Piὺ Formaggio, Per Favore

I like my cheese served on a turntable.

I like my cheese served on a turntable.

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with my friend Debbie at our elementary school holiday concert on Tuesday. The subject of Electric Light Orchestra came up (no, it had nothing to do with the holiday concert, don’t try and bend your brain to make sense of it) and as we were laughing about ELO generally, I mentioned that I have “Hold on Tight” on my running playlist. Hearing this, she laughed harder, of course. And then noticed I wasn’t kidding and switched to a polite laugh, like she was laughing with me, not at me. Well played, Debbie, well played. But I know better.

It got me thinking about the “What’s on Your Playlist” post I did a few weeks ago and how it didn’t fully represent all of the types of music I like to run to. You may have read it and thought that I had bad taste in music. Rest assured – those are my playlist songs that I’m kinda proud of. If you were horrified by my first playlist post, you may want to sit down before reading the list below or skip this post entirely.

My name is Tina and I like to listen to cheesy music while I run. Not all of the time, but enough of the time to warrant a confession. Songs that I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to on the radio sound absolutely fabulous when piped through my headphones on a run.

Unlike Colby, who likes fresh & young cheese on her playlist (and don’t you dare deny it, Missy – you were downloading Katy Perry & Brit-Brit’s tunes so quickly the night before the Diva Half, I thought you were going to sprain a finger), I like my cheese vintage and aged, like a fine wine. Or, in this case, maybe a bad wine.

Here is a sampling of some of the delicious queso that keeps my feet moving..and if it inspires you to add a little fromage to your own playlist, well, I won’t judge.

1. Hold on Tight” by ELO. I love the lyrics to this song and the beat. It’s peppy, catchy and makes me feel nostalgic. And hey, at least it isn’t Xanadu (which, in my opinion, may only be played while roller skating). Give me credit for that.

2. “Gloria” by Laura Brannigan. All I have to do is think of Flashdance and the scene where her skater friend LOSES IT on the ice while skating to this song. Not ever wanting to end up falling apart like that in a race, I’m convinced that I train a little harder when I hear it.

3. “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. C’mon, admit it. You love it. And even if you don’t like the song, or don’t want to re-live Saturday Night Fever, maybe it will make you think of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon doing the Barry Gibb Talk Show SNL skit, and you have to love that. Sidenote: Fallon & Timberlake are hosting SNL tomorrow, Dec 21. Set your DVRs!

4. I’m a Believer” by the Monkees. The original one by The Monkees, not one of the cool punk covers. “The Monkees” was in syndication by the time I was of TV viewing age, so I got to enjoy it several times a week after school. While the rest of you girlies were swooning over Davy Jones, I had a mad crush on Micky Dolenz. Yes, Micky. Sigh. I’ve always been a sucker for a guy who can make me laugh.

5. “Kiss on My List” by Hall & Oates. It’s 1981 and I’m listening to this on KISS 108 on my AM/FM clock radio. No need to buy the 45, as it seems to be played several times an hour. I’m violently jealous of my best friend, Becky, who gets to see them in concert with her hip parents who are Hall & Oates fans. I’ve come to terms with it by now, and can just enjoy the song while I run.

6. “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe. Ronnie Devoe went to my high school, and though I didn’t know him, I always had home field love for New Edition and then Bell Biv Devoe. Loved this song in college and ran into BBD in Fanueil Hall, Boston one night and they were really cool. And really patient with drunk screaming fans (No, I was not one of them. Fan? Yes. Drunk? Maybe. Screaming? Definitely not.).

7. “Still The One” by Orleans. It is the only Orleans song that could ever be used on a playlist, as far as I know. ”Dance With Me” just doesn’t have that same catchy beat. Do you remember when this song was the anthem for the ABC network in the 70’s? I loved hearing it between viewings of “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley.” And the lyrics are hysterical: “You’re still the one – who can scratch my itch.” You can’t make this stuff up. Or maybe you can…but please don’t.

8. “Heaven Knows” by Donna Summer. Love the Queen of Disco. A lot of her songs start really slow and then pick up the beat, which can feel draggy while you are waiting…and waiting… for the tempo change. This one fires fast right out of the gate and stays upbeat through the whole song.

9. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Reminds me of every family wedding I have attended over the years, where it seems a requirement to play this at some point during the evening. And as someone with 4 siblings and 25 first cousins, that adds up to a lot of happy memories.

10. “PYT” by Michael Jackson. Seems disrespectful to call one of the King of Pop’s songs “cheesy,” but since he uses the term “tenderoni” in it, I think it qualifies. And it has a nice quick beat.

11. “Bust a Move” by Young MC. The year is 1989. I may have big hair. I may be rocking a Debbie Gibson hat (Bowler? Fedora? What the hell were those hats, anyway?). My jeans may have zippers up the ankle. While I’m not sure of any of these details, there is one thing of which I’m certain: My friends and I were Busting a Move to Young MC everywhere we went. One of our local college bars had to remove it from the jukebox because people played it so often the bartenders were going crazy. I couldn’t get enough of this song then, and I’m still not tired of it, 1,000,000 plays later.

12. “Give it Up” by KC & The Sunshine Band. It’s so bad, it’s good.