Relive the days of beepers, AIM, MySpace & more in these songs with dated lyrics

Although themes of love, loss, and living are timeless, no one parties like it’s 1999 anymore, and you’re more likely to put your song in a TouchTunes queue than you are to put a dime in the jukebox, baby. You probably can’t call 867-5309 without adding an area code these days, and the Internet has definitely killed the video star at this point. But despite their outdated lyrics, we still love these songs because they take us back to a simpler time. Indulge on some nostalgia with 20 other songs that show their age.


Song: Let’s Push Things Forward
Artist: The Streets
Year: 2002
Dated lyric(s): “You won’t find us on Alta Vista”
Why it’s dated: Alta Vista was a popular search engine in the early 2000s, before Google was dominated (and basically became its own verb). Believe it or not, there was once a time when not everything you searched was available online. Some things were too underground, even for the Internet.


Song: Online
Artist: Brad Paisley
Year: 2007
Dated lyric(s): “I’m a Sci-Fi fanatic / Mild asthmatic / Never been to second base / But there’s a whole ‘nother me / That you need to see / Go check out MySpace”
Why it’s dated: 2007 was arguably the beginning of the end for MySpace. Today you could swap out “MySpace” for “Instagram” and get the same point across, as Paisley’s sentiment “I’m so much cooler online,” still rings true today. #TooManyFilters


Song: Freedom
Artist: Rage Against the Machine
Year: 1991
Dated lyric(s): Solo, I’m a soloist on a solo list / All live, never on a floppy disk”
Why it’s dated: No one uses floppy disks to store data anymore. These days, they’d probably be using a flash drive or even an iCloud.


Song: Instant Messenger (Pink Ego Box)
Artist: Muse
Year: 1999
Dated lyric(s): “But I think I like it / When you instant message me”
Why it’s dated: Ah, the days of away messages and screen-names. AIM was one of the biggest forms of communication among youths before we all had cell phones. Didn’t have the courage to talk to your crush on the phone? All you had to do was send an instant message and you could pretend to have all the confidence in the world. This has now been replaced by social media and texting. !!**~~~I MISS YOU AIM~~~**!!


Song: Mix Tape
Artist: Brand New
Year: 2001
Dated lyric(s): “This is the first song for your mixtape / It’s short just like your temper”
Why it’s dated: Once upon a time, mixtapes were the best way to tell someone indirectly how you felt. You’d create the perfect collection of songs, with a specific sequence, and give it to a friend or significant other in the hopes that they’d understand your artistic statement. Back then, you didn’t have a library of files to drag and drop into a playlist. Instead, you’d take the song from one cassette or LP and use a tape recorder to duplicate it onto another cassette — or you’d rip it straight from the radio. This took time, and made these personal mix tapes even that much more special.


Song: Work It
Artist: Missy Elliott
Year: 2002
Dated lyric(s): “DJ, please pick up your phone / I’m on the request line”
Why it’s dated: Back in the day, the only way to hear your favorite song was to either purchase it in a physical format or call up the local radio station and request for it to be played. These days? If you have access to the Internet, you have access to almost any song. That said, radio stations (including ours!) do still take requests.


Song: Bugaboo
Artist: Destiny’s Child
Year: 1999
Dated lyric(s): 1) “You make me wanna throw my pager out the window,” 2) “Stressin’ me pagin’ my beeper,” 3)Have AOL make my email stop,” 4) “’Cause 20 minutes after I gave you my number / You already had my mailbox full,” 5) “Tell MCI to cut the phone calls”
Why it’s dated: This song is chock full of dated references. Today, you’d be more likely to throw your smartphone out the window than your pager/beeper. AOL email doesn’t have the same cool factor it once did (and who gives out email addresses for dating purposes anymore?). Not many people leave voicemails except your mom– a text is more appropriate for leaving a message. And MCI no longer exists — it was bought by Verizon in 2006.


Song: I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)
Artist: Jay Z
Year: 2000
Dated lyric(s): “I’m too cold, Motorola, two way page me, c’mon”
Why it’s dated: We’ve been over this outdated technology before, but as big as two-way pagers (And Motorola) were back then, today we’d be communicating via text.


Song: Get The Party Started
Artist: P!nk
Year: 2001
Dated lyric(s): “I’m your operator, You can call anytime / I’ll be your connection to the party line”
Why it’s dated: Admittedly, this song was dated even at the time it came out. Phones stopped requiring operators to make calls back in the ‘60s, and party lines stopped being sexy after the ‘80s. However, in the ‘90s, we were at least still calling the operator (press 0!) when we couldn’t find a number in the phone book, and we could have our call connected for a fee. Now we have Google (or SIRI) for that!


Song: Bust A Move
Artist: Young MC
Year: 1989
Dated lyric(s): “Your movie’s showin’ / So you’re goin’ / Couldn’t care less about the five you’re blowin’”
Why it’s dated: The last time average movie tickets were $5 was in 1999. Ticket prices hit a record high this summer, averaging about $8.61 (with added costs for 3D films). Nowadays you can blow five bucks just streaming a movie from home!


Song: Hey Ya
Artist: OutKast
Year: 2003
Dated lyric(s): “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”
Why it’s dated: Sure, hipsters still use Polaroids to seem vintage and cool, but most photos these days are taken on your smartphone. Even in the early 2000s, Polaroids were more of a novelty item. Fun fact: After Hey Ya! came out, Polaroid issued a warning that their images should not be shaken.


Song: Juicy
Artist: Notorious B.I.G.
Year: 1994
Dated lyric(s):“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this”
Why it’s dated: Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis were both very popular video game consoles back in the early ‘90s. Now XBOX 1, Playstation 4 and Wii U are the consoles dujour and come with much better graphics.


Song: Shine
Artist: Lil Wayne ft. Hot Boys
Year: 2000
Dated lyric(s): “You don’t wanna put your vehicle next to us/ ‘Cause all of our vehicles, we dress ’em up / With television, Dreamcast, DVDs / Nice sounds, buttons, it’s twenties”
Why it’s dated: Another dated videogame reference, Dreamcast was the last console in the Sega line, coming ten years after Sega Genesis. Nowadays, you’ll probably catch Tunechi playing Assassin’s Creed on XBOX or PlayStation.


Song: Changes
Artist: 2Pac
Year: 1998
Dated lyric(s): “And although it seems heaven sent / We ain’t ready to see a black president”
Why it’s dated: Although Tupac Shakur never lived to see the day (RIP!), President Barack Obama, the United States’ first black president, is finishing up his second term. Sadly, many of the race problems ‘Pac mentions in this song remain problems today in this country.


Song: Skypager
Artist: A Tribe Called Quest
Year: 1991
Dated lyric(s): “Do you know the importance of a skypager?”
Why it’s dated: Once upon a time, people used to have tiny digital boxes that displayed the phone number of a person trying to reach them. They would then call the person back at the nearest payphone (also outdated today). Now, we just have smartphones for all that.


Song: Star 69
Artist: R.E.M.
Year: 1994
Dated lyric(s): “I know you called / I know you called / I know you hung up my line / Star 69”
Why it’s dated: Back in the day, you could dial *69 to find out who had just called you. This was prior to caller ID. This especially came in handy if you were prank called. Not to be confused with *67, which gave callers the ability to call from an “unknown” number.


Song: E-mail My Heart
Artist: Britney Spears
Year: 1999
Dated lyric(s): E-mail my heart and say our love will never die and that I know you’re out there and I know that you still care / E-mail me back and say our love will stay alive / Forever, E-mail my heart”
Why it’s dated: Although the concept of being ignored via telephone still rings true today, sending personal love notes via E-mail isn’t very common anymore. Now we have wonderful things like sexting to tell our significant others they’re on our minds.


Song: Ringtone
Artist: Warren G
Year: 2009
Dated lyric(s): “She’s got her own ringtone on my phone / So when she calls my phone, I know it’s on”
Why it’s dated: Speciality ringtones were all the rage toward the end of the ‘00 decade. By this time, most people had cellphones, and everyone thought it was cool to have special song clips or sounds for each of their closest contacts. You knew you were special if you had your own ringtone on someone’s phone. Now most people stick with the generic ringtone because no one wants to hear Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (“Oh mamma mia, mamma mia – Mama mia, let me go!”) every time my mom calls.


Song: 57 Channels and Nothin’ On
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Year: 1992
Dated lyric(s): “We settled in for the night my baby and me / We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn / There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
Why it’s dated: Bruce is using cable television as a metaphor for the Hollywood lifestyle, noting the impressive 57 channels he had to choose from yet still not feeling satisfied. Now premium cable packages come with thousands of channels to choose from. A more modern interpretation of this, however, would be “There were 8,000 titles on Netflix and nothin’ on.”


Song: The Real Slim Shady
Artist: Eminem
Year: 2000
Dated lyric(s): “But if we can hump dead animals and antelopes then there’s no reason why a man and another man can’t elope”
Why it’s dated: Although Em was known for his homophobia back in the day and probably wasn’t championing same-sex marriage, as of 2015 it is legal for “a man and another man” to elope. Unless your city clerk is Kim Davis…then you might have to jump through some hoops.

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