I’m a sucker for those ‘Top 5 songs of your life’-type posts that crop up in places like Facebook on a regular basis. The categories are always a mix of the nostalgic (the first song you ever bought!), the inspirational (the song that best expresses your personality!) or downright morbid (what song should be played at your funeral?!).
I hereby propose another list, that requires our utmost honesty, and captures our real Top 5 songs:
1. That Song You Heard On an Advert and You Don’t Know the Title or the Words
You know. The one that you can sing one line of, you think, but then you have to hum the rest. But it’s so catchy that you sing and hum that same bit over and over until your colleagues form a lynch-mob and you have to climb out of the bathroom window to escape.
My example: That song from the Boots advert that might be by Kelly Clarkson.
2. The Novelty Song
The song that no self-respecting person wants to admit that they bought, but that has inexplicably risen up the charts to No.1 anyway and is now being played in every shop, and blaring tinnily out of every pair of headphones in the land, while growing progressively less entertaining, and now it’s STUCK IN YOUR iTUNES FOREVER, OH GOD!
My example: Tinchey Stryder ‘No.1’
3. The Song You Hate (but know all the words to)
At first glance you will think this overlaps with the novelty song, but there is a crucial difference. At some point you loved the novelty song and you paid good money to own it. This song is something worse. This is a song that you would never buy; that you would trample into the mud if someone presented you with a copy (Ok, I’m showing my age now – you would press delete REALLY HARD). But you still know all the words, and to your horror you find yourself singing along while pottering around Tesco.
My example: Pharell Williams ‘Happy’
4. The Emo Song
Maybe you’ve mocked the frequent resurgence of Emo, but trust me, you will have an Emo song on your list no matter when you were born. At some point you sat in a darkened room, cursing the fickle world that has failed to appreciate you, and singing along to this.
My example: Manic Street Preachers ‘La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)’
5. The Summer of 69
Consider this the mutant love child of the above categories. Well, ok, maybe not Emo, but the others. Love it or hate it, whether you know all the words, or you just sing the opening line then hum along til “Those were the best days of my life!” – this song is on your list. It’s on everyone’s list. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop.