On Tuesday, I went to a distressing and wonderful event: my niece's grade-eight graduation. It was distressing because just a few years ago I saw her being born and now SHE'S GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL, and it was wonderful because she's turned out not half bad.

After she had WON A PRIZE for officially being not half bad and received her diploma, she was poised to go a graduation dance, and so my sister and I reminisced about how awkward and traumatizing it had been to dance to Stairway to Heaven when we were in school (because of the song's ridiculous length and that upbeat, bouncy bit in the middle when you usually stayed with your arms around each other but bobbed about more vigorously). That got me thinking about the Songs of My Youth, and the songs of my grade-eight graduation dance in particular.

My dance took place in the year...I'm pretty sure it was 1990. And that still doesn't seem all that long ago, but Buzzfeed recently had a list called something like "45 Things That Are Crazily and Unbelievably Long Ago About 1999"  (a year which, as you'll note, occurred almost a decade after the year I'm talking about) and also, my niece is GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL, so I realize that it was a long time ago and that I have a great deal to share with the younger generation.

I will not, obviously, be able to remember all the songs played by Clarence the DJ at Glenview Senior Public School—I have also managed to forget (1) the names of the boys kicked out of the dance for getting drunk off of some malign mixture of spirits from their parents' liquor cabinets, and (2) the last name of the boy who, at my graduation, told me I looked like a prostitute (I really, really didn't—but he was kind of a dick).

So here they are:

Fast Songs
You Shook Me All Night Long — ACDC
Sweet Child 'O Mine — Guns N' Roses
Mony Mony — Billy Idol
U Can't Touch This — MC Hammer
Bust A Move — Young MC
It Takes Two — Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
Joy and Pain —Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
Bizarre Love Triangle — New Order
Rock and Roll — Led Zeppelin
Sweet Soul Sister —The Cult
Beds Are Burning — Midnight Oil
Funky Cold Medina — Tone Loc

Red Red Wine — UB40
Faith — George Michael
Mary, Mary — Run–D.M.C.

Slow Songs
Patience — Guns N' Roses
Somebody — Depeche Mode
A Groovy Kind of Love — Phil Collins

Every Rose Has Its Thorn — Poison
Right Here Waiting — Richard Marx
Heaven — Warrant
Heaven — Bryan Adams
Without You — Motley Crue
What It Takes — Aerosmith

Never Tear Us Apart —INXS
I'll Be There For You — Bon Jovi
When I See You Smile — Bad English

Nothing Compares 2U — Sinead O'Connor
Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin

The last song played (I vividly remember  thinking, "This is the LAST SONG of my junior-high-school life") was Alphaville's Forever Young, and I also vividly remember thinking, "This song is hilariously inappropriate, because I don't care how old I get as long as aging means I get to leave junior high school." Also, we all thought that song was based on some story about some Swedish teenagers who committed suicide en masse after their prom, so it was a bit depressing. That story appears to be apocryphal, though, which I why I can now be so flippant about it.