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.

Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire

Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire

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Note: This episode of All Songs Considered originally ran on Oct. 11, 2017.

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What are the songs you love, but just can&#039;t stand to hear?
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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?

(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?

Cover art for Harry Chapin
Courtesy of the artist

Harry Chapin

  • Song: Cats in the Cradle
  • from Introducing
Cover for Grace

Jeff Buckley

  • Song: Hallelujah
  • from Grace
Cover for Facing Future

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

  • Song: Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
  • from Facing Future
Cover art for John Lennon's Imagine
Courtesy of the artist

John Lennon

  • Song: Imagine
  • from Imagine
Cover for Help! [UK]

The Beatles

  • Song: Yesterday
  • from Help! [UK]
Cover for G I R L


  • Song: Happy [From Despicable Me 2]
  • from G I R L
Cover for American Pie

Don McLean

  • Song: American Pie
  • from American Pie
Cover for Bat Out Of Hell


  • Song: Paradise By The Dashboard Light
  • from Bat Out Of Hell
Cover for (Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

  • Song: Free Bird
  • from (Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
Cover for Der Ring Des Nibelungen


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

Cover art for The Eagles Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

The Eagles

  • Song: Hotel California
  • from Hotel California [Japan]
Cover for Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin

  • Song: Stairway to Heaven
  • from Led Zeppelin IV
Cover for Night at the Opera


  • Song: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • from Night at the Opera