Friday, 30 December 2016

My Top Ten New Year Songs (Volume 1)

Well, this was the year we just had...

It's got to get better next year. Right?


I always hated New Year's Eve when I was younger. It seemed one of those nights of the year expressly designed to highlight your loneliness and make you realise how all your dreams were still unaccomplished. I spent all of my teenage New Year's Eves alone in my bedroom, and most of my twenties alone in a radio studio, having volunteered to work the night no one else wanted to. Now that I'm a father, I'll be celebrating New Year's Eve as I have for the last three years... in bed by 10, hoping not to get woken up by the fireworks. 

Still, if you are going out singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve, here's ten songs to take with you. I called it Volume 1 because there's plenty more where these came from. If we're all still here next year, maybe I'll throw together a Volume 2...

10. Spearmint - New Year Song

Another song from the recently mentioned Oklahoma! Particularly apt...
It's been such a bad year
Put it behind us now
It's a New Year
This year will be a better year
It seems we just get over one thing
And then get knocked down by another
Round and round my head they fly
And what are the chances
Of us both getting through this...?
9. Camera Obscura - New Year''s Resolution

Traceyanne Campbell has a resolution for music bloggers everywhere...
New year's resolution - to write something of value
New year's resolution - to write something would be fine
I guess most of us will settle for the second one while occasionally aiming for the first.

See also Happy New Year - Camera Obscura obviously have a thing about this time of year.

8. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - New Year's Resolution

Otis and Carla have a different kind of resolution though... who can apologise the most?

7. First Aid Kit - New Year's Eve

Tell me, First Aid Kit... did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?
Now I have a lot to learn and I'm starting tonight,
Got to stop looking at things like they're black and they're white.
Got to write more songs of a little more, treat my friends better.
Got to stop worrying about everything to the letter.
A few resolutions the world could take heed of there...

6. Kid Rock - Happy New Year

Most people though, celebrate New Year like Kid Rock.
I’ll quit smokin’, I’ll quit eatin’
I’m not jokin’, I’ll quit cheatin’
I’ll quit cursin’, I’ll quit drinkin’
I’ll be a better person, but tonight I’m thinkin’

Let’s get shit faced, let’s get shit faced
Let’s get into trouble, let’s get outta this place
And I’ll have faith in the coast that you clear
Say you love me, Happy New Year...
If I ever did throw a New Year's party, this is the band I'd book to perform.

5. Tom Waits - New Year's Eve

I can't think of any other song that captures the ramshackle chaos of a New Year's party where everyone's had too much to drink and anything could happen.
Nick and Socorro broke up
And Candice wouldn't shut up
Fin he recorded the whole thing
Ray he said damn you
And someone broke my camera
And it was New Years
And we all started to sing

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind
And Tom's voice is perfect here: he always sounds like he's had a skinful.

4. Motion City Soundtrack - Together We'll Ring In The New Year

On the other hand, Motion City Soundtrack describe perfectly every New Year's party I've ever been to...
Why did I come
Oh why did I come here?

These humans all suck
I'd rather be home feeling violent and lonely
I'm not trying to sound so insincere
But the postcard that's taped to the freezer reads "wish you were here"

How I wish I could disappear
Sad to read that MCSt called it a day earlier this year after almost 20 years as a band. Still, maybe they saw the writing on the wall for us all...

3. Deacon Blue - Queen of the New Year

Deacon Blue were a great pop band. Not open to debate. Gotta feel sorry for Ricky though - on top of everything else this year, it sounds like he's had trouble with the mother-in-law...
Now I'm telling you this
In a difficult year
Oh, your mother
She gave me problems!
2. Abba - Happy New Year

And here's another great pop band... hell, one of the greatest. If you don't believe that, I have three things to say to you:

1) Agnetha's voice is up there with Kate Bush's;

2) Elvis Costello's biggest hit was inspired by Dancing Queen;

3) Blue eyeshadow rocks.

1. Frank Turner & John Snodgrass - Happy New Year

Over on Amazon, someone described the album this comes from thus:

"It's not a real album, it's two blokes and a recorder and lots of alcohol."

Well, I take issue with that statement for a couple of reasons. Firstly... you just described the songwriting process of probably 75% of recorded popular music over the last 50 years. Secondly...  Frank & Jon never promoted this as a real album (certainly not in the way that Frank promotes his normal records), it was always supposed to be a couple of buddies jamming and having fun. And it doesn't get more fun than Happy New Year, a song that never fails to make me smile... especially the bit where Frank has to explain to his American pal what Boxing Day is...
Call up your buddies
Get them to bring the beer
Thin Lizzy on the stereo
No fights, no tears
If I could be anywhere
I'd wanna be here
Have a Happy New Year!

Whether you're out partying till dawn... or in bed by ten... have a great New Year's Eve. Here's hoping 2017 is a whole lot better for all of us...


  1. Totally with you on Abba, Carla & Otis, Tom and First Aid Kit. I wouldn't really call myself much of a Frank Turner fan, but your No.1 is an unexpected delight. I'm going to check out the rest of the album if I can find it.
    The only additional suggestions I can offer off the top of my head are Slade - 'Here's To The New Year' and the one that was in the running for my own new year post (until my mood went downhill!), 'Happy New Year To You' by The Qualities.
    I haven't made it to midnight for the past couple of years either, but always get woken by those darned fireworks! Wishing you and your family all the best for 2017 Rol.

  2. Love your number 1 - made me smile, which makes it a winner for me. Abba has that touch of poignancy that turns it into a downer.

  3. Wow that film summarising 2016 is just a bit too close to the truth for comfort. Like Mr S I would never have known about your No.1 if not for this place. Talking of which, although we all agree 2016 has been pretty shitty out there in the "real-world" I have ended up having the best year for a long time because of blogging - didn't know this time last year that this little world of like-minded people existed and it has been a joy. If it all turns to hell in a handbasket next year I will find solace in this "virtual world". Coming from Scotland I won't be heading off to bed early as we do tend to celebrate Hogmanay big-time in my street (next to the forest) but if you do, I look forward to visiting more Top Tens in the New Year. All the best to you and your family for 2017.

  4. A great Number 1 choice which I wouldn't have known otherwise either, so thanks. And Abba - well you can't go wrong with Abba (and Agnetha was always my blue-eyeshadow girl-crush).
    The 2016 'trailer' is brilliant; ("my phone's just exploded!" - inspired!) Maybe we are all just living on the set of a very elaborate film?
    Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and a good night's sleep in spite of the fireworks, and looking forward to more Top Tens in '17.

  5. Best wishes for 2017 to you and your family, Rol. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. I've been laid low with a bad cold, so hope to catch up on your posts tomorrow. (Especially want to listen to the Tom Waits track.)

  6. Thanks and Happy New Year to you all.


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