The PopWatch Confessional (Vol. 17)

Jasmine_lToday, in honor of Jordin Sparks having to forever associate "This is My Now" with the night of her American Idol win, let’s share the ballads (inspirational and/or cheesy) that have marked moments in our lives (good and/or bad). As always, I offer a couple to get you thinking:

• Picture it: Syracuse. Fall of 1993. It’s my first night in a college dorm. My roommate and I discover we both liked Aladdin. We put on the soundtrack. And sing along to "A Whole New World." I can’t remember if it was the movie version or the Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle cutShudder. We’ll never know because I can’t go back there.

• Lee Ann Womack’s "I Hope You Dance." In 2000, I was stuck in a miserable job with an even more miserable commute home each night. This song was in radio rotation at the time — and I never changed the station. Also, a friend of mine — and it really was a friend — had just gone through a bad breakup and burst into tears when this song came on at a diner. To quote Truvy (Dolly Parton) from Steel Magnolias: "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

addCredit(“Princess Jasmine: Everett Collection”)

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  • Stephanie

    My mom was driving me one day when I was about ten and “Wind Beneath My Wings” was on the radio. We were singing this with all of our might when my mom finally noticed the flashing lights behind her. Apparently, the cop enjoyed my mother’s excuse that we were singing Bette Midler, because she let her off with a warning and started humming the tune as she walked away from our car.

  • Snooks

    “You’re The One That I Want” – Freshman Year in the dorms. Whenever there was a big group of us who didn’t want to go to a party, we would stay in and watch Grease and sing along to all of the songs.
    Yes, at times using our hairbrushes as mics…

  • Ron Mexico

    Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” was everywhere in the Fall of 1992. I saw my then-fiance off to Japan. It ended shortly thereafter. It ending turned out to be a blessing in disguise, but I really cannot hear that song without being ill. That may or may not be because I associate it with that girl.

  • Vicky

    Hmm speaking of Disney. I use to loooove the Elton John song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King. At 11 years old, that soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought. Actually I had the soundtrack on tape, but after my third copy broke I figured it was time for an upgrade! I still have the CD today.

  • Yo

    The ‘I Will always Love You’ version by Whitney Houston is not the best.
    The ‘I Will Always Love You’ version by Dolly Parton is the best one.
    I love to hear Dolly sing it so softly! Whitney just screams at the top of her lungs. Annoying.

  • Joslyn

    The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” served as both my first slow dance ever (1990, sixth grade) and my wedding song (last year, different person, thankfully)

  • Ron Mexico

    No, Yo, I totally agree with that. I think Whitney is pretty talented (and I think she will make a decent post-Bobby comeback), but I LOATHED her version of that song. She totally oversang it.

  • Houstonian Jen in Balitmore

    My song is All-4-One’s “So in Love”. (They were like the neutered version of Color Me Badd) It’s the Spring of 1993. I spent many weeks practicing to “So in Love” for the inevitable slow dance with a certain young nerd at the most sacred of events—the 8th grade dance. At the dance, I get up the nerve to ask him just as “So in Love” is beginning. He agreed even though he hated my guts. (Found out later he wasn’t into the black girls so much)
    It was the most romantic moment of my life (in 1993).

  • Ron Mexico

    “They were like the neutered version of Color Me Badd”
    Jen, are you implying that CMB was something other than neutered? I feel gay just thinking about “I Adore Mi Amor”! LOL!!!

  • Ep Sato

    You want embarrasing confessional? I’ll give you bad:
    Me and my pops having a bonding moment when I was 15. How did we find common ground? Not through rock or salsa, but through Chicago’s easy listening station. Amy Grant’s “baby baby” and Michael Bolton’s “Steel Bars” are frozen in time somewhere in my brain and I can still sing the lyrics to either song.
    Now it’s time to hang my head in shame.

  • Houstonian Jen in Balitmore

    I have one more. Remember Gloria Estefan’s uplifting 1996 Olympics anthem, ‘Reach’? We, the graduating seniors in my high school choir, agreed it would be our senior song for the final concert. We would perform the song, holding candles that would be dramatically blown out at the end of the song. It seemed corny during rehearsals, but by the end of our final performance, everybody was audibly sobbing!!! I still can’t hear or think about that song without getting a little misty.

  • FabK

    I hate to admit, but I listened to the song “More than Words” by Extreme over and over again so I could learn all of the words, and also the harmony part. I was in 8th grade and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get what the song meant but I sang my heart out anyway.

  • Houstonian Jen in Baltimore

    “Jen, are you implying that CMB was something other than neutered? I feel gay just thinking about “I Adore Mi Amor”! LOL!!!”
    Ron, in 1991–to my 11 year old ears–“I Wanna S E X You Up” was like secretly flipping on Cinemax at 2 AM on a Saturday night…Naughty! For me CMB were a pack of lotharios, while All-4-One were a bunch of eunichs!

  • Big Flame Daddy

    Try 50 crying soldiers wrapped arm-in-arm singing “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” after a Church service during boot camp in 1992 when Mariah hit with that song. How manly! LOL!!!

  • Jess

    “Lady,” by Styx. Need I say more?

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