Alright, I know I am going to take a lot of hell for this from a lot of different people. But every one of those individuals is wrong. I believe a great song is one that will put a smile on your face. If a song can change your entire mood, you know you have found something special. During our 90s Tournament, I realized one of those songs for me became part of our tournament. As I made the brackets, I decided to listen to all 16 songs. Sure, “Tubthumping” is fun. I still remember 13-year-old singing the line “Pissing the night away,” not realizing the meaning is about drinking, I thought I was getting away with saying dirty words. Each song invoked some emotion in my soul, but one song stood out. One song puts a smile on my chubby face. And that is why, “The Sign” by Ace of Base should no longer count as a guilty pleasure song, but a straight up Bop.
Admitting to a guilty pleasure song is setting yourself up for ridicule. And I have admitted my fair share of guilty pleasure songs. But, “The Sign” and Ace of Base is not a guilty pleasure. The Swedish pop group of the early 90s knew how to put together a catchy tune. And each one of those songs holds up today. “The Sign” and Ace of Base is a statement. The band and their music can turn an entire day around. Seriously, go to your music player of choice and throw up one of their songs. If you do not feel better after listening, you are lying. And I will call Maury.
I know you think I am on drugs and that is possibly true if you count seeing the sign as a drug. The first few notes of this song hits, my speakers are turned up to 11, and I am getting noise complaints filed on me at 2AM by the lady who watches Wheel of Fortune. But I am not sure I care. It is mother effing ACE OF BASE. You turn that up. If you are sitting at an empty intersection and a car pulls up beside you playing “The Sign,” you are going to smile, remember that the song exists, and download it to your playlist.
I think something else that helps me love this song is not knowing the meaning. In my defense, I have researched the meaning of the song. No one knows. At this point it is safe to assume Ace of Base does not know either. But whatever the meaning, we saw the damn sign and we are living for it.
The song is very much a positively negative song. Let’s take a look at the lyrics.
I, I got a new life, you would hardly recognize me, I’m so glad
How can a person like me care for you?
I, why do I bother, when you’re not the one for me?
Life is demanding without understanding
I am not looking at this song with the fog of nostalgia impairing my vision. I think you need to give a second chance to Ace of Base. Don’t write their songs off as cheesy 90s music, Ace of Base are poets of a generation. And while the song did not make it past the first round, the song won me over again and it will you as well. And if that is not enough to win you over, the song is covered in an episode of Full House. And yes, the video is below.
And they reprise it in an episode of Fuller House.