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Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire

What are the songs you love, but just can't stand to hear?
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Note: This episode of All Songs Considered originally ran on Oct. 11, 2017.

I was at a restaurant recently when "Cats In The Cradle," a mid-'70s song by Harry Chapin, came on. It's the one about a dad too busy for his son, and ends with the son growing up to be too busy for his dad. Anyway, the thought hit me, "Do I really ever have to hear this song again?" It's a well-crafted tune, but please: can't we just retire it?!

And so a show is born. On this edition of All Songs Considered, "Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire."

Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and I picked out some classic songs, and a few more recent tunes, to debate longevity and overstayed welcomes in modern music history. Should "American Pie" be put out to pasture? Has John Lennon's "Imagine" been imagined one too many times? Does Pharrell's "Happy" still make us happy, or should we, as Stephen Thompson suggests, cryogenically freeze it so we never have to hear it again in our lifetimes?

(P.S. — Do you have an idea for a song we should retire? Add your song and take our poll here.)

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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