Songs that shouldn’t make me happy

There are songs that inspire joy in us for one reason or another. As I was listening to a few recently, I thought I’d write about how these three songs typically put a smile on my face, but they probably should not.

Pulp – Mile End

I first heard this song on the Trainspotting soundtrack as a teenager. The song itself is incredibly upbeat and if you did not listen to the lyrics, you would likely feel it was about something completely different than an absolutely disgusting apartment. As Jarvis Cocker from Pulp would comment:

“It was only supposed to be a temporary measure, but we ended up spending nine months there which, without any question, were the worst nine months of my entire life.”

Regardless, I thoroughly enjoy the song and every time I hear it, I smile. Here it is in Trainspotting:

Blind Melon – Skinned

Despite what MySoxSummer will tell you, Soup is the superior Blind Melon album. And on that album is the track “Skinned”. This song has a kazoo in it. It’s acoustic. It’s played to a cheery melody. And oh yes, it’s about serial killer Ed Gein. The song itself, minus the content, is just gosh darn wonderful. But you do have to get past the grisly details of the lyrics.

Fastball – The Way

Late ’90s, early 2000s I can think of me and my buddy Ram driving from Osco to Slim Mick’s with a fresh 30 of Busch Light and jamming this tune on a warm summer day. It’s a great tune, it’s from an era of alternative rock that was less grunge and more pop. Think bands like Superdrag and Eve 6. But the song is a horrible tale of an elderly couple getting lost on their way to a summer festival and ending up dead. Holy hell is it morbid. But those summer days always wash over the morbidity of the story and leave me singing along to this track.


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