I am a child of the 90’s. Born in 1990, I grew up on the great Nick shows like Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold, and Rocket Power. I played Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, and had a Tamagotchi. I played with Pogs and traded Pokemon cards. I collected Beanie Babies and slap bracelets, and I read Goosebumps. I ended every argument with “Talk to the hand”, and sassily ended sentences with “…NOT!” I wanted a relationship like Cory and Topanga’s, owned a Furby (or seven), played with Super Soakers at every party, and ate Lunchables at school.
Few things can facilitate my trips down memory lane like a good 90’s One-Hit Wonder, and here are three of the best from my childhood:
1. “Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba
You may know this song better as the repeated main lyric of “I Get Knocked Down”. This gem came out in 1997 and was meant to mock those drunkards who “piss the night away” after “a whiskey drink…a vodka drink…a lager drink…a cider drink”. Ironically, it was the barhopping youngsters who most adored this song. While I was only seven at the time and couldn’t understand the true nature of the song, the catchiness was undeniable. If there is any question about whether or not the song is meant to be satirical, take a look at the music video.
2. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
Scottish twins Craig and Charlie Reid make up the Proclaimers, and their hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – often mistakenly called “I Would Walk (500 Miles)” – made it to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. This song will get stuck in your head, and has been brought back to modern pop culture thanks to stints in Family Guy and How I Met Your Mother. Go ahead, listen to it and just try to not sing it for the rest of the day.
3. “Closing Time” – Semisonic
This is the song you may know as the one song every one of your friends knew how to play on the guitar, or the song that was played as the last song at dances and parties. Semisonic’s 1999 hit seemingly details the ending of a night at a bar, with lines like “one last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer” and “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”. The band now evidently claims the song has a deeper meaning, one of being born, while the bar serves as a metaphor for the womb. Regardless, if I were part of a cover band, this would be the last song I played at every show. And with that, I end my stroll down memory lane.