10 Classic Songs to Welcome the New Year



New year’s day is the time to celebrate our hopes for the new year, embrace friends and family, reflect on the year that has passed and make resolutions. Celebrations never go without good music, whether you are partying at home or out with your friends. Even if you choose to chill at home alone with a glass of wine, music is paramount for the occasion.


There are plenty of New Year’s songs to choose from, so many that you may actually feel lost as to what to listen to. But there are all-time classics to choose from whatever your music tastes. Here are 10 classic songs to welcome the New Year.


10. New Year’s Day by Bon Jovi


New Year’s Day by Bon Jovi is poignant for the band when guitarist Richie Sambora suddenly departed from the group between 2014 to 2015. It was also the end of their 33-year relationship with Mercury Records. This song is an ode to the band’s cohesion as Jon Bon Jovi sings about starting all over again.


9. Auld Lang Syne by Mariah Carey


The cover of this classic makes perfect sense for the reigning Queen of Christmas-pop who was closing out her second-holiday album “Merry Christmas II You” in 2010. Carey did an unforgettable whistling dancefloor take on Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns’ 18th-century folk song. This is one of the perfect songs to chime along to when the clock strikes midnight to the New Year.


8. New Year’s Day by U2


U2’s 1983 classic hit has become a rock classic played at the end of the year because of its festive name. Although the true meaning of the song remains elusive. The song was the lead single from the band’s album “War” and it became an international hit, changing the group’s career trajectory forever. It hit the no. 10 spot in the UK charts and featured in Rolling Stone’s magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” If you are curious, the song is actually about the Polish Solidarity movement.


7. Happy New Year by ABBA


ABBA’s gem from 1980 was co-written and co-produced by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus while holidaying in Barbados. The song was released the first time in 1980 and again released as a single in 1999. Owing to the song’s theme, it is one of the most played songs around the globe. In the song, the band wishes Happy New Year to everyone and in the chorus, they wished that the world would become a better place, “where every neighbour is a friend”.


6. It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve by Barry Manilow


This 1970’s classic by Barry Manilow has been performed numerous times at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve numerous times. The song encourages the listeners not to be bummed out that another year is over. Rather, Manilow wisely entreats his audience to imagine the possibilities a new year can bring. It’s a positive song to start the year.


5. Happy New Year by Judy Garland


Although the title of the song lends to it being a 50s New Year’s staple, the lyrics are actually quite forlorn. Written by composer Gordon Jenkins, the song bemoans spending New Year’s evening all alone. Garland sings the song as a loner in a solitary mood, “I love the days we spent together. Before the old year lost its shine. I’ll keep that memory locked within my heart. That happy new year you were mine.”


4. Next Year by Foo Fighters


The song “Next Year” released by Foo Fighters in 1999 was proclaimed “a power ballad in the ‘Wonderwall’ sense” in SPIN magazine. The magazine remarked that the band is “at their loveliest when aping peak-popularity Britpop”.

3. Funky New Year by Eagles


In 1978, the great soft-rock Eagles released their cover of Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas”. But when you turned the single around, you find the “Funky New Year” where Don Henley and his bandmates encouraged partygoers to party really hard before playfully asking, “What year is this, anyway?”


2. Champagne and Wine by Etta James


Champagne and Wine is a cover by Etta James of an Otis Redding original classic in 1968. The song was included in James’ final and 29 studio album “The Dreamer” and was released in 2011, two months before her death. The great six-time Grammy winner and kept on singing to the end of her life in 2012.


1. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve by Ella Fitzgerald


No one can swing like Ella Fitzgerald who covered this standard originally sung by the 1940s doo-wop troupe The Orioles. The jazz icon sang this song a little over a decade later with her trilling, brass-led rendition making it one of the classic New Year’s songs to listen to.


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