One of the fun parts of Autism™ is being inexplicably attracted to weird things (Dobby, am I right?). What starts as a mocking irony, or vague disinterest, can through simple repetition become something vital and beloved.
This is a non-exhaustive list of songs that I know are objectively bad, but I listened to them so many times that they burrowed into my brain and wove themselves into the endlessly beltable fabric of my Meme Legendalia: my musical stim catalogue.
September – Cry For You
You’ll never see me agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain! Cause noone’s gonna cry for yiew!
This song first entered the consciousness as a meme, but recently it’s become more and more of a bop in my mind. Today I added it to my liked music on Spotify. No insignificant act for a meme connoisseur such as me.
Seventh Element – Vitas
Most simply know this song as Weird russian singer – Chum Drum Bedrum. But actually, Vitas is an internationally-acclaimed musician, with a huge following in China. His other chef d’oeuvre is Opera #2, an acoustic operatic ballad with a video reminiscent of a Guillermo Del Toro movie.
I’m not sure if Seventh Element belongs here, because it’s genuinely a good song, but it’s so stimmy and bememed that would be wrong not to include it.
The Party Starts Now – Club Penguin
With the death of Club Penguin in 2013, this soulless marketing jam has never been more relevant. I first became acquainted with the stylings of DJ Cadence (aka DJ K-Dance, as referenced in the lyrics to the song) while working at the Disney Store in Bath (sadly now deceased). There was a TV with a marketing DVD playing on it, that showed trailers, songs, and sugary snippets from Disney media, and this song was one of the chosen few.
The DVD was only an hour long.
So during my four-hour shifts, I heard this banger no more than four times. I can’t imagine the suffering the day-shifters had to go through. Also included on this DVD was I’m Not Ready to be a Princess, which plagued the workplace meme discourse. Poor Lady Cadence was given nary a mention, though, because presumably discussing an animated penguin disk jockey in real life was too embarrassing. But the song soon melted onto my consciousness, and even now, seven years later, I find myself occasionally singing Aww Yeah, I’ve Got My Boombox With Me And I’m Ready To Spin, Turntables And A Microphone In Case Ya Wonderin’.
Oh, and Spanish Cadence has a sexy voice.
Liberu Libero – miaŭaslano
I don’t think miaŭaslano has ever even spoken Esperanto with anyone else, which means she’s (?) the perfect candidate to translate one of the best-known songs of the 2010’s. If you don’t speak Esperanto, allow me to literally and liberally retranslate the famous chorus:
Be free, be free
I can be myself
Freedom, be free
Walk away, forget
That's not important
My thoughts are free
They'll always talk
Be strong and be free
This can’t quite capture how memey the lyrics sound in Esperanto, but rest assured, along with the bad scansion and average singing, this is chef-kiss levels of stimmable.
Her name, by the way, means “meow Aslan”, which is incidentally a powerfully yiffy YouTube name in 2019.
The Italian Yu-Gi-Oh! opening
For some reason, there was an (unfortunately short-lived) era of long-ass techno openings for Italian dubs of anime. Thus we got some fucking amazing Euro Techno jams with lyrics about Yu-Gi-Oh. The GX one is great as well, featuring some lovely crispy vocoder. There’s nothing not great about this.
The English opening to Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL
[extremely obnoxious fan voice] It’s pronounced ‘zey-al’. The X is silent.
This song is like if an alien came down from Mars and had the genre of pop punk explained to them purely through Wikipedia entries and Kidz Bop lyrics, making it worthy of many a suffering-relisten. My favourite line: My dreams won’t die if I high-five the sky.
Heathers Lady Marmalade
There was a period of time between seasons 4 and 8 of Rupaul’s Drag Race, when it was growing monumentally in popularity, but still hadn’t pierced the mainstream. Many queens from the show had tried their hand at music, with mostly cringey results. Nowadays, there’s actually good Rugirl music, but back then, Hot Couture was the cream of the crop. And that’s saying a lot.
Hidden amongst Manila’s autotuned, mud-produced tunes, though, was this scorpion in the rough. The Heathers are probably the most reprehensible villains to ever grace the hot pink workroom, although they somehow came out of the show relatively popular, which still baffles me to this day.
Fortunately, Heathers Lady Marmalade does everything it can to absolutely destroy, smash, and suffocate that reputation. There is not one likeable thing about it. The mix is crunchy, the talk-singing is awful, the rewritten lyrics are childish. Delta Work rubbing a phallic statue and crying My Carmen! How you’ve grown! and Somebody hand her the lube! is neither funny nor sexy. The pornstar model they hired to gyrate soullessly just looks tired and out of place. And Raja’s fashion is… questionable. I won’t even go into Carmen’s “rap”.
And yet, they give it their all. They are 100% committed to this garbage fire of a song, and they perform each of their verses with as much gusto as they had remaining after abusing Shangela for nine episodes. And that makes it instantly and eternally memeable.
I would also put Heather? on this list, but that’s actually a good song. I do stim endlessly to it though. One of my audio stims is to subconsciously translate songs and phrases, so yes, I have translated most of Heather? into Esperanto. Sue me.