Top 5 Songs of College, Circa Mid-2000s



College, College, College.  I went to college at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH and if Spring Breakers has taught me anything, it’s that college is nothing like Spring Breakers.  I graduated from college in 2006, which doesn’t seem too far back.  But when I realize I started in 2002, that’s when I get a lil’ collar-yankee.  I like to think of those years (2002-2006) as the start of the social media landscape: Facebook appeared, flip phones were both cool and then terrible, and rich kids were given iPods and MP3s (Fanelli didn’t even own a computer). Regardless of that technology evolution, the key to a solid house party were still CD mixes, not iPod stations (not yet anyway). CDs full of wit and wonder.  CDs that had clever titles like “Tommy’s Super Awesome Summer Mix” made their rounds at these parties.  It turned a routine, mundane ‘Edward 40 Hands’ night (which was usually only fun for like 15 minutes, then it turns into the equivalent of being tickled: funny at first, but quickly turning horribly annoying and gruesome.), into sing-a-longs and sweat-fests by the end.  After hearing some straight ill tracks on Spotify this weekend, I have decided to conjure up the top 5 songs of my collegiate career. Apologies in advance for these will most likely not coincide with anyone else’s, but either way enjoy the reminiscing!

5. The American Idol Season 1 Greatest Moments

AI Season 1 - Platinum, bro.

AI Season 1 – Platinum, bro.

The countdown starts with a full CD taking my 5th place spot. Well, the reason I did it this way is because I didn’t own many CDs, or much of anything during my college years, but somehow the American Idol Season 1 Greatest Hits made its way into my collection.  So if you were one of the unfortunate ones that made it back to my 1st floor room in Pacelli Hall freshman year to help me practice kissing, chances are this soundtrack made its way onto my sounds system, AKA a CD/Radio Player I got for Christmas 2 years earlier.   I ‘d like to take this time to sincerely apologize to anyone who had to endure the 2 decibels of Justin Guarini and my over-the-top description of my high school football career.

4. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond 

Knotty Pine. This was a gem of a bar/hallway which maxed out at occupancy 7. But my lord it was an awesome place to hone my jukebox skills, drink $1 beer specials on Thursday nights and interact with the elderly owner who looked like the real life version of the old man who fixes Woody in Toy Story 2.

Knotty Pine's Owners Doppelganger

Knotty Pine’s Owners Doppelganger

 The juke (that’s cool guy lingo for juke-box) was stocked with such classics as “Time Warp” and “Crocodile Rock,” but The Jazz Singer’s “Sweet Caroline” is what brought the house down.  Play it multiple times, and people started to actually realize the song was creepily written about a very young Kennedy girl.  For the record, I am and never will be a fan of the repeated “so good, so good, so good” interlude, but chickies seem to love that part!

3. Get Busy – Sean Paul

I did not dance to this song.  I could not dance to this song.  I kind of just smirked and head-nodded with rhythm to it instead. But I did really enjoy watching Chi Kappa O’Theta’s scream that this was in fact “their song” every time it came on.  During the mid 2000s, there was a big, south-of-the-border, rap/dance/house beat making its way from Mexico all the way up to northeast Ohio (Daddy Yankee is awesome too) and when Get Busy made its way to my ears, let’s just say if I actually owned an iPod, it would have been on that damn thing.  The video is a poor man’s dream; just a bunch of rubenesque women wiggling away in a basement.  The song brought the masses to their feet and it helped you realize that the quiet girl from your World Drama class is into Shakespeare AND dirty, grindin’ dancing.

2. Piano Man -Billy Joel

Realistically, any Billy Joel song could have made its way onto this list.  Some parties you just didn’t want to see people making out in the corner anymore to some Young Buck tune, so you had to put in something with worldwide appeal.  Enter the Joel.  Piano Man’s opening keys hit the heart-strings and open up memories for people of all ages. I honestly think those first few notes should replace the whole “Can I have your attention” phrase we’ve been overusing for centuries.  You need someone’s attention, just play the beginning to Piano Man and everyone is all ears.  This song easily reminds me of a bunch of meat-headed college kids, lowering floorboards and screaming this song at the top of their lungs.  It was literally the one song where beer-pong players stopped, creeps stopped creeping, and people going to the bathroom had a legitimate reason not to wash their hands for once. Piano Man plays and extensive chin to the sky singing overtakes the moment (bonus points if you actually lifted your chin just now to see what I meant).  The song makes a dull party, amazing and an amazing party, legendary.  Plus once you get to verse 3 and people still know the words, well that’s what gets me up in the morning.

 1. Ignition Remix –  R Kelly

OBVIOUSLY! If this isn’t your number 1 then I don’t want to know you.  Plain and simple this song is still in the Fanelli top 25 of all time and always will be.  Oh you’re on AIM, that’s cool, bet I can guess your away message come Friday: “It’s the freaking weekend, I’m bout to have me some fun.”  Go Streaks!

Honorable Mention List (due to people yelling at me already):

Happy People – R Kelly

In Da Club – 50 Cent

Gasolina – Daddy Yankee

Yeah – Ursh


Later Ya’ll,

Post by: Anthony Fanelli

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