Future Oldies

Future Oldies

When I was younger, my dad would often make me listen to “oldies music” (his words, not mine) as part of my “musical education.” These songs included (but are definitely, DEFINITELY not limited to): “Rasputin” by Boney M.; “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!; “Love Shack” by The B-52’s; “Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young; “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Thurston Harris; and “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. I used to roll my eyes – and groan something along the lines of “DAAAD, can we please change it back to my station?” – but now that I’m older, I really am glad that he bestowed so much musical wisdom on me.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on what our “oldies” might be – what iconic songs define our generation. They are the songs that we recognize within the first few seconds of them playing; the tunes that make everyone go “OMG, YESSSSSSS” when they come on at a Queen’s house party; the crowd-pleasers that get the whole crowd on their feet at #SundayNightBrass. I can just hear future me shamelessly enlightening my kids as they roll their eyes: “Let me pair up to this b-tooth right now Junior; I’ll show you how we used to kick it.” These are the songs that I’ll most definitely cue up, and why:

  1. “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift. This song is absolutely classic – there’s no question about it. It’s the ultimate song for uniting a crowd. It conjures up so much emotion! When this tune comes on, party-goers are most definitely belting the lyrics with heads back, eyes clenched, drinks raised, and arms outstretched. There are so many iconic T-Swift songs, but I think this is the most universally-loved (hot take?).
  2. “Tik Tok” – Ke$ha. This is the song that launched our girl Ke$ha into stardom. It requires no explanation, except this: we love it, we also kind of hate it, but we need it.
  3. “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas. This song is the bomb. It epitomizes that example I gave of recognizing a song within the first few seconds. It’s the classic party song that gets the whole crowd jumping up and down in perfect sync, every time, without fail.
  4. “Wonderwall” – Oasis. This is the song that gets everybody in the bar swaying in sweet, sweet, unison. I don’t know how this song came to be so famous, but it’s a crowd pleaser and that’s for sure. It’s definitely one of my go-tos when I play at The Brass Pub on Tuesday nights from 10 PM-1 AM… (shameless plug, sorry).
  5. “Sk8er Boi” – Avril Lavigne. The punky love story takes us back to our angsty 7-year-old days (just me?). That hypothetical Sk8er Boi gives us the rub-it-in-your-ex’s-face success story that we all need, really. Needless to say, this song is timeless (can I make it any more obvious?).

This list is not exhaustive by any means. There are so many great songs that I think will have that “oldies” status when we’re our parents’ age. This list is also not universal, since I’m sure everyone has their own opinion about what songs define our generation. The important thing is that music has this profound ability to define who we are, put the untouchable into words, make us feel deeper and love harder, and help us forge a sense of collectiveness in a sometimes-lonely world. Can you imagine a world where music isn’t a thing? That would be a sad world indeed.

Because I had ~way~ too much fun coming up with this list, frankly I thought it would be inappropriate if I didn’t share the rest of the contenders with you guys:

  1. “Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus
  2. “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…)” – Lou Bega
  3. “Mr. Brightside” – The Killers
  4. “Caroline” – Animé
  5. “Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
  6. “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” – Shania Twain
  7. “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
  8. “Hips Don’t Lie” – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
  9. “Hey Ya!” – OutKast
  10. “Pursuit of Happiness” – Kid Cudi ft. MGMT
  11. “Wake Me Up” – Avicii
  12. “She Will Be Loved” – Maroon 5
  13. “Baby” – Justin Bieber
  14. “Gold Digger” – Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx
  15. “Apologize” – One Republic
  16. “Take a Bow” – Rihanna
  17. “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele
  18. “Oops…I Did It Again” – Britney Spears
  19. “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
  20. “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
  21. “Single Ladies” – Beyoncé
  22. “Ignition (Remix)” – R. Kelly
  23. “I Want It That Way” – Backstreet Boys
  24. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
  25. “Love Story” – Taylor Swift
  26. “One Thing” – One Direction
  27. “I’m a Believer” – Smash Mouth
  28. “I’m Like a Bird” – Nelly Furtado
  29. “A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton
  30. “Yes” – LMFAO
  31. “Beautiful Girls” – Sean Kingston
  32. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” – Drake
  33. “Hey There Delilah” – Plain White T’s
  34. “Closer” – The Chainsmokers
  35. “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” – Backstreet Boys
  36. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” – Fergie
  37. “I Hate This Part” – Pussycat Dolls
  38. “The Climb” – Miley Cyrus
  39. “Love Song” – Sara Bareilles
  40. “No Air” – Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown
  41. “Ironic” – Alanis Morissette
  42. “Island in the Sun” – Weezer
  43. “Hey Soul Sister” – Train
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