During the time I worked at a record label, I was always surprised by the number of overplayed Christmas songs, while there’s almost no music repeated on every New Year’s. But… New Year’s music does exist! We made a list of the 5 best New Year’s Eve tracks.

5. Auld Lang Syne – Mariah Carey

We’re going to start off nice and corny. Auld Lang Syne is a centuries old New Year’s song. Scottish poet, Robert Burns, wrote the lyrics in 1788, which were then passed down over the years. He never intended the song as a reflection of the past year, but rather, as an ode to friendship.

The old English ‘Auld Lang Syne’ means something like ‘For (the sake of) old times’, and is about cherishing our oldest, most valued friendships by enjoying a drink together.

This is an English translation of the old English original:

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup
And surely I’ll buy mine
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
Auld Lang Syne

Seeing as this song is beautiful, yet extremely cheesy, I suggest you go all out by listening to the cheesiest version of it (it’s in the Spotify player at the end of this post). Let’s go all the way with Mariah Carey! Enjoy!

4. Happy New Year – 50 Cent

We already knew that 50 Cent knows how to throw a birthday party (Go shorty!), but he’s no schmuck when it comes to New Year’s either!

Happy New Year
I got some Goose, I got some Henny
Some Patron, man I know you want some
Happy New Year
I got some porn star bitches in the back
Freakin off you wan come?
Happy New Year – 50 Cent

Say no more

 3. 1999 – Prince

Number 3 is a classic by none other than Prince. This song isn’t literally about New Year’s, but is actually a glimpse into the future. When it was released in 1982, people believed that the world would end in the year 2000. It’s a song which encourages its listeners to enjoy life while they can. Party as if there’s no tomorrow, party like it’s 1999!

Coulda sworn it was judgment day
The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from the destruction
And you know I didn’t even care

‘Cuz they say…
2000 zero zero party over, oops out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
1999 – Prince

I think it’s a good idea to listen to His Royal Badness’ advice tomorrow!

2. Happy New Year – ABBA

This is probably the biggest NYE hit of all time. It’d be an impressive feat to not hear this during the New Year’s festivities, regardless of the bar in which you’re celebrating!

I always found it to be a pretty sappy feel good song, but it’s actually not so bad when you read the lyrics!

Feeling lost and feeling blue
It’s the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
So unlike yesterday
Now’s the time for us to say

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
Happy New Year – ABBA

Did you have any idea that this song was so heavy-hearted?

1. New Years Day – U2

This song, which as far as I’m concerned is the uncontested number 1 on this list, also has a double meaning. New Years Day, released in 1983, was originally penned by Bono as a love song for his wife. He edited it when he heard that Polish independence fighter, Lech Walsea, had been arrested, using the song as a political statement.

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers say it’s true
It’s true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one
New Years Day – U2

Funnily enough, the martial law (the state of emergency during which the army seized power) in Poland was revoked around the same time that this song was released.

Lyrics often fit with what’s going on in real life, but sometimes real life can also match with lyrics…. Bizarre!

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