You can’t rickroll me if it’s my favourite song
By Janis McMath, Editor-in-Chief
Daler Mehndi – Tunak Tunak Tun
The rest of this list is in no particular order, but this song is undoubtedly number one. The song, the energy, the dancing, and the outfits all make this song the absolutely iconic piece of musical history it has become. On YouTube, the official video has 158 million views—not counting all the eyes on the parody videos that were all the rage in 2005 when the song officially blew up as a meme.
It gained a lot of popularity in the 2000s, but the song was originally made in 1998 and already had legendary status in India; Daler Mehndi used the song as a clever middle finger to all his critics that said his popularity as a musician hinged on the fact that he had beautiful women in his videos. In retaliation, Mehndi’s music video used CGI to feature four versions of himself wearing different fabulous monochromatic outfits. You can tell he’s having a good time in his video; you can’t help but love him.
This song is without a doubt his biggest, but he’s got many other high-energy-party-till-you-die beats. I would recommend “Ho Jayegi Balle Balle,” “Bolo Ta Ra Ra,” “Na Na Na Re,” and “Saade Dil Te Chhuriyan.” The videos are similarly fabulous and full of fun and humour. Also, to all those monolingual people in the same boat as me that are curious as to what “Tunak Tunak Tun” means, it’s an onomatopoeia for the sound a tumbi makes—a traditional Punjabi instrument.
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up
Let’s learn the etymology of the term “rickrolling”! Like the history of many things on the internet, this origin story begins on the message boards of 4chan. The creator of 4chan—“moot”—made it so whenever someone would post the word “egg” on the website, it would come up instead as “duck.” When people would discuss their delicious Chinese dinners, eggroll would become duckroll. So, duckroll became the coined term for this prank of misdirection, and an image of a duck on wheels was used by pranksters. In the historic year of 2007, rickrolling was born; a 4chan user claimed to be sharing a trailer of Grand Theft Auto IV but insteadlinked readers to the 1987 award winning single. When this prank gained traction, rickroll was based on the aforementioned term duckroll—and now you know some useless trivia for your next party! Oh, and did anyone in your life care about you enough to tell you that Rick Astley is hot now? His voice has gained more of an edge but is still as clean as ever—AND it has an added sultry tone. His voice is seriously way better now. You’ll probably take his offer for love, protection, and care seriously this time. If you’d like to see the babe in action, check out his 2018 cover of his renown song with Choir! Choir! Choir! on YouTube.
Both of these very topic-specific bangers serve the perfect purpose as that song you always listen to when you do the activity related to it. Just as the song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang gets an obligatory play at any graduation party, “Friday” and “Chinese food” get an obligatory play when I’m enjoying either. Sure, both of these songs get a lot of flak for being particularly stupid (credit to the lyrics “Tomorrow is Saturday/ And Sunday comes afterwards”) but if you’re looking for intelligent commentary in fun pop music, you might be the stupid one. The beats slap, the topics are universally relatable, and both are so dumb they’re actually absolutely brilliant. Both songs were also produced by the same group.
The Moscow Kremlin Choir – Russian National Anthem
This song has got me feeling patriotic in all kinds of ways. It just rouses the soul into a “battle for the homeland” kind of mood. We can see where the Super Smash Bros. game got the inspiration for their soundtracks.