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. 🙂 Different cheeses for different geezers… (I know, that was cheesy in itself!)

    I was thinking the other day that the only two concerts I ever went to were the choices of my friends, not myself. Concert one: Rainbow. Concert two: Bucks Fizz. You can’t get more different. 🙂 I should have struck out and gone to a UB40 one… for me.

    I didn’t nearly faint as it wasn’t particularly hot, but Mike left the stage in the middle of a Bucks Fizz ballad, and had to be coaxed back again by Cheryl. At the Rainbow concert, the crowd swayed about so much I nearly lost a shoe.

  7. Sheena Easton’s song (can’t remember the actual title – “Morning Train”?) “My baby takes the morning train, he works from 9 to 5 and then he takes another home again to find me waiting for him” is one of the cheesiest songs I know of. To me “cheesy” is lame, overused, unoriginal and, frankly, complete rubbish.

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