In the weekly Guide Solved! column, we take a crucial pop culture question you’ve been raving about the answer to, and we solve it
First, some cleaning: the most played song is not simply the one that has been played the most. In terms of Spotify streams, that would make it Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, with 2.8 billion listens. On YouTube, it’s Baby Shark Dance with 8.5 billion views, because of course it is. Even if you would rather pour melted sugar into your ears than submit to these rhythmic filibusters, by definition, they are not exaggerated. Each of these currents was presumably intentional, undertaken by people who wished to endure them. If one of those songs plays automatically on your phone, you can turn it off. Or spray paint it silver and leave it outside for the magpies. It is completely up to you.
Only when personal agency is removed does a song really become a problem. That is why each Christmas becomes a test of one’s ability not to break down in tears when listening to the first chimes of Fairytale of New York. This is the very essence of the hyped song: Fairytale is fantastic; Most of the hyped songs were, once, but there comes a point, around December 20, where you wonder if this might be the “sing Galway Baaaay” that finally gives you a clue. over the edge. The hyped song is an assault. Every Christmas tune, with the exception of Joni Mitchell’s River, certainly qualifies.
So does their credentials of good song made bad by exposure make Fairytale of New York the most over the top? Well, no, for two reasons: As one of the least objectionable Christmas songs, it saves you the double jump hit of Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney, which means when it plays it’s sometimes welcome. And Christmas songs are also only a problem for one month out of the year, certainly horrendous. The real offenders of the hype are the evergreen irritants, ready to ruin your day if you walk into the wrong store at the wrong time, or dare to turn on the business radio, rain or shine. You know the. Those some.
Get luck. Hotel California. Smells like Teen Spirit. 9 to 5. Sex on fire. My heart Will Go On. Living in a sentence. Wonderwall. Do not stop me now. Everyone has their own ignominy playlist, and yours may not include any of the above. It is obviously very subjective. However, there is one who is, empirically, the most egregious offender of all. There it is, on the radio. At the supermarket. At the bar. The office. In a taxi. Vibrating through the wall of your neighbors. Background in reality shows, dramas, soap operas, documentaries. Dazzled at every party or wedding you will attend for the rest of your life.
Even as a relatively recent release, last month it set a new record as the longest-running chart in history, spending 260 weeks in the Top 100. It came out in 2004, and it’s … still … just … on, all the time, everywhere, there’s no escape. The nations will fall, the oceans will rise, the sun will burn the ocher Earth and, after all, you will be kneeling before a shattered Statue of Liberty, with the loincloth that will barely cloud your skin, and that is when you will hear it. That vibrant, high-pitched guitar, followed by, “Coming out of my cage, I’ve been doing fine!”
It’s damn Brightside. Damn the murderers! God damn you all to hell!
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism