Songs Burned In Our Brains From Grade School (A Musical Musings/My Boss Paul’s Top Five List Joint)

Ah, the good ol’ days.  That’s what people say when they reflect upon their youth.  

For my boss (and old friend) Paul and I, the good ol’ days in our Catholic grade school happened way before they were our good ol’ days, as evidenced by our textbooks.  Most notably: our music class textbooks. 

I know, I know… at least we had a music class.  Nowadays, all of the arts are disappearing from our schools (for shame!), but that’s not what this post is about.

The fact of the matter was that we had crappy old text books and a music teacher that could barely play the one instrument she claimed to be able to play (the flute).  Sure, it was unfortunate that she replaced the single greatest music teacher ever.  (He played “Name That Tune” on the piano – and they were always theme songs!)  The following list represents the worst of the songs we were taught… four oldies, one newie, and zero goodies.

Top 5 Songs Burned In Our Brains From Grade School

5. Little Boxes – Malvina Reynolds
Paul doesn’t really remember this one, hence it being placed at the bottom spot.  I couldn’t forget it, and Weeds wouldn’t let me… until season 4 at least.

4. Du, du liegst mir im Herzen – German folk song
Paul refused to sing this song hence to him being xenophobic; but then again he refused to sing any of the songs.  For me – it’s my 99 Luftballons.

3. Shortnin’ Bread – James Whitcome Riley
Paul despised (no, loathed!) this song.  I didn’t remember it at first, but then it all came crashing back to me like a repressed memory.

2. God Bless the USA – Lee Greenwood
The only current-ish song on the list was also an exercise in irritation.  We had to sing this at a recital, and as everyone knows – recitals blow.  What’s worse is that we had to hold up signs that read Detroit when we sang that line.  Because we lived in Detroit, oh say can you see.

1. Fender Bender – ? 
This song presented a unique situation for us.  For virtually nowhere on the TripleDoubleU, could we find ant reference to this song.  The only proof that it ever existed arrived via a MySpace Forum.  It the thread, a reference is made to the lyrics:

Fender bender, yeah yeah yeah!

The poster recalled the misspoken lyric:

Finger banger, yeah yeah yeah!

Which ceremoniously lead to the diddy being banned (band?) from music class.  Thanks, Mack Danger, for the memory backup!

I wish we would have thought of "finger banger"...

I wish we would have thought of "finger banger"...

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(My Boss) Paul’s Top Five List… Punk Covers Of 80’s Songs

99 Red Bowling Shirts

99 Red Bowling Shirts

Aaah, the 80’s.  They’re definitely Generation X (and sometimes Y)’s version of our parents and their nostalgic-laden 60’s.  And since my boss, Paul, and I are huge fans of living in the past, Paul thought he’d double-dip in the ethers of remember-when, and present this list:

Top 5 Punk Covers of 80’s Songs

5. Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm
“I was never a big Michael Jackson fan, especially his late 80’s work, but this version makes this song listenable.”

4. Boys of Summer – The Ataris
“While Don Henley’s original has some 80’s nostalgia to it, this is by far a better version.”

3. Come On Eileen – Save Ferris
“Awesome remake by this ska band wit the lead vocal hottie. I can actually understand Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ lyrics with this version.” [Ed. – When I saw saw them in concert, “vocal hottie” Monique Powell had this joke to say:]

What’s worse than Grease on Olivia Newton-JohnCome on Eileen!

2. Take On Me – Reel Big Fish
“One of the best ska bands from the 90’s doing the #1 80’s Hit from A-Ha.  Also, it was featured in the South Park creators’ movie, Baseketball.” [For those stuck more in the 80’s than us, those creators would be none other than Trey Parker and Matt Stone, natch. – Ed.]

1. 99 Red Balloons – Goldfinger
“One of my favorite punk bands doing one the the better songs from the 80’s by Nena.”