Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Debbie (I mean Deborah) Gibson still stirs joy in my heart

Debbie (I mean Deborah) Gibson still stirs joy in my heart

A friend recently asked, "What's the cheesiest song you love without shame?"

But of course, answering this question requires a degree of shame and a touch of embarrassment. When the world thinks of melted mozzarella and cheddar jack every time it hears one of your most beloved songs, it means you have to profess your love with a little delicacy.

It's different for me, however, because while I'm not a dairy farmer from Wisconsin, I possess a library of cheesy favorites. Heck, I can cull multiple songs from entire genres considered cheesy.

I'll take '70s soft rock for 600, Alex.

At the top of my Velveeta list, however, stands a song that literally inspires joy in my heart every time I hear it. The first time Debbie Gibson's Only In My Dreams came on the radio while I tooled around Lake County in my silver Plymouth Champ, I loved it. And the second time, the third time and the 1,237th time.

I'm willing to wager Orlando's Y106 played Only In My Dreams at least once every day between December 1986 and August 1988, and I never turned the radio.

And I'm not alone. Spotify listeners have played Only In My Dreams 729,000 times. I account for only 600,000.

What I call infectious, some call an earworm. What I call fun and danceable, some call mindless and silly. Such diverse opinions might set off a fight, but I don't get upset, because my love of Only In My Dreams can't be tarnished.

What's amazing — well, at least, it amazes me — is that I can't even fully comprehend my adoration. I could go into a long dissertation about the syncopated percussions or the smooth flowing bass, but c'mon — can true love really be defined by clinical assessments?

Still, a sheepish look washes over my face as I type these words. It's as if I can see people rolling their eyes.

It doesn't help that Gibson, who posted a string of hits in the '80s, opened the video to this classic club hit by waking up in a bed on the beach.

It doesn't help that she tried to revamp her youthful pop music image by changing her name to Deborah.

Still, I stand with Gibson, her hoop earrings and her polka dot gloves. I love it all.

Now I just need everyone else to admit they, too, have that one song they adore even though it makes people question whether they want to remain friends with you.

Milli Vanilli fans, rise.

All of you who get choked up listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart, stand tall.

Absolve yourself if you bought a 5.0 Mustang because Vanilla Ice rolled down A1A in one — with the ragtop down.

Don't wear an overcoat and dark sunglasses if you're going to the Tampa Bay Times Forum next Friday to hear Barry Manilow sing Mandy. Be proud. After all, Mandy gave without taking.

Don't feel bad if Hall and Oates' You Make My Dreams Come True ranks as a favorite. Joseph Gordon-Levitt danced to it in (500) Days Of Summer. So now it's not old and cheesy, it's kitschy and cool.

Everyone cherishes some Velveeta song or other, because somehow it is linked to a joyful time or an indelible moment.

You get excited when you hear the first few notes and turn up the volume. You sing along even as your 12-year-old daughter cringes, and if you're alone in the car, you sing at the top of your lungs.

And for those 3 minutes and 57 seconds, you medicate yourself with a drug more powerful than Prozac.

Cheesy? What's wrong with that? I'd like to know.

That's all I'm saying.

Debbie (I mean Deborah) Gibson still stirs joy in my heart

Debbie (I mean Deborah) Gibson still stirs joy in my heart 01/22/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 3:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.