Catchy Songs for Imperfect Years

Everyone is ready to toss 2020 in the trash heap, but there are already signs that 2021 will just be more of the same old garbage if we don’t take the opportunity to make it better ourselves.

Time has shown every year had its ups and downs and was by far not perfect, but at least some of them have had some party songs, happy ballads or mellow nostalgic feel-good tunes written about them. (RELATED: Creepy Christmas Movies for Winter Watching)

Here are some notables.


Prince released this prophetic, “end of the millennia” tune in 1982, and half the world played it in on New Year’s Eve in 1999, while the other half hid in bunkers worried about everything from the Second Coming to Y2K.


A song about youth and the feeling of wanting to enjoy life and all it offers, through the eyes of Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan, who was around 12 that year. It is also a tinged with the melancholy that soon we will all grow up and face our own mortality. No matter that wasn’t a perfect year by any means, with Americans being taken hostage in Iran, oil prices skyrocketing, and that fun little meltdown at Three Mile Island.

Summer of ’69

I am personally partial to 1969, as it is the year I came into being, but it wasn’t all that great for some others. Manson’s cult killed a few folks, Woodstock was a sticky mess, and there was a little bit of an oopsie at Chappaquiddick. But hey, at least Bryan Adams got laid for the first time, and that’s all that matters.


Bowling for Soup’s fun sing along about peaking too early, and wishing we could go back to simpler times. Really? Hollywood was doing its best to scare everyone with “The Day After” Nuclear War scare, and kids were becoming addicted to MTV (which at least had music videos then). I was a sophomore in 1985, and it wasn’t all peaches and cream for nerds like me, but I fell in love with music and movies in the 1980s. Hoewever, I know some high school reunion addicts who wish they were still sportin’ their Outback Reds and paisley socks. You can’t go back, people!

19 Something

Mark Wills does a great job glossing over a decade’s worth of recession, and Cold War fears to give us some of his best memories in pop culture, all while reminding us there were some imperfect moments. You know what? He nailed this one. Deep down through all the bad, there were some great times as well. Hopefully people will remember The Mandalorian and SpaceX as being as much a part of 2020 as the COVID paranoia.

Perhaps 2020 won’t go down as “the worst” year in history, particularly for those who have actually read history books and look at some of what people in past eras have had to deal with, but it will certainly be one of the most complained about.

Maybe it just needs a catchy little ditty by some nostalgic, well meaning singer to write a song about it in the future.

3 comments on “Catchy Songs for Imperfect Years

  1. Rebecca Cummings says:

    Lisa knows how to pick some great songs!!

    1. Paul Hair says:

      Yes, she does.

      1. Lisa Kay says:

        Aww, thanks all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *