Touch me, I’m sick – dodgy songs on iTunes

Sometimes you are simply going about the usual business of your day when something unusual and unanticipated hits you with such force that it takes your breath away and completely changes the way you think about yourself, shaking your entire self-concept to the core.

So I’m emptying and re-stacking the dishwasher, pottering around, putting away toys, sneaking cups of tea in between changing nappies and making toast. The typical quiet rhythm of mundane domestitude, punctuated only by the sporadic whining of my two children and the music coming out of my laptop speakers, iTunes on shuffle.

And then it hits me. Like a perfumed punch in the face.

“I’ve been missing your strawberry kisses…..”

What. The. FRACK. I stop suddenly, frozen. Alert, alarmed and disoriented. I reach out to steady myself on the kitchen bench.

“Coz nothing’s as sweet, the taste still drives me crazy”

And then the questions start. The desperate, soul-searching questions.


I used to pride myself on my impeccable music taste. Punk, post-punk, riot grrrl, freak folk, alt-country, old school hip hop, northern soul, lo-fi, 60’s girl groups, indie rock, Britpop. Yeah. I’m THAT wanker.

The “Nikki Webster incident” prompted an immediate and urgent response of the highest order. I had to undertake an emergency iTunes audit, because if Nikki Webster managed to sneak past quality control, well….. I’m wondering who else has slipped through the net. I’m scared. And it turns out that I bloody well should be.

My laptop only has about 570 songs on it because I am simply too lazy to transfer all the files across from my iMac, which has gazillions. Most of the stuff on the laptop is crappy pop stuff I have ripped from library CDs, usually stuff like Go Fresh compilations and such. I like to run to plastic top 40 pop. I will make no further excuses for this behaviour.

My preliminary search begins, and….

OH MY GOD it throws up ANOTHER Nikki Webster track! Elementary mathematics suggests that I am in possession of TWO Nikki Webster songs. Whilst all logic defies this assertion, alphabetical sorting by artist confirms it. This is simply impossible. The realisation hits me with the full force of the shame it deserves, and my terror spirals out of control. What on God’s great mercy am I going to unearth here? My sense of self has been rocked to the core. I am not this person. Am I?

There is also an inordinate number of tracks from reality TV contestants. I have no explanation for this other than the theory that a trojan horse virus that has infected my computer and populated it with tonnes of this confectionary crap. I call it the Australian Idol trojan horse and it is insidious. For every Jess Mauboy track (who I personally think is cool, hate me for that if you wish) there are several more from the likes of Anthony Callea, Rob Mills, Shannon Noll and Johhny Ruffo.

Special mention to Johnny Ruffo, by the way, who despite his humble origins as an X-Factor finalist and Home And Away soapie star manages to achieve the dubious distinction, in my humble opinion anyway, of singing one of the worst hook lyrics in a pop song, EVER.

“I’m on top of the world when I’m on top of you girl”.

When I first heard that lyric I did such a violent double-take that it took four months of intensive chiropractics to correct. “NO @$#^ng way WAY! Did he REALLY just SAY that? YOLO!”

S Club 7, Natalie Imbruglia, N’Sync, Limp Bizkit, Geri Halliwell, Justin Bieber. There is even a cover version of “I’m So Excited” from the bum-dancing, Big Brother contestant Sarah-Maree, mocking me from somewhere back in the early 2000’s.

I am feeling lots of things right now, but excited is not one of them. And then I feel sick. Really sick.

I have four Nickleback songs on my iTunes playlist. FOUR.

I had no idea that Nickelback even released four different songs. I thought they had like one song that just got played all the time. The four songs all sound identical, like the guy has accidently taken a swig of Drano and is screaming out a gargled demand for the number to the Poisons Hotline while the acid burns out the rear membranes of his oesophagus and he desperately claws out his own throat with his bare hands.

Look, I’m the first person to admit that I have become lame since I had children. But I mean, there’s lame and then there’s being 36 years old and having Nickelback and Justin Bieber and One Direction songs on your iTunes playlist. That’s shame. Deep, gut-churning, write-yourself-off-with-two-bottles-of-wine-and-change-your-name kind of shame.

I’m blaming my kids. I wouldn’t have to run so much if they hadn’t made me fat and pregnant, leaving my iTunes playlisting free to gorge itself on the fluid acoustic folk of Nick Drake instead of the perfumed saccharine pop beats of Nikki Webster. Strawberry Kisses my ass. Zilla needs a Liverpool Kiss.


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