[ORIGINALLY FEATURED ON MAMAPOP.COM]
Admit it: early January is a total downer. Holidays and vacations make way for bosses and bootcamps. Where a glittering tree or shimmering champagne flute once stood, your home is now back to its usual glam-free ramshackle status. And booze-fueled memories of Kathy Griffin simulating oral sex with Anderson Cooper in Times Square become hazier…well, actually, that one’ll probably hang around for awhile.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to brighten your day as you face the interminable stretch between now and the next holiday or vacay. And what’s the best way to brighten a glum day? Music, of course!
What music, you ask? The music nested so neatly in your psyche that you’ve forgotten you love it…or, even, know it. The music universal in its appeal, deft at stirring your emotions and spurring you to action. The music that unites us as humans.
The music that plays when Scooby Doo and friends are chased and get chased by [some disenfranchised dude dressed as] a gooey, godforsaken ghoul.
You know the songs: inexplicable pop-y confessions of love and longing that had nil relevance to the plot or situation at-hand, but for the occasional lyric along the lines of “Girl, I’m gonna get ya.” Maybe you came of age in the era of TBS reruns of the original 1969-1973 run, Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Maybe you watched Scoobs and Shag (and the much-reviled Scrappy and Scooby-Dum) on ABC on Saturday mornings any time between 1976 and 1991.
Maybe your wee kids make you watch the bizarre What’s New Scooby Doo? on Cartoon Network, where no one but Fred gets a wardrobe update.
But regardless of whenever and however you watched, you know you love the songs. So here’s a round-up of your [subconscious] favorites. Take THAT, winter blahs!
The Theme from Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
The theme from the first (and greatest) Scooby series is best. So catchy and inspirational. What do you do when you have to reverse engineer a rhyme with the word “shiver?” Why, you concoct a bizarre implied backstory about a dog getting a splinter (I think?), of course! “Come on Scooby-Doo, I see you — pretending you got a sliver. But you’re not fooling me, cause I can see, the way you shake and shiver.” Never give up, kids.
Bonus Fun Fact: that guy singing the theme song is “that guy” you remember singing most every other non-guest-star-singing, super-swinging ’70s Scoob song. You know, THAT guy. Anyhoo, his name is Austin Roberts and he had lots of real music jobs…but who the eff cares about the other jobs?
“Pretty Mary Sunlight”
This is the quintessential Scooby-Doo chase song — a 60’s pop-folk tribute to stopping to smell the roses [while hiding in drag in a wax museum so as not to be disemboweled by a drippy phantom].
Bonus Fun Fact: the song was reprised at the end of the episode by guest star Jerry Reed, country guitar legend. Because of course it was.
“Seven Days a Week”
What says, “Girl, I can’t stop thinking about you” more than abusing a whale to thwart an unfrozen, angry neanderthal? For that matter, what says, “Beat it, angry neanderthal” or “One thousand pardons, poor whale” better than a song about mad-crushing on some girl? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.
“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”
The Ramones were not alone in contributing a Scooby Doo chaser for the What’s New, Scooby Doo? series in the early aughts. The Donnas, A Simple Plan, Tegan and Sara, and The Muffs all chipped in, too — some with originals. Hey, Scoob’s no poseur. But this Ramones song, featured in “Lights! Camera! Mayhem!,” best embodies the Scooby canon. It’s not really about running away from a monster…or is it? *organ music*
“I Can Make You Happy”
Even in a laugh-tracked cartoon, late Monkees heartthrob Davy Jones’ line “I’ve never sung for frogs before, just monkeys” gets nary a chortle. It’s okay, Davy. Rest in peace knowing you soothed the heck out of that savage moat monster.
“Tell Me, Tell Me”
You just have to listen between the lines, you see. “Hey, Girl, you got me running. Na na nananana…” really means “Hey, werewolf, please don’t eat me. No no nononono…” And a love song TOTALLY makes sense for a werewolf chase scene. After all, he’s taken a lichen to her.
“Shout It Out Loud”
Someone’s chasing something here, alright. The Elusive Relevance Monster.
“Recipe For My Love”
Big finish: Scooby, a skinny Solomon Grundy-esque villain, Shaggy strapped to a gurney, one smile, and a whole lotta lovin’. And the do-a-double-take lyric, “Things ain’t what they seemin’.” Heh. Seemin’.
BUT ANYWAY, there you have it. Are you entertained? Filled with nostalgia? Rage? Befuddlement? Whatever you’re feeling, I bet you forgot—at least for a minute—that the holidays are over and you’re back at work.