Ninety 90’s Songs: Flinch

Yes, flinch. It’s what happens when I hear the opening chords to this song. You might also say that I wince, and even sometimes cringe. Putting that aside, it’s a catchy song but only because it was supposed to be catchy, kind of like McDonald’s has been engineered to taste good despite the fact that it’s not all that good for you.

#87 “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts. In case you have been lobotomized in the past five years, let me remind you that this was the theme song for the popular television series “Friends”. It wasn’t my style of sitcom, personally, but I watched several episodes over the course of its lengthy run and was usually entertained. I can’t say the same for the song.

It’s not that it’s terrible. It’s just that I don’t think the song is very honest, or has much integrity. You see, the song was only intended to play over the opening credits montage. That’s it. Only afterwards did someone add more to the song to make it suitable for radio. You can even see the evidence of the sloppy rush job in the lyrics. The opening verse boldly states, “So, no one told you life was gonna be this way.” The second verse retcons it: “Your mother told you there’d be days like these”.

Are you saying my mother is a nobody, Rembrandts?

Anyway, it’s obvious that the song’s relevance is not because of its outstanding musical and lyrical contributions, but because it gave “Friends” a chance to advertise via music video and radio. Imagine if “Seinfeld” had a catchy song on the radio, or they fleshed out that guitar-twang-thing into a three-minute masterpiece. Or what if Kelsey Grammer released his jazzy tune from the end of “Frasier” to the airwaves? Back in the nineties, it wasn’t improbable.


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