What song makes you happy?

Too many ditties make me go bop. The question implies listening to said song for a while: time-tested, bad-mood-approved. This week's top-of-mind is Terence Blanchard's "Mo' Better Blues," with the O'Jays' "Backstabbers" or Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now (Wait Until Tonight)" as close seconds.

I've also been crushing on the corn-syrupy sweetness of Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On."

5 thoughts on “What song makes you happy?

  1. I first heard Backstabbers about three years ago in Pasedena, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

  2. Actually, I was with my girlfriend at an antique store somewhere in the center of town. They were blasting it on the CD player in the shop, and I stopped looking and sat in some old chair and just listened to it. At the time I had a general sense of having heard it once before (when I was much younger) but this time I actually *heard* it.

    Thank god for the internet, which makes Googling for song lyrics cake, so I found it within minutes.

    At the time I had been thinking a lot about the power of darker elements in pop music – there’s something a bit insidious about Backstabbers, and the main thrust of that song seems to be overcoming that darkness. This is something that Michael Jackson understood intuitively, and all of my favorite MJ songs (Billie Jean, Beat It, Thriller, Diana, They Don’t Care About Us) make overcoming that darkness the main thrust of the song. Justin Timberlake jacks this on Cry Me a River, and much of what I like in modern hip-hop does the same (Outkast’s Mrs. Jackson, Dr. Dre’s Watcher, the fist Dr. Octagon record).

    I suspect that old school funk and soul started all that, but I haven’t really schooled myself. And most of the darker rock music I listen to seems to siphon the dark through sadness or anger… rather than something sexier, I guess. So it’s entirely different music, and often less interesting.

  3. Does that make this year’s moodiest happymaker — Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” — the song of the year?

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