“(Don’t You) Forget About Me” by Simple Minds
(Words/Music: Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, Album: The Breakfast Club Soundtrack, A&M Records 1985)
With the Oscars on tonight and a blog post to do on the 80s, I figured I would combine the two. When discussing 80s movies, the conversation cannot go too far without someone mentioning John Hughes and/or The Breakfast Club. And from there, it’s not long until someone has “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” going through their head and quite possibly an impromptu a capella version begins complete with table-tapping and air-synthesizer. Such is the nature of the song. It has good positive energy, nostalgic and memorable lyrics, and an infectious keyboard melody during the chorus. While stories abound about how Simple Minds (who didn’t actually write the song – they only agreed to record it after Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry turned it down) don’t necessarily care for the song, it remains their biggest hit and, ironically, the reason we haven’t forgotten about them.
When the song first came out, it didn’t really appeal much to me. As has been discussed in this blog, I was more apt to be listening to Iron Maiden than Simple Minds. But as the movie grew on me in my post-high school years, the song did too. Then an odd thing happened: I began to relate to the song. As someone who went to four schools in four years between 7th and 10th grade, then two colleges, then moved out of state, I have done my fair share of saying goodbye and starting over. There are a number of people I have forgotten about and needless to say many more who have forgotten about me. And at this point in my life, I have grown accustomed to people coming in and out of it and I actually find it rather refreshing. My job as a teacher only reinforces this aspect as I get a new batch of students every year and see familiar faces leave at graduation. In an interesting variation on a conversation I had the other day at school, I wonder if this song would still have as much appeal if it was released today? (To clarify, in school the other day, we discussed and concluded that Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t have happened in 2010 because they both would have had cell phones and the miscommunication at the end of the play would have been avoided.) I guess my real query has to do with whether or not people value time with others the way they did before, or whether Tweeting and texting and Facebooking have replaced the need for real interpersonal interaction. Maybe the song would still exist today, it would just be called “(Don’t You) Forget to Text Me.”