15 Songs From Our Childhood With Lyrics We Couldn't Forget If We Tried

They say everything old is new again, and that's certainly true when it comes to music. In fact, lately it seems like everything new is old: '90s trio Bell Biv DeVoe just released a new single called "Run," the New Kids on the Block have a reality show about their "party cruise" biz, and Britney Spears has taken over Vegas. It's no wonder we're constantly humming all the songs from our childhoods in our heads -- or that we still remember all the words!

Something about the music you were obsessed with as a kid just never leaves you -- that's why even though you can't remember what you had for lunch yesterday, you can still remember the lyrics to all the tracks on your favorite mix tapes. These are some of the songs we can sing at karaoke with our eyes closed to this day (even if nobody wants to hear!).

 

Image via Gutzemberg/Shutterstock

  • Bell Biv DeVoe: "Poison"

    1

    If you have memories of trying to dance (awkwardly) to Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison" (1990) at a middle school dance, congratulations -- you're a '90s kid! Here's what we didn't realize back then: The advice offered in this ubiquitous hit is questionable at best: "Never trust a big butt and a smile/That girl is poison." Um, really?

  • New Kids on the Block: "You Got It: The Right Stuff"

    2

    We love Jordan because he's the cuuuuuuute one!!! The fact that everybody's favorite Knight brother sang lead on this 1988 chart-topper was one reason why we loved it; another was that oh-so-catchy chorus: "Oh oh oh oh oh/Oh oh oh oh/Oh oh oh oh oh/The right stuff."

  • Young MC: "Bust a Move"

    3

    Not only does Young MC's "Bust a Move" (1989) still make us want to, well, bust a move, we haven't forgotten a single word: "She's dressed in yellow, she says 'Hello, come sit next to me you fine fellow'/You run over there without a second to lose/And what comes next hey bust a move." Exactly.

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  • Madonna: "Vogue"

    4

    Not only did we spend all our time trying to perfect the accompanying dance moves to Madonna's "Vogue" (1990), the lyrics taught us all about Hollywood icons born before our time: "Greta Garbo, and Monroe/Dietrich and DiMaggio." 

  • Def Leppard: "Pour Some Sugar On Me"

    5

    To this day, you have no idea what Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (1987) is really about (sex? drugs? both?), but you still know alllll the words: "Razzle 'n' a dazzle 'n' a flash a little light/Television lover, baby, go all night/Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet/Little miss ah innocent sugar me, yeah!" 

  • Vanilla Ice: "Ice Ice Baby"

    6

    All right stop! Collaborate and listen ... because you still can't get "Ice Ice Baby" (1991) out of your head. "Will it ever stop? Yo, I don't know/Turn off the lights and I'll glow/To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal/Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle." You wax that chump, Vanilla.

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  • Salt-N-Pepa: "Push It"

    7

    Sure, "Shoop" and "Whatta Man" dominated the radio a few years later, but "Push It" (1986) was Salt-N-Pepa at their raunchy, rowdy best (even if we didn't really know what we were singing about at the time). "This dance ain't for everybody/Only the sexy people!" Fair enough.

  • Poison: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"

    8

    The lyrics to Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (1988) were deeeeep. (So deep, in fact, that they were even quoted by Keanu Reeves in a pivotal scene from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey!) "Every rose has its thorn/Just like every night has its dawn/Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song/Every rose has its thorn." TRUTH, Bret Michaels.

  • Britney Spears: "...Baby One More Time"

    9

    Depending on your age in 1998 (when Britney Spears blew up with "...Baby One More Time") you were probably either obsessed with this song or obsessed with changing the radio station whenever it came on (which was often). Either way, you haven't forgotten a single line: "Oh baby baby/How was I supposed to know/That something wasn't right here?" A question for the ages.

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  • Sir Mix A Lot: Baby Got Back

    10

    "Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt!" Years before the Kardashians (in 1992, to be exact), Sir Mix-A-Lot was praising big booties with his timeless anthem: "My anaconda don't want none/Unless you've got buns, hon." Indeed.

  • Alanis Morissette: "You Oughta Know"

    11

    The reason why you still know all the words to this 1995 breakthrough from Alanis Morissette is because it was your go-to mantra in times of romantic crisis: "And every time you speak her name/Does she know how you told me/You'd hold me until you died/'Til you died, but you're still alive." Ouch, that one still stings!

  • Spice Girls: "Wannabe"

    12

    Because how could you forget a song with the line "I really really really wanna zigazig ah"? Plus, "Wannabe" (1996) introduced us to the Spice Girls and inspired us to say girl power-y things to our boyfriends like "If you wannabe my lover/You gotta get with my friends." 

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  • Beck: "Loser"

    13

    "In the time of chimpanzees ... I WAS A MONKEY!" It didn't matter that the words to Beck's "Loser" (1994) didn't make any sense -- in fact, that just made singing along more fun. "Don't believe everything that you read/You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve." That's some heavy sh*t, yo.

  • Bon Jovi: "I'll Be There for You"

    14

    So. Many. Slow dances to this song! The best part about "I'll Be There for You" (1988) was how it gave us hope that our crappy boyfriends might someday turn into Jon Bon Jovi: "And I wasn't there when you were happy/I wasn't there when you were down/I didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby/I wish I'd seen you blow those candles out." See, he's not really a bad guy!! HE'LL BE THERE FOR YOU FROM NOW ON!!

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: "Parents Just Don't Understand"

    15

    Never mind the fact that we're now technically the demographic DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were complaining about in "Parents Just Don't Understand" (1988), lines like these still ring true: "She said, 'What's wrong? This shirt cost $20'/I said, 'Mom, this shirt is plaid with a butterfly collar!'" (We bet Will Smith never did that to Jaden or Willow.)

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