Millennials are the cool kids on the block and we sure do know our way around great head-boppers. However there are certain tracks that define our blossoming into said cool kids. The music we grew up listening to shaped the kind of music we create now.
Top 10 songs that millennials probably know all the words to:
1. R Kelly- I believe I can fly
Cameras pans into R Kelly in the middle of an open field which we assume transcends into the greater lesson- sometimes we might appear small in a big world but dreams will give us wings.
Fun Fact: R Kelly wrote the song in 1996 for the Space Jam movie, which was a kid’s movie starring Michael Jordan in a world of cartoons (including Bugs Bunny).
Lesson: The song means that nothing is impossible in life.
See I was on the verge of breaking down/ Sometimes silence can seem so loud/ There are miracles in life I must achieve/ But first I know it starts inside of me.
2. Miley Cyrus- The Climb
Cyrus compares the battle of achieving your dreams to climbing a mountain.
Fun Fact: The song was originally written by Jessi Alexander and was first performed in 2009 by Miley for the Hannah Montana movie.
Lesson: The song is about the self-defeating voice we all hear at times inside our heads, the voice that suggests we can’t achieve. The song is about the importance of believing in ourselves and never losing focus of the bigger goal. It shows us that life is all about the journey.
Favourite lyrics: Ain’t about how fast I get there/ Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side/ It’s the climb.
3. Christina Aguilera- Beautiful
The music video captures the insecurities that different people have. The pressure that we get from the media and society about how we are supposed to look. Regardless of all of these differences we are all beautiful no matter what they say.
Fun Fact: “Beautiful” has been widely embraced as an anthem in the LGBT community for it’s motivating and inner beauty message.
Lesson: Every human being is beautiful in their own unique way.
Favourite lyrics: Everyday is so wonderful/Then suddenly/ It’s hard to breathe/ Now and then I get insecure/ From all the pain/ I’m so ashamed.
4. Christina Perri- A Thousand Years
The music video shows scenes from the movie, “Twilight breaking Dawn part 1.” which is a movie about a vampire and a mortal who fall in love regardless of their differences.
Fun Fact: For Twilight fan Christina Perri, landing a track on the soundtrack for Breaking Dawn was a dream come true. She told MTV News how she penned the song after attending an early screening of the movie.
Lesson: Love is a beautiful force that dissipates all difference and evokes the strangest and most intense of feelings.
Favourite lyrics: I have died everyday, waiting for you/ Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years/ I’ll love you for a thousand more.
5. Survivor- Eye of the Tiger
This old jam was released in 1982 and it was written by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. The music video shows the grand fight in the movie “Rocky III”, starring award winning star- Sylvester Stallone. In the movie Stallone is nearly beaten to death in a boxing match, however he does not give up.
Fun Fact: The song was a hit in its time and still remains a classic. In the United States, it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks.
Favourite lyrics: Face to face, out in the heat/ Hanging tough, staying hungry/ They stack the odds still we take to the street/ For the kill with the skill to survive.
6. Nina Simone – Blackbird
Beyond the Lights – Black Bird
The music video is about Gugu Mbatha Raw who stars as Noni Jean in the movie ‘Beyond the Lights’. Noni was trapped into becoming the person that her mother wanted her to be. To gain her voice and freedom after she has ran away from home and her life, she sang the ‘Black Bird’ song which was the first song that she sang during her first school music auditions.
Fun Fact: The Blackbird that Simone is referring to is a black woman. Throughout the 60s, Nina penned songs about black struggles in America.
Lesson: The song speaks about a black woman who had a desire to fly but societal pressure and those that claimed to love her, questioned her ability to fly. She was constantly reminded that there’s no place for her.
“You ain’t gonna fly”
In some communities when we have big dreams no one believes in us, because they believe that we are not capable of becoming greater than our situation.
Favourite lyrics: No place big enough for holding/ All the tears you’re gonna cry/ Cause your mama’s name was “Lonely”/ And your daddy’s name was “Pain”.
7. Sam Smith- Leave your lover
Fun Fact: Many of the songs on Sam Smith’s ‘In the Lonely Hour’ album, including ‘Leave Your Lover’ are inspired by his love for one person.
Lesson: The lyrics in the song hit me right in my heart: “What use is money, when you need someone to hold?”.
In today’s world of status and wealth, we end up being consumed with the idea of making more money. What is the use of money when you have no one to go home to?
Favourite lyrics: You’ll never know the endless nights, the rhyming of the rain/ Or how it feels to fall behind and watch you call his name.
8. Chris Brown- 4 Years old
Fun Fact: At 15, the singer auditioned for mogul L.A. Reid and was offered a recording contract on the spot.
Lesson: Although we’re chasing careers, there should be a balance between work and love. Or else you will die alone and lonely with your wealth.
Favourite lyrics: I guess I was faking cause look at all the money I’m making/ Still nothing can compare to the thought of love/ But it’s taking too much time to see that I’m wasting/ Reaching for the sky high and coming down with nothing.
9. Labrinth- Jealous
Fun Fact: The song was inspired by Labrinth’s father who walked away from his life when he was 4 years old.
Lesson: The tragedy of life is lost love and accepting that.
Favourite lyrics: But I always thought you’d come back, tell me all you found was/ Heartbreak and misery/ It’s hard for me to say, I’m jealous of the way/ You’re happy without me.
10. Labrinth ft. Emeli Sandé- Beneath your beautiful
Fun fact: The song was initially a Labrinth and Mike Posner project and Emeli only joined in a bit later.
Lesson: We are all beautiful inside, however due to fear or past experiences we wear a mask because it feels safer and it protects us from the world knowing our vulnerability.
Favourite lyrics: Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?/ Would you let me see beneath your perfect?