With the final weeks of 2015 ticking away, why not celebrate the dawning of a new year with a countdown of songs dedicated to just such an event? Though the New Year music genre has nothing on Christmas, it's surprising just how many fantastic — and not so fantastic — songs there are out there written specifically to reflect on the past and ring in another year.
These songs range from country to pop and rap to the oldies with a song of New Year celebration for virtually every type of music connoisseur.
10. “New Year’s Eve” - Snoop Dogg featuring Marty James
Kicking off the countdown at No. 10 is the hip-hop/rap New Year’s tribute, “New Year’s Eve” by Snoop Dogg. Originally recorded in 2010 as a promotional single for his eleventh studio album, Doggumentary, this song is far from my normal musical cup of tea, but is still a pretty awesome New Year’s hit from the hip-hop genre. Even if this isn’t your style of music, it’s worth taking a look!
9. "Maybe Baby (New Year's Day)" - Sugarland
I was born and raised in Idaho, where country music, as per stereotype, was basically “the thing.” That being said, I quickly developed a resentment for the it. Finding this New Year’s gem by Sugarland, though, it safe to say my heart was softened a little bit. Take a couple minutes to check out “Maybe Baby (New Year’s Day)” and get lost in the twangy nostalgia of it all.
8. “1999” - Prince
“1999” by Prince was surprisingly one of the first that came to my head when thinking of New Year’s anthems, probably because it was so iconic. The hard part was actually finding a version to share! I remember first hearing this song as a kid in 1999 (despite the fact it was initially released in 1982), totally not understanding the Y2K global meltdown thing. Check it out at the link below, and party like it’s 1999!
7. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” - Ella Fitzgerald
So far in our countdown we’ve covered country, hip-hop and 1980s throw-back, but now it’s time to get a little jazzy with Ella Fitzgerald’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.” This song debuted in 1947, and was written by Frank Loesser, first charting on the billboards for The Orioles. Fitzgerald redid it in 1960, in a style perfect for turning down the lights on New Year’s Eve, slow dancing, and sipping at the bubbly.
6. “Let’s Start the New Year Right (One Minute to Midnight)” - Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby is known for his gorgeous, classic crooning, so it’s no surprise I felt compelled to include this little treasure in our New Year countdown. “Let’s Start the New Year Right” is from the musical “Holiday Inn,” staring Crosby and Fred Astaire. If you think it can’t get any better than that, brace yourself. All the music for “Holiday Inn,” including this song, was produced by Irving Berlin, the same composer responsible for the wonderfulness of “White Christmas.” Click on over to Youtube and get your New Year’s dose of Bing Crosby now!
5. “Funky New Year” - The Eagles
Head back to the 1970s with No.5 on the countdown, “Funky New Year” by The Eagles. This catchy holiday hit was originally recorded for the group’s 1979 album, entitled “The Long Run,” and details the woes of New Year celebrating, especially when it comes to the drinks. The holiday merriment must not have lasted long, though, considering the group broke up shortly after this song’s release. Get down with the funky beat and groove into the new year with this awesome Eagles track.
4. “Happy New Year” - Abba
Though this will probably label me, I absolutely love anything iconic pop that comes in the form of Abba music, making No. 4 on the New Year’s countdown the group’s holiday tribute, “Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year” first debuted on the 1980 Abba album, “Super Trouper” and has since been translated into multiple languages and covered by a variety of artists. Here’s to looking toward the future with this Swedish pop original.
3. “New Year’s Day” - U2
It’s about time for a rock song, and, in my opinion, rock doesn’t get much better than U2, a band originally founded in 1976, and still thriving today. U2 really sparked my love for music, and this song is a tribute to why. Originally a single from the album “War” (1983), “New Year’s Day” was inspired by the political landscape of Poland at the time, and came across as an edgy anthem for the holiday. This song made the charts as the group’s first hit single, and was ranked by the Rolling Stones in 2004 as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Check it out for yourself!
2. “This is the New Year” - A Great Big World
“This is the New Year” is a fantastic, up-beat hit by start-up rockers A Great Big World. This catchy tune really made it big after being featured in an episode of Fox Network’s “Glee,” and has since been featured on MTV’s “I Used to Be Fat,” CBS’s “The Amazing Race,” and The WB’s “One Tree Hill.” Take a moment to check it out, but be careful, it won’t take much to get it stuck in your head.
1. “Auld Lang Syne” - Mariah Carey
As much as I’ve never been a fan of Mariah Carey, I couldn’t help but share this particular version of the most classic song of the new year. Though it starts a little cheesy, it’s true to the tradition of the song, then transitions into an awesome New Year’s jam session, because we clearly all need a little bit more partying. “Auld Lang Syne” was originally a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, making it the one hit New Year’s wonder of the 1780s, and, as per tradition, a perfect cap to the New Year’s countdown. Enjoy!