What Songs Make You Happy?

Bob Varettoni
2 min readJan 8, 2024

As a Notre Dame alum, I don’t have a rooting interest in tonight’s college football championship… except for one thing:

I hope all the Michigan fans are happy at the end of the third quarter.

I hope they all sing “Mr. Brightside.” Because, inexplicably, this song makes me irrationally happy.

This past Saturday, my wife Nancy and I were at Jersey Girl Brewing in Mount Olive, NJ, where a local cover band, Not Enough Jeffs, was doing a great job playing popular party songs. People were dancing; everyone was happy. But Nancy was mortified when they started to play “Mr. Brightside.”

She threatened to take a video of my reaction, but didn’t… because she loves me. But if she had, there might now exist a forever-embarrassing clip that would look a lot like this notable scene from “The Holiday”:


Two other songs that my family knows make me irrationally happy are “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen and “River Deep Mountain High” by Tina Turner.

I’ve previously written about “Thunder Road” here, and “River Deep Mountain High” crept up on me recently (thanks to the Celine Dion cover version) when I attended the musical “Titanique” with my daughter.

Not Enough Jeffs performing on a Saturday night in New Jersey

Still, I’m conflicted about these guilty pleasures. Not Enough Jeffs’s playlist includes songs like “Flagpole Sitta,” “What I Like About You” and “Sweet Caroline” (the “anthem” Trevor Noah cleverly sends up in his latest Netflix comedy special). So I’m thinking that perhaps I’m a cliche of a certain age.

Should I care, though? Isn’t it wonderful some songs simply make people inordinately happy, for no rational reason?

What are some of your favorites?

I’m sure there are a few I should check out, to expand my horizons… and maybe learn how to dance.

Originally published at https://varettoni.blogspot.com.



Bob Varettoni

Posting here about writing, books, tech, family, baseball. More about me at bvarcommunications.com