The '90s was a strange and beautiful decade. AOL screen names were the norm (once you finally got a modem, that is) and, if you wanted to buy music, you had to physically get it at an actual store. Crazy, right? Some of that music you bought, though, may have been some of the weirdest '90s songs ever, because hey, you didn't know better back then. The decade gave us infectious pop beats that accompanied songs about thongs and peaches, lyrics about not liking Chinese food, and just being too sexy for your shirt.
The '90s also provided so many unforgettable pop stars: Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, and N Sync, just to name a few. But then there are some of the, ahem, weirder ones. Some artists were one hit wonders, with bizarre hits like OMC's "How Bizarre" or "Summer Girls" By LFO. A few of the songs didn't only sound weird, but had equally strange music videos to accompany the single, like Aqua's "Barbie Girl." And then there are songs that live in infamy, but I still have no idea what the lyrics mean, like Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" and Hanson's "MMMBop."
So let's go back in time and relive the weird, yet wonderful music of the '90s, one strange song at a time.
1. "Barbie Girl" By Aqua
No, this isn't a Mattel tie-in, but some of the strangest Europop to enter the U.S. pop charts ever.
2. "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" By Eiffel 65
I was obsessed with this song in junior high, but what is this song about really? The color blue? Commercialism? Little blue men? A chorus of early EDM riffs and "Da Ba Dee"-ing? Who knows.
3. "How Bizarre" By OMC
This casual jam from New Zealand became a hit and the lyrics are pretty much about a weird day in which the singer and his friends go to the circus. I think. It's really, well, bizarre.
4. "Steal My Sunshine" By Len
Here's another song about a lazy, crazy '90s day, during which I'm not exactly sure what's going on. But one of the singers loves Karen, so there's that.
5. "MMMBop" By Hanson
The infamous unintelligible hit by the Hanson brothers, who were so young and long-haired in the '90s.
6. "Summer Girls" By LFO
I always liked to think of this song as written with "Summer Song Mad Libs." I mean, that would explain the crazy lyrics like "Chinese food makes me sick," "Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets," and "Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton."
7. "Thong Song" By Sisquo
The truly odd ode to the thong. That's right, Sisquo's big hit was about underwear.
8. "Macarena" By Los del Rio
Gather around and let me tell you about a time during which if you didn't know how to do the "Macarena," you were the biggest loser in school. That time was the mid-'90s and this song is to blame.
This song is also about a woman who cheats on her not-so-great boyfriend with his two friends, which is totally not cool and I'm not sure how the dance fits in.
9. "Ice Ice Baby" By Vanilla Ice
The Vanilla Ice era was truly weird, making this rapper a phenomenon. To me, he looks and sounds like a cross between Saved By The Bell's Zack Morris and Beverly Hills 90210's David Silver, but hey, it was the '90s.
10. "Mambo No. 5" By Lou Bega
This odd song counts off like list of women the singer wants to get down with, so I guess the "mambo" he's singing about isn't the dance.
11. "Baby Got Back" By Sir-Mix-Alot
The ultimate ode to booty, which would later inspire Nicki Minaj's other ode to butts and other parts, "Anaconda."
12. "Rape Me" By Nirvana
This chilling song is controversial because, well, look at that title, which repeats over and over in the chorus. Lead singer Kurt Cobain wanted to sing the song at the 1992 MTV VMAs, but the network said no, according to Uproxx. I'm not even sure a song with this name could even be released today.
13. "Peaches" By The Presidents Of The United States
I used to think the band was using "peaches" as a metaphor (like how people use the peach emoji now), but no, I think this is strictly about the fruit.
14. "I'm Too Sexy" By Right Said Fred
I bet today this guy sings this song while taking selfies.
15. "Tubthumping" By Chumbawamba
I think this is a song about a drunken night out, but mostly it's about getting knocked down and getting back up again.
16. "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" By Will Smith
This song came out at the height of Smith's fame, when he was a cultural phenomenon. During this period, I have a feeling he could've release a song with him rapping the phone book and it would have still been so popular. Instead, he invented some slang and it worked.
17. "The Bad Touch" By The Bloodhound Gang
If you've ever wondered, "How many sexual puns can fit in one song?" This is your answer.
18. "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" By The Backstreet Boys
This song confused me so much as a teen and declares that "Backstreet's back / All right!" but I often wondered where they came back from. Were they popular in the '80s and faded away? Did they disappear from the music scene for awhile? This was their first single, and this question still mystifies me.
19. "C'est La Vie" By B*Witched
That go-to song when you want to hit on a hot guy sitting in his treehouse.
20. "Breakfast At Tiffany's" By Deep Blue Something
So this song is about a couple who bonded over the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's and somehow, it's the one thing that saves their broken relationship. What? Is this a metaphor or a subliminal message to go rent the movie at Blockbuster Video?
21. "Return Of The Mack" By Mark Morrison
The happiest and most upbeat song about a cheating lover ever.
22. "I Wanna Sex You Up" By Color Me Badd
Who needs subtly when you have Color Me Badd? (Cue the "ooohs.")
22. "Sex And Candy" By Marcy Playground
How embarrassing was it when this came on the car radio? And your parents were in the front seat, asking aloud, "What does sex and candy mean?"
23. "Too Close" By Next
Your '90s ode to surprise erections on the dance floor.
24. "C'mon And Ride It (The Train)" By the Quad-City DJs
The song that'll have you declaring, "It's the choo choo!" The locomotive-themed tune even quotes the ever-quotable Little Engine That Could: "I think I can, I think I can."
25. "Two Princes" By The Spin Doctors
I had no idea what this song was called until right now. I always thought it was called "90s Theme Song For All Movie Trailers."
26. "S Club Party" By S Club 7
I don't understand anything that's happening here.
27. "Cotton Eyed Joe" By Rednex
This 1994 song about an American Southern gentleman is actually by a Swedish band. And now you will hear it forever at every Major League Baseball game you attend for all of eternity.
28. "Coco Jamboo" By Mr. President
Don't get me wrong, this was my jam in junior high. But what on Earth is this song about?
29. "Christmas Coco Jambo" By Mr. President
Yep, there's a Christmas version, too. Why? Who knows.
30. "Possum Kingdom" By The Toadies
I think this song might be a kidnapping. Whatever you do, don't go behind the boathouse.
31. "Semi-Charmed Life" By Third Eye Blind
The most upbeat song about drug addiction ever.
32. "Mr. Vain" By Culture Beat
Even the '90s had diss tracks.
33. "Space Jam" By Quad-City DJs
I can only hope that Space Jam 2 with LeBron James has an equally as random theme song as this one.
34. "Faith" By Limp Bizkit
For some reason, this metal band thought it was be a great idea to cover George Michael's icon tune "Faith." The results are insane.
35. "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" By Baz Luhrman
Before Mouln Rouge, the director had a hit song (yes, song) of this spoken-word hypothetical graduation speech.
The '90s were weird and fun, but most of all, the decade was truly memorable for these crazy songs.