Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From '90s Songs
So, I have this friend. He’s like my best friend forever and ever, and he knows nothing about the ’90s. I mean, yes, he is younger than me, but when I learned that he did not know who TLC was, I kind of panicked. “Can I be friends with this guy any longer?” I asked myself. I decided I could, but also his lovely fiancée suggested I write about the ’90s (and the amazing music from that decade) throughout the month of August. So, welcome to the ’90s, kids.
EINTKILF ’90s Songs!
1. Sometimes, you gotta bleed just to know you’re alive.
I could listen to “Iris” literally every day of my life and never get sick of it. But also (don’t hate me), the Goo Goo Dolls are one of the bands from the ’90s that I know nothing about. You could say Goo Goo Dolls, Semisonic, Oasis, etc. etc. and I would have no idea who sings what.
That all being said, in my life, everything always feels like the movies.
2. Things get better.
“Birthdays was the worst days / Now we sip champagne when we thirstay.”
Fun fact: this is always my Facebook status and/or a tweet on my birthday. For like, five years now or something. It is not an exaggeration to say that “Juicy” is my favorite Notorious B.I.G. song because every lyric is pure gold. Even though Biggie died too young, the overall message of going from nowhere to somewhere is a good one.
You can always go from negative to positive.
And I love champagne when I am thirsty and/or anytime ever.
3. If you wanna be my lover, do the following things:
4. Cola can be hella romantic.
“Magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine / Sweet like a chic-a-cherry cola.”
To be perfectly honest, I never listened to much Savage Garden, but I admittedly love this song, and mostly this line because what in the world is a “magenta feeling?” I don’t know, but I love it.
5. Seize the day.
Like Enrique taught us. . .
“Don’t let the world in outside / Don’t let a moment go by / Nothing can stop us tonight!”
Yes! Let the rhythm take you over, bailamos!
6. There really is life after love.
“But I know that I’ll get through this / Cause I know that I am strong / I don’t need you anymore.” —Cher’s “Believe”
And of course, the song no one ever wants to hear again unless you are Jessica Tholmer!
“Near, far, wherever you are / I believe that the heart does go on.” —”My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic)
I would sit in the car and finish that song when it was on the radio. I loved the radio edit because there were clips from the movie in it, so I got to hear Leo’s voice. My heart has always gone on and on and on and on and on and on and on for that movie / Celine (duh).
7. Dancing is therapeutic.
Dance songs ran rampant in the ’90s. Just a lil‘ sample:
“Ain’t nothin‘ wrong with a little bump n’ grind, “get jiggy with it,” and, the most inappropriate lyrics:
“The way that you shake it on me / Makes me want you so bad sexually.”
They used to play that at middle school dances, you guys. They were so innocent they were not even called dances, they were called “fun fests.” You know what’s not fun? Listening to songs about “feeling pokes coming through” in middle school. Good grief! My prudish heart could just explode thinking about the scandal.
8. Mama Lauryn knows everything.
I have it tattooed on my arm for a reason. Every single lyric in “(Doo Wop) That Thing” is brilliance, and in fact, every word on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is very important, but if I have to pick just one lesson here, this is the one.
“You know I only say it cause I’m truly genuine / Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem, baby girl.”
9. Don’t be a racist.
When “Black or White” came out in the ’90s, Michael Jackson sent the message loud and clear. And of course, as someone who actually is black and white, I extra appreciate the message. Did I mention how amazing the video is? As someone who loves Macaulay Culkin, I also extra appreciate his participation in this video.
10. Don’t let anything linger.
“But I’m in so deep / You know I’m such a fool for you / You got me wrapped around your finger.”
Oh, The Cranberries. *Crying face emoji*
11. There can be miracles when you believe.
This Mariah Carey song (featuring Whitney Houston) is about believing in yourself, and moving mountains, and more generally, about how “if you believe it you will achieve it.”
12. Don’t fight with your friends.
I mean, I have to say something about Biggie and Pac here. It’s the ’90s! Tupac and Notorious died way too soon, and they were both incredibly talented. Getting caught up in the beef is never worth your life.
Real talk, sorry ya’ll! On that note. . .
13. Don’t go chasing waterfalls.
Speaking of gone too soon, rest in paradise, Left Eye.
When I was a kid, I had zero idea how deep “Waterfalls” was. In fact, it is chock-full of heavy messages about how not to ruin your life. Don’t sleep around unprotected, don’t join a gang, don’t get your head too far in the game. And, of course:
“Dreams are hopeless aspirations / In hopes of comin‘ true / Believe in yourself / The rest is up to me and you.”
14. There is so much a man can tell you. . .
TBPH, I don’t really understand what a kiss from a rose on a grave is. All I understand is that this song is probably the greatest song created in the history of mankind / Seal’s discography. There is literally not another song that makes me want to belt out lyrics and/or watchBatman Forever.
Seal, you are my power, my pleasure, my pain.
15. What teen spirit smells like.
Teen spirit smells like my childhood, my stepfather, Kurt Cobain‘s beautiful, messy head of hair, and naturally, my hometown. Reppin‘ Seattle forever. Thanks for Nirvana, the ’90s.
The lyrics to this song are still deeper than I am, but I will always love it.
16. Everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine.
I have said it before and I bet I will say it a million more times in my life, but “Jagged Little Pill” is one of the most important albums for a gal in her 20s. Of course, I loved Alanis Morissette when I was a kid, but I extra love her now. There is not a single feeling that she does not understand. Jealousy, rage, temporary insanity? She gotchu. Joy, true love, irony? She has. . . mostly gotchu.
And most importantly, reassurance. She reassures me on the daily that everything is gonna be fine, fine, fine. (I recommend using the one hand not in your pocket for holding a harmonica, not a cigarette, for the record.)
(Featured image via , Seal image via youtube.)