Train in Vain: The Merciful End of “Hey Soul Sister”?

Yesterday, I heard a song I haven’t heard in months. But last summer, it was a song I heard almost every day, even though I wasn’t listening to mainstream radio. That tune was “Hey Soul Sister” by Train.

Let’s flash back to last year. Sometime in the winter, I started hearing something distinctive in stores and the dentist’s office. I didn’t know what it was but the “heyyyyy-eyyyy-eyyyyyy….tonight” (using the technique of stretching out a common word, think “umbrella-ella-ella”) stuck out. It was annoying for sure, but I was able to tune it out. It then showed up again in a commercial, and I still didn’t think much of it. Maybe corporate America needed a new “hey” refrain without the unfortunate child-diddling connotations. By late spring and summer, it was on seemingly every commercial break, with Samsung being the biggest offender.

I finally decided to look up what this obnoxious song was. I was quite surprised to see that it was by the band Train. They sucked back when I was in junior high! I thought they had been banished to obscurity with other terrible early 2000s yuppie rock abominations like Five for Fighting (remember that pussy “Superman” song that dominated radio after 9/11? You know, the one that made emo look like Pantera). While I wasn’t watching, “Hey Soul Sister” became a huge hit, peaking at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and eventually #3 on the year-end chart.

Predictably, the backlash over the song’s overuse started. Entertainment Weekly made its thoughts known in October, and an entire damn website was started to try to stop it. So is the song dead now? Maybe. I sure hope so. But summer’s coming up, and rest assured there will be another stupid song to bother us during commercials. I’m thinking something by the Black Eyed Peas.

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About joshw24
30 year old guy. Into sports, pop culture, advertising, and trivia among other things.

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