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My Top 13 “Guilty Pleasure” Songs

There are some songs you can’t help but sing along with… as long as no one is around to hear you. Maybe you don’t deny that you like them, but you don’t exactly advertise it, either. When I decided to list my “guilty pleasure” songs, I quickly realized that I needed to set criteria to decide what goes on the list and what doesn’t. It has to be a song that really grabs my attention when it comes on. It has to be a song I wouldn’t readily mention in conversation with a music connoisseur. And I have to like it, of course.

There’s another criterion that I can’t quite explain. It goes beyond just wanting to sing along. It’s more like wanting to drop everything and belt it out while playing air drums (my invisible instrument of choice).

My biggest challenge was trying to avoid making this a list of 80s one-hit-wonders. It still wound up being mostly 80’s songs. I was a kid back then, so a lot of the music from that decade is directly linked to good memories.

I started with a big list and then trimmed it down to 10. Then I realized I’d left some off that really should be included, so it became 13. I almost added more, but I had to stop somewhere.

Singing alpaca
This alpaca isn’t embarrassed.


Without further ado, here’s the list, from bottom to top:

13. “Toy Soldiers” by Martika — I mostly included this one for the chorus.

12. “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul

11. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

10. “Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry

9. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House — Great lyrics. Full of social commentary, but ultimately optimistic.

8. “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle — I love the song, but the video is super weird.

7. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” by Cutting Crew

6. “Faith” by George Michael

5. “Break My Stride“by Matthew Wilder

4. “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer — My sister and I used to sing this when we were kids. We didn’t know the words, so we just made up nonsense lyrics.

3. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler — Everybody secretly loves this song, right?

2. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor — You’ve jammed to this in your car. Admit it.

1. “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring — This is actually one of my favorite songs, period.

So, what are some of your “guilty pleasure” songs? Sound off in the comments. And be sure to check out Freegal if you want to expand your music collection (for free!).


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Megan is a Children’s Library Assistant at CLP – East Liberty. When she isn’t reading fantasy, magical realism and/or pretty much any children’s book, she enjoys gaming, watching movies and writing fiction, some of which has been published.

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