Have you seen this commercial? Two guys, talking on the phone, are debating when the song, “Whoomp! There It Is!” came out. Was it 1993 or 1995? When the guy claiming 1995 realizes he’s wrong, he abruptly gets off the phone with his friend. “Kenny, the restaurant’s on fire. I’ll call you back.”

I laugh every single time I see this commercial. (And remember, I still don’t have a DVR, so I watch a lot of commercials.) The timing of the actor in this ad is perfect, but it strikes me as so funny because Smitty and I have these debates on quite a regular basis.

Speaking of Smitty, she had the nerve to say a couple weeks ago, “Do you realize that it has been TEN YEARS since we graduated from college?”

Um, yeah. And just look at us. Taking over the world. (Please read that in the sarcasm font. And then realize that I’m only kidding. No need for the “you’re doing important and great things” pep talk, I promise!)

But since I’m not up for any serious speculation about how far I’ve come or all I’ve accomplished or any other deep thoughts – at least tonight – I decided to take a note from my current favorite commercial and think back to the music of 2001.

[Don’t pat me on the back and/or laugh at me for being a dork. I didn’t remember these off the top of my head! Just like the commercial guy, I consulted Professor Google. And then picked the ones I remembered most.]

  • Lady Marmalade (Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink) – Yes, I know what this song’s about. And I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Moulin Rouge all the way through. But this song is fun. More songs should include catchy French words.
  • Fallin’ (Alicia Keys) – I love, love, love this song. Soulful, bluesy and still within my singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-in-the-car range? Just . . . love. And while it may have been overplayed a decade ago, it has been much too long since I heard it. (Going to YouTube for a listen now . . .)
  • I’m Real (Jennifer Lopez) – Don’t waste your breath telling me how awful J-Lo is, as an actor, a singer or an American Idol judge. Because I like her. And there’s nothing you or a lame romantic comedy can do to change my mind.
  • Family Affair (Mary J. Blige) – “No more drama in our lives.” Enough said?
  • Thank You (Dido) – I don’t really like this song. But 2001 was also the year that Mark’s mom passed away, and he told me once that he liked this song and it made him think of her. How could I not include it in my list?
  • Don’t Tell Me (Madonna) – Brad Paisley has a song on country radio right now about how much he (and his girl, of course) loves “Old Alabama.” I would like to write a song about how much I love “Old Madonna.” And by “old,” I don’t mean scary biceps 50-year-old Madonna. I mean 80s and 90s Madonna who sang songs I liked.
  • Hero (Enrique Iglesias) – I cannot stand this song. Mainly because of the awful TV performance I saw Enrique give shortly after September 11. Do you remember that? Maybe I’m the only one who wasn’t moved, but honestly? I thought it was cheesy and not worthy of the situation or everyone’s (possibly including Enrique’s) intentions.
  • Hanging By a Moment (Lifehouse) – Has Lifehouse ever not been making generic, soft rock music that fades into the background? Poor Lifehouse.
  • Drops of Jupiter (Train) – I guess this was a big song. I like Hey, Soul Sister better.
  • Hit ‘Em Up Style (Blu Cantrell) – This is such a great angry song. I know, I know – not a good moral to it. But still, it’s fun to sing. If you’re angry. That’s all I’m saying.
  • Survivor (Destiny’s Child) – And then, once you’re finished with the anger, I suppose you can move on to surviving. Girl power, right?
  • It Wasn’t Me (Shaggy) – This song is wretched. Seriously awful. But I can’t forget my old roommate loving it. So weird.
  • All for You (Janet Jackson) – Was this the song with the video when Janet debuted her new abs? Maybe not. Maybe I’m mixing up my decades?
  • Angel (Shaggy featuring Rayvon) – Okay, seriously, I don’t like this guy. But this song mentions his “peeps” and this was really funny to my friends and me. I don’t remember why. But it was.
  • Turn Off the Light (Nelly Furtado) – Another big song. So catchy. And not my favorite at all.
  • How You Remind Me (Nickelback) – I should probably go ahead and admit it. I am not sure I know the difference between Nickelback and Lifehouse. Nickelhouse or Lifeback. Whatever. I do like this song, but they really all blend together in my mind!
  • I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack) – I do not like this song at all. Great message, but overplayed beyond belief. And now I might have to go listen to those Shaggy songs just to get it out of my head.
  • Yellow (Coldplay) – Maybe you’ve heard this song? Kidding.
  • Pop (NSYNC) – Ummm, okay. I somehow missed this song back in 2001. So when I happened to hear it on the radio a couple weeks ago, I – don’t laugh – thought it was a new song. I said don’t laugh! As soon as I started telling Smitty about it, I realized how ridiculous that is. Then again, we were in the middle of a conversation about the merits of the upcoming New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys concert and trying to remember which moderately successful pop singer came from which boy band. It’s possible that this whole thing is ridiculous.

Where were you – and what were you listening to – in 2001? What music reminds you of college?

What should you watch next?


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