I’ve been reading Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, the audiobook version, and just got to this passage:
It was entirely possible that one song could destroy your life. Yes, musical doom could fall on a lone human form and crush it like a bug. The song, that song, was sent from somewhere else to find you, to pick the scab of your whole existence. […] Every time your sneakers met the street, the end of that summer, somebody was hurling it at your head, that song.
Forget what happens when you start haunting the green-tiled halls of Intermediate School 293.
September 7, 1976, the week Dylan Ebdus began seventh grade in the main building on Court Street and Butler, Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” was the top song on the rhythm and blues charts. Fourteen days later it topped Billboard‘s pop charts. Your misery’s anthem, number-one song in the nation.
I didn’t have it quite as bad as Dylan. But mine was a number-one song, too, so cloying that even now I can’t bring myself to put in a link, but it’s easily You-Tubeable, and those of my readers who are around my age have probably already guessed which song it is, a song that made me writhe in embarrassment, even more because so many people seemed to think I should like it, and if I looked angry, they’d say, “Uh-oh, I think storms are brewing…” Yes, it was Jefferson Starship’s “Sara.”
Who else has a song that made their lives hell, however briefly?