Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire : All Songs Considered They are often beloved classics, or works of pure genius. And you never, ever need to hear them again. They are the songs that must be retired.
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Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire

Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire

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What are the songs you love, but just can't stand to hear?
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If I hear that song one more time!

I was at a restaurant recently when "Cats In The Cradle," a mid-'70s song by Harry Chapin, came on. It's the one about a dad too busy for his son, and ends with the son growing up to be too busy for his dad. Anyway, the thought hit me, "Do I really ever have to hear this song again?" It's a well-crafted tune, but please: can't we just retire it?!

And so a show is born. On this edition of All Songs Considered, "Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire."

Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and I picked out some classic songs, and a few more recent tunes, to debate longevity and overstayed welcomes in modern music history. Should "American Pie" be put out to pasture? Has John Lennon's "Imagine" been imagined one too many times? Does Pharrell's "Happy" still make us happy, or should we, as Stephen Thompson suggests, cryogenically freeze it so we never have to hear it again in our lifetimes? — Bob Boilen

(P.S. — Do you have an idea for a song we should retire? Add your song and take our poll here.)

What Songs Should Be Retired?

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Harry Chapin

  • Song: Cats in the Cradle
  • from Introducing
YouTube

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Song
Introducing
Album
Introducing
Artist
Harry Chapin
Label
Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp.
Released
2006

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Cover for Grace

Jeff Buckley

  • Song: Hallelujah
  • from Grace
YouTube

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Song
Grace
Album
Grace
Artist
Jeff Buckley
Label
Columbia Europe
Released
1994

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Cover for Facing Future

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

  • Song: Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
  • from Facing Future
YouTube

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Song
Facing Future
Album
Facing Future
Artist
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Label
Mountain Apple

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Cover art for John Lennon's Imagine
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John Lennon

  • Song: Imagine
  • from Imagine
YouTube

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Song
Imagine
Album
Imagine
Artist
John Lennon
Label
EMI Music Distribution
Released
1971

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Cover for Help! [UK]

The Beatles

  • Song: Yesterday
  • from Help! [UK]
YouTube

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Song
Help! [UK]
Album
Help! [UK]
Artist
The Beatles
Label
Capitol

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Pharrell

  • Song: Happy [From Despicable Me 2]
  • from G I R L
YouTube

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Song
G I R L
Album
G I R L
Artist
Pharrell Williams
Label
Columbia
Released
2014

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Don McLean

  • Song: American Pie
  • from American Pie
YouTube

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Song
American Pie
Album
American Pie
Artist
Don McLean
Label
BGO
Released
1971

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Meatloaf

  • Song: Paradise By The Dashboard Light
  • from Bat Out Of Hell
YouTube
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Lynyrd Skynyrd

  • Song: Free Bird
  • from (Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
YouTube

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Song
(Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
Album
(Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
Artist
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Label
MCA Records
Released
1973

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Wagner

  • Song: Ride of the Valkyries
  • from Der Ring Des Nibelungen
YouTube

Cover art for The Eagles Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Eagles

  • Song: Hotel California
  • from Hotel California [Japan]
YouTube

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Song
Hotel California [Japan]
Album
Hotel California [Japan]
Artist
Eagles
Label
Asylum
Released
1976

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Led Zeppelin

  • Song: Stairway to Heaven
  • from Led Zeppelin IV
YouTube

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Song
Led Zeppelin IV
Album
Led Zeppelin IV
Artist
Led Zeppelin
Label
Atlantic
Released
1971

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Queen

  • Song: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • from Night at the Opera
YouTube

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Song
Night at the Opera
Album
Night at the Opera
Artist
Queen
Label
EMI Music Distribution
Released
1975

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