Horrible Music Day

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Aug
  • 07
  • 2008

Bad music lingers like bad food: you feel the effects hours after initial contact; gradual nausea sets in; you finally throw up and feel much better about things immediately after; but, when the memory returns to your head a short while later, it’s just as bad as in the beginning. While eating lunch, we heard the following songs:

  1. “How Will I Know” – Whitney Houston
  2. “Lights” – Journey
  3. “Come To My Window” – Melissa Etheridge
  4. “She’s Like The Wind” – Pat Swayze

There were a few others, but these are the four that stand out in my head. The others were just as bad.

Apart from a debate over whether the lyrics are “she’s out of my league” or “she’s out of my reach” on that last one, we decided that today must have been Horrible Music Day in the restaurant. It was at that point I decided that if I could make my very own Day, one that would actually go on the calendar, it would be Horrible Music Day. I would load up my iPod specifically for that purpose, deck out my site with links to awful bands, and generally live the day up to its intended, obvious purpose. I even started to think of the bands that would hold sway over my ears and broadcasting devices that day. And how Streetlight Records would surely thank me for emptying out their clearance bins the week before.

This could make for a good assignment. Given the level of detail I could go into about my Day, the references I’d bring in due to my absolute love of music, and the amount of humor I would at least attempt to insert, that energy would flow over to the students. I’d play samples of songs while giving my talk, even highlight the Horrible-ness of the lyrics through carefully selected pull quotes. And this isn’t a writing sample. This would be a presentation. Part research, too: you have to be sure that your day isn’t a day already somewhere and figure out what other holidays surround yours. Sure, a quick internet search yields good places to start looking (Obscure Holidays, Obscure Commercial Holidays, Bizarre American Holidays, and the like), but that’s just the beginning of the research.

You have to provide a rationale for why your day should exist, describe how to celebrate your day, and the reason for the celebration. The more detail the better (some kind of rubric would have to accompany this) and a poster for your holiday is a must, with all important information included in as few words as possible (set a limit on word count). I can map this to so many standards it isn’t even funny.


We spend too much time remembering the highlights of any particular decade or period of our lives. “Greatest Hits” line the shelves in record stores and iTunes. This holiday is a chance to bring some perspective to the situation and parade around the worst songs in your collection and your memory. Horrible Music Day is a chance to bring back some of the forgotten tunes of our past and reflect on why those melodies and lyrics failed while others were ushered into the future. Horrible Music Day is a time to have fun with those songs that you hate to hate, love to hate, or even sometimes hate to love. Pull up a boombox and blast some “Amanda” (Boston), “That Smell” (Lynard Skynard), or even “More Than Words” (Extreme) if you dare. Horrible Music Day is the day to bust out your record, tape, or CD collection of “Ashamed-to-have-it” artists like Deee-Lite, Garth Brooks, and Aqua.

Tired of only having silly Summer Bank Holidays in parts of the UK during August? Want to enjoy more than National Catfish, Golf, or Eye Exam month festivities during the eighth month of the year? Sure, Sea Serpent Day is cool, but what can you do with that? Horrible Music Day happens every year on August 7. Start your day off by listening to “How Will I Know” (Whitney Houston) in honor of the first song heard the day this holiday was created. You can also visit horriblemusicday.com, where “How Will I Know” will broadcast every hour, on the hour, all day long. Slyly share your misery with friends throughout the day: mixtapes waiting at the breakfast table, links to Muxtape pages full of Horrible-osity, emails with TinySong Horrible-ittude, memos with Horrible-aceous play lists, and the like. Soon enough, you’ll laugh as you figure out ways to get your friends to listen to worse songs than they are subjecting you to. Be sure to visit horriblemusicday.com in order to vote for the most Horrible song ever, submit your Horrible song lists, and share devious ways to infect Horrible Music on unwitting participants. Horrible Music Day, crank dat Celine Deon!

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P.S. Looks like I missed the day where I would be able to create this holiday, but maybe that’s the perfect due date for this writing assignment.

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