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First there was All-Star, then Smooth, now what?

First there was All-Star, then Smooth, now what?


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What will be the next great song meme? Is it any fun to guess? I suppose you could say that by trying to predict a meme, I'm making sure that it will never become a meme at all. To that I say: Leo still won his Oscar, and you're speaking in logical fallacies.

The perfect memeable song has a few qualities, which we can glean from putting Smash Mouth's "All Star," Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Run Away With Me" and Santana ft. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty's "Smooth" into a blender and describing the smoothie's general flavor. They're vaguely soundtrack-ish, they skew '90s, and maybe most importantly, they have extremely recognizable openings or clutch plot-twists. They're kitschy, but they're not "bad." You know the words, but you're not "proud." You probably have one happy moment associated with the song, which means that turning on it and mocking it makes you just the right amount of uncomfortable.

you know the words, but you're not 'proud'

Many of the same qualities can be found in Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles," The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," Jason Derulo's "Trumpets," Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," and MisterWives "Reflections." They remind us, not entirely unpleasantly, of the more basic sides of our personalities. You can tweet about Aphex Twin all you want, but at the end of the day your local soft rock radio station bumps Michelle Branch just as much as the next guy's. What joker can claim to be unaware of an American top 40 pop song? What liar can say that they've never loved one?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the next song meme will be "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette. It's in sort of poor taste to meme the song that soundtracked a pivotal moment of a recently deceased man's masterwork... but that is exactly what teens these days are into!

This song has several moody outburst moments, which really makes it ripe for the Vine format. I love it because it's central to my memories of learning the conventions of romantic comedies and trying not to be sad during the lame but necessary "second act sad part." I expect that anything associated with the early days of Julia Roberts' career has a similar resonance for many others.

My unironic fondness for the song makes it particularly humiliating for me to discover that this is its album artwork:


Plot twist: actually, it has more than one piece of album artwork!

(This text is in a custom font because it's very important.)


Just think about it. The song starts very slowly with, "Leave a whisper on my pillow / leave the winter on the ground," which is utter nonsense but still touches my heart if I'm not ready for it. It chugs along, not really building, not really falling, then, BAM: "IT MUST HAVE BEEN LOVE, BUT IT'S OVER NOW."

It was love, and now it's over. What a feeling, what a sentence — what a sentiment that applies to basically everything that's ever happened. This is the next meme, and if it isn't, well I better not suffer any consequences because I don't think there are really any stakes at all in this situation.

My coworkers also suggested:

  • "Starlight" by The Superman Lovers ft. Mani Hoffman
  • "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger
  • "How Bizarre" by OMC
  • "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden
  • "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" by Drowning Pool
  • "Inside Out" by Eve 6
  • "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star
  • "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors
  • Anything by Sixpence None the Richer
  • "The Macarena"

All good, well thought-out suggestions, and their guess is as good as mine. What's your guess?