While browsing through my iTunes library last week making the “Forgotten Songs” playlist, I came across many songs that just screamed “AWKWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL SLOW DANCE.” Of course, I organized them all in one playlist and after a few hours of intense thinking, rounded out the top 10 slow songs played at middle school dances. Enjoy:
10. I Turn To You – Christina Aguilera: While looking up this song on Wikipedia, I found out that it is a COVER of an All-4-One song from the SPACE JAM soundtrack. How did I not know this? But seriously – how? It’s not even like Christina did a cover of an old song. The original is from 1996 and she recorded her version in 1998 (it didn’t become a hit until 2000 though). I saw Space Jam a good amount of times… and I remember R Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” and obviously the Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” song… but “I Turn To You” – a love song that I thought the beautiful and talented Christina brought to the world – no, I don’t remember that. But despite my new feelings toward the song, it will always be a middle school dance classic.
9. Crazy – K-Ci and JoJo. When I hear this song, I think of two things: 1. Julia Stiles and 2. A girl slow dancing with a boy who might have been shorter than her in a middle school cafeteria. After K-Ci and Jo Jo brought us the ever-so-popular slow dancing classic, “All My Life,” they did it again 3 years later and released this R&B classic. If you’re confused as to why Julia Stiles is involved with this song, think “Save The Last Dance.” Yes, this song was featured on that awesome soundtrack. We loved R&B and Julia Stiles after this movie… It was around this time that white people started sporting cornrows after vacationing in places like the Bahamas and Jamaica. Weird phase.
8. Where You Are – Jessica Simpson ft. Nick Lachey. Jessica and Nick were like so in love… and so talented. Watching the pair together was like watching episode of Glee (painful and, when they stopped to sing, entertaining). This is the first song the pair recorded together. Seeing as Jess was only 20 when this song came out and Nick was like old man status (27), we should have known it wouldn’t last. But they had us fooled with these powerful love ballads that made me literally dream about slow dancing with a 7th grade boy as good looking as Nick Lachey… and then dating him… and then getting married to him… etc, etc. Well, that didn’t happen. So thanks for false hope Jess & Nick!
7. Never Had A Dream Come True – S Club 7. Apparently, before Simon Fuller created American Idol and everything else like it, he was busy creating the Spice Girls and then, in 1998, S Club 7. S Club’s hit, “Never Had A Dream Come True,” to me, is the ultimate slow song. When I hear it, I think of nothing except my sad pre-teen self longing for a boyfriend that lasted longer than one class period and that I could slow dance with under a mother f*cking spotlight. Unfortunately, that never happened…
6. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden. This is another classic love ballad that took over our gym and cafeteria floors in middle school. “Truly Madly Deeply” was released in 1997, and was still being played at middle school dances from 1999 – 2002. The Australian pop band’s hit can still be heard on all “slow song” radio stations and sometimes even on pop stations. I have no doubt that many people choose this as a wedding song – and that many babies were and still are made to this song.
5. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith. For some reason, this song was always the last song played at middle school dances. It not only meant a slow dance was upon us, but it also meant that the last slow dance was upon us, and if you didn’t find someone to stand inches apart from while swaying back and forth and talking to your friends – you were really missing out. This song is still played on the radio today on a regular basis and every time I hear it I either picture a middle school dance or a giant asteroid hitting the earth. This is obv because the song was released in 1998 for the movie, Armageddon, which Steven Tyler’s daughter starred in.
4. This I Promise You – Nsync. This is one of my all time favorite Nsync songs. As a creative, television-major person, I used to – okay, fine, I still do – picture scenes in my head for a movie, tv show, or life event whenever I hear certain songs. When my boy-band-obsessed, pre-teen self heard “This I Promise You,” I saw a spotlight on myself and some hot 12-year-old boy (can 12-year-olds be hot?) dancing inches apart at a middle school dance (that was all I knew, not my fault). Thank you for this beautiful classic, JT.
3. My Everything – 98 Degrees. Can you get any more slow dance-tastic, 98 Degrees? Probably not, since you broke up… but I wish you would because kids these days are really missing out on boy-band love ballads. Thank god for Jessica Simpson or Nick Lachey may not have moved us so much with “My Everything.” Wikipedia claims that this song did not have as much success as “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” but guess what? It may have had the better short-term success… but “My Everything” takes the win for long term success. It’s a slow dancing classic. A middle school phenomenon.
2. All Or Nothing – O-Town. This was no Liquid Dreams – thank god. O-Town’s second single’s success came from middle school dances (and probably high school dances) across the
country world. It had that perfect slow dancing beat… and we, at 12 and 13, could relate… since we wanted it to be all or nothing with our 10 crushes-of-the-month. However, as most of know, usually girls are the ones who want all or nothing… except in this song, the boy wanted all or nothing – and the girl didn’t. And seriously, who wouldn’t want it all with Ashley Parker Angel in 2001? As good (yes, it’s still good) as this song is, I think it would have made more sense for either another band or a female artist to sing. O-Town’s only single before this was “Liquid Dreams“… which was about mixing body parts of hot females together to create the perfect woman to then have a “liquid dream” about. So you really want us to believe that a few months later, O-Town wants it to be “all or nothing” with some chick? No can do… sorry. (“These Are The Days” is a much better O-Town classic, though!)
1. All My Life – K-Ci and JoJo. I don’t think anything competes with “All My Life” for the top spot in middle school slow dancing classics. It’s just this powerful love ballad that everyone either can relate to or wants to relate to. This song was released before I was even in middle school and it stuck around for the three years I spent on the cafeteria-turned-dance-floor. I wouldn’t be surprised if it still crept around at middle school dances today… I mean, what slow songs do kids have to dance to now? Or is “slow dancing” a thing of the past?
What song(s) reminds you of a middle school dance? What was your fave? Let us know. Can’t you tell we just LOVE pop music from our childhood?