I’ll take nickels instead of those catchy songs

The other day I woke up in the middle of the night with the song “The Way You Love Me” by Faith Hill in my head. I don’t remember listening to it and I don’t know how it got there. It must’ve been playing somewhere I had been, because I never listen to that song intentionally. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the entire thing memorized; the song is always there. Trying to avoid that song is like wandering around Northern Arizona without running into the Grand Canyon.

The song climbed up to #20 on the Top 40 list back in 2000, which makes it perfect for background music in grocery stores. It’s familiar enough to be relaxing, but not so familiar that you will stop thinking about food and instead think about what you were doing 13 years ago.

It has an obvious pop beat with some truly weird lyrics about a girl wishing her boyfriend could see the way he kisses. What? “You’re kissing is so good, you would enjoy watching yourself,” the songs seems to say, ignoring the fact that watching yourself making out would be a slightly strange experience. Like many other pop songs, it’s not creepy unless you think about it, so that’s not going to stop grocery stores from playing it anytime soon.

What I wish is that someone would give me a nickel for every time I heard that song, and then take that song away. It’s not that I don’t like the song; I just like nickels a lot better. And I would have a lot of nickels.

There’s a whole list of songs I wish I had nickels for. Another one was “Broken Wings” by the 1980s rock group Mr. Mister. I’ve listened to that song hundreds of times. I’ve enjoyed it many times. But 1985 was a long time ago, and I’m tired of the lyrics. “Take these broken wings, and learn to fly again, learn to live so free,” it says, but I still don’t know how you fly with broken wings. Do they fix them? The song never says.

It still gets played in department stores and restaurants, even though the band broke up 23 years ago. At some point it will stop getting played, and I will never hear it again. Because of the type of song it is, however, I probably will never notice, much less miss it.

I’d like it better if stores started playing some more interesting music. Like maybe the style could change depending on what part of the store you are in. Shopping for clothes? Techno would be playing. Buying champagne? Soft rock. Grapes? Death metal. Okay, so I’m kidding about that last one.

Just as long as they choose songs I don’t mind waking up to in the middle of the night, I’ll be fine.

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