Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top Ten Songs of 2009

If I were one of my students, I would begin this post by saying "everyone loves music." But I'm not one of my students (thank god) and this blog post is about more than just loving music. What I find amazing about music is that it can always take me back to different periods of my life. The second I hear particular songs I'm so vividly in another place and time. For example, every time I hear Alanis Morissette's "Head Over Feet" I'm back in 8th grade and at my school's annual Halloween dance slow dancing with a girl dressed as a cheerleader. Or when I hear most Counting Crows' songs I'm immediately transported back to driving with Dustin through the back roads of Indiana in the fall (beautiful leaves everywhere). Music has that power more than anything else. It is a time machine. 

2009 was a year of music. I spent a good portion of the year listening, dancing, and singing along to various songs. These will be the 10 songs that will always take me back to this past year: the good times, the hard times, and the truly insane times. As with the book list, these are not necessarily songs that came out in 2009, but are representative of the year and are songs I personally listened to a lot during the last twelve months.

This was also the hardest top ten to write, because I had so many songs I wanted to include. At the end I have listed runner-ups. 

10. "Boys, Boys, Boys" by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is my favorite artist of the year and 2009 will always be associated with her in my head. This song never become a big Gaga hit, but is still one of my favorite songs on her first album. It's simplistic in it's chorus (boys, boys, boys, we like boys in cars, who buy us drinks in bars), but has a fun playfulness and other clever lines to move it past most pop crap. Best line: "You taste just like glitter mixed with rock and roll."

9. "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears
I have honestly never been a huge fan of Britney Spears (I know, amazing, not all gay boys love her), but this song won me over just a bit. I like it because it is sort of a "fuck you" to the media and critics. The song makes little to no sense and basically is created around the idea of making the chorus sound like she is saying "all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to F U C K me." What was even more hilarious was the reaction people had. I remember, months after the song came out, some reporter on Fox News thought she had just discovered the "spelling" of fuck in the song, when of course most people caught it right away. Best line: the whole chorus. 

8. "Mercy" by Duffy
I fell in love with this song after Darcel performed it at Parliament House. I just really love the sound of it. It's different for current pop music. I also love dancing to it. I like the 60s sound it has and her voice. Best line: "Now you think I will be something on the side, but you got to understand that I need a man who can take my hand."

7. "Fuck You" by Lily Allen
Thanks to my friends at work I was introduced to Lily Allen and fell in love with her album It's Not Me, It's You. It was hard to pick just one song off this album because I truly enjoy the whole thing, but "Fuck You" really takes the cake. It's a great song about hating George W. Bush. The cheerful, pop sound, mixed with the lyrics is so cleverly done that you have to give this girl credit. Plus, I love that Parliament House plays this on the dance floor sometimes! Best line: Tie: "So you say it's not okay to be gay, well I think you're just evil," "Fuck you, Fuck you very, very much, cause we hate what you do and we hate your whole crew, so please don't stay in touch."

6. "Hush Hush" by The Pussycat Doll (the version with "I Will Survive" placed in the center)
I sort of have a love/hate relationship with this song. For instance, I normally skip it when it comes up on my ipod in the car, but I do love dancing to it. It is for sure a song that will always take me back to 2009,  but not necessarily by choice. Darcel, one of the drag queens at Parliament House, loves performing this song. I have seen her do it maybe 10 tens. She's very good at it and because of these performances the song is forever cemented into my year. Best line: honestly not sure there is a great line in this song.

5. "Beautifully" by Jay Brannan
Dustin and I have been big fans of Jay Brannan since we saw him in Shortbus (which is an amazing film). In 2009 he released a new CD of mostly covers. It's a good CD, but I honestly prefer the songs he writes, so my favorite on the album is "Beautifully" one of only two original songs on the CD. What I love about his music is how relatable it is, because he actually writes songs about gay experiences. This song is about a relationship between a gay man and his straight female friend (who happens to be in love with him). This is a situation many gay men have experienced. What blew me away about the song was the small details that really matched experiences I've had. It felt in my ways like listening to my own story in song. Best line: "She'll burn that bridge, and build a house, and swallow the smoke in her mouth, and she'll feel the burn and then make the choice to put the fire in her voice."

4. "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse
I guess this song is sort of fitting for a year where I drank more than any other year before. It's a great song and will always remind me of Gidget Galore and Camp Drag. Best Line: "He said, 'I think you're just depressed, kiss me, yeah baby and go rest."

3. "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" by Whitney Houston
Three words: Whitney is back! I've always loved Whitney Houston and I'm glad to see her back with a great song. Best line: "I didn't know my own strength and I crashed down and I tumbled, but I did not crumble." 

2. "Please Don't Leave Me" by Pink
Pink's newest album is amazing and toward the beginning of 2009 I played it on repeat. This song immediately caught my attention because I relate a lot to it. I told Dustin this song is about me (not really, but partly). As most writers do, I have a way with words and when I fight with Dustin I often have the ability to cut him into pieces. Pink captures something real in this song about relationships and for that I admire the song. Best line: "I can be so mean when I wanna be, I am capable of really anything, I can cut you into pieces."

1. "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
As I said before, Lady Gaga stole the show this year. She's absolutely amazing and gets better and better. "Bad Romance" quickly become my favorite Gaga song ever. The video is fucking insane, the lyrics blow me away, and who doesn't love to dance to this song? I can't wait to see what she does next. Best line: "I want your horror, I want your design, cause you're a criminal as long as your mine."

Runner-ups: "Bad Things" by Jace Everett, "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga, "I Know You Want Me" by Pitbull, "Funhouse" by Pink, "Take Me On the Floor" by The Veronicas, "Bring on the Men" Linda Eder, "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna, and "Teeth" by Lady Gaga

-Stephen (A Dancing Fool)


  1. Good choices! For me, it the top songs were Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, Never Forget You by the Noisettes, Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z, We Are Golden by Mika, Paparazzi by Lady Gaga, Heartless by Kris Allen (as performed on Idol), 21 Guns by Green Day, Fly Above by Kandi, Good Mother by Jay Brannan, and Show Me What I'm Looking For by Carolina Liar. I wanted to include something off of Adam Lambert's album (because it's really good - but the song I really love hasn't been released as a single yet, so technically it will qualify next year if it's released as a single - What Do You Want From Me).

  2. Glad you liked the list! I haven't heard any of Adam Lambert's album. I'm sort of anti-American Idol (as in I've literally never watched it), so I don't pay much attention to the contestants and their music, but I might check him out.

  3. Very good choices.

    Interestingly, I was thinking of posting my top 10 songs as well, albeit all remixes. Fuck You was/will also be on my list (Ralphi Rosario and Craig J Explicit Club Mix, specifically). Also, I hadn't quite figured out how to address Bad Romance, as it's undeniably my favorite song of the year but I've found the remix selection to be rather lackluster (with the possible exception of the DJ Dan Club mix).

    At any rate, good choices again.

  4. I was very anti-American Idol for a long time, but then I realized that if I like pop music, which I do, I just had to put my feelings on the production machine aside, because, after all, there's always some sort of production machine. I think what changed me was Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone." Adam Lambert's album is great. I think because he came in second he had more creative freedom on his record. If you get it and don't like it - I'll send you ten bucks. How 'bout that for a challenge? :)

  5. Also, please recognize that my verification word to post that last comment was SMEGMA. Disgusting.