A cough in public in 2021 is decidedly bad. But there is a very specific cough that is still good to hear: A real throat-clearer that indicates that what will follow is Alex Gaskarth's nasal whine singing "I've got your picture / I'm coming with you." TikTok is the great reviver of unexpected old songs, breathing second life into washed-up bops and bands. And its latest benefactor? All Time Low's 2007 hit "Dear Maria, Count Me In."
Interest in the 14-year-old song has seen its first big spike since 2009, according to Google Trends, with most of that new interest coming from the arguably most pop-punk states: Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. All Time Low—who is, however surprisingly, still a band—is from Maryland so that revival isn't homegrown, nor is it tied to any new releases as the band's last release dropped in December. No, what kicked this all off was a TikTok clip posted in mid-December by the user @yungricepatty. In it, a young person in a Vans beanie and a single dangling earring claims "Mom, it was never a phase—it's a lifestyle!" before singing along dramatically to the All Time Low song.
There is a niche for everything on TikTok–from sea shanties, as we've all recently become aware, to oatmeal, to public relations—and the song's revival has reached both olds and youngs in the #poppunktiktok scene and beyond. Elder emos latched onto the audio out of nostalgia and created their own versions of the video, as did younger users who might make you wonder how old they were when All Time Low's So Wrong, It's Right dropped. (@yungricepatty lists in his TikTok bio that he is 20, meaning that he was around six when All Time Low hit the scene and that I am basically an AARP member for having seen the band on the small stage at Warped Tour.)
As of this writing, over 9200 videos have been created using this audio, including one that shows YouTuber Tanner Fox doing a stunt on a scooter and another of someone attempting to snowboard while filming. It certainly won't live forever, as no TikTok song does, but for now, "Dear Maria" is seeing another day in the sun, sparking fond memories for those who grew up with it and perhaps even introducing younger people to the glory days of swoopy hair and scene queens—the latter of which also has a presence on the platform.
The trend has come full circle: Earlier this week, All Time Low lead singer Alex Gaskarth and lead guitarist Jack Barakat uploaded a version of their own, which pulled in over 5.2 million views and 1.4 million likes in under two days. Filmed by Barakat as Gaskarth drives, the two alternate in saying "Mom, it was never a phase!" and "It's a lifestyle," before singing along to their own song. Co-signed, I say, as I put on my Glamour Kills shirt and American Apparel zip-up.