13 New Years Songs for January

Jan 11, 2023

The ball has dropped, the toasts have been made, and for many, the resolutions have already been broken. But that’s no reason the celebration should end! The year is still young, so let’s take a look at some of the very best New Years songs from different styles and eras!

Top New Years Songs

“1999” – Prince

Sure, the calendar may say 2023, but every new year calls for Prince’s New Year party anthem! The title track from his 1982 album tells us that we can never know if the world may end tomorrow, so we should make sure tonight is something to remember. Certainly a sentiment worthy of repeating every year.

“Auld Lang Syne” – Mariah Carey

Perhaps the single most commonly sung New Years song, “Auld Lang Syne” (which roughly translates to “old times”) comes from a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. Leave it to Mariah Carey to breathe fresh life into this relic with a dance-pop version featuring her signature pitch and a dash of self-awareness when she asks “Does anybody really know the words?”

“New Year’s Day” – U2

With this 1982 chart-topping hit, U2 reminds us “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” But that’s not going to stop us from turning up the volume when this one comes on! Interesting side note, according to IrishCentral, this song is actually about the Polish Solidarity Movement.

“Maybe Baby (New Year’s Day)” – Sugarland

This time of year I can feel hard to keep up with what others are doing. So, when the anxiety of the holidays starts to become too much, cue this country pop duo’s homage to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The calm and sincere tone of Krisitna Bush’s voice is all you need!

“My Dear Acquaintance (Happy New Year)” – Regina Spektor

Russian-American pianist and singer Regina Spektor offers up a solid and faithful cover of this Peggy-Lee-and-Paul Horner original. Is a sweet and simple tune, and the polar opposite of the Orange is the New Black theme that made her a household name.

“Let’s Start the New Year Right” – Bing Crosby

No list of holiday favourites can be complete without at least one Bing Crosby song! And, of course, he’s got one for New Year’s Eve too. Cap off the old year with Crosby’s “Let’s Start the New Year Right,” a timeless classic that bids you to kiss the old year goodbye.

“New Year’s Resolution” – Otis Redding and Carla Thomas

Any soul fans reading? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve got the perfect Otis Redding/Carla Thomas Memphis soul classic for the new year! The song is basically a melodic conversation between a couple, each promising to be better to each other in the new year.

“Funky New Year” – The Eagles

If you were expecting this funkadelic homage to the new year to sound anything like that “Desperado”/”Hotel California” sound The Eagles cultivated you may be surprised by “Funky New Year.” But that’s not a bad thing! Off the Los Angeles legends’ holiday album Come Home For Christmas, this one’s especially good for a few days after the party has ended.

“The New Year” – Death Cab for Cutie

Truth be told, this isn’t the most emotionally upbeat tune. That said, “The New Year” is full of hope and a feeling of anticipation for the year ahead. It plucks at the bittersweet strings of nostalgia, and is perfect for early January. As singer Ben Gibbard puts it, “So this is the New Year / And I don’t feel any different.”

“New Year’s Day” – Pentatonix

Who needs instruments? Pentatonix, the five-member a cappella group from Arlington, Texas definitely don’t! Pentatonix and their melodic vocals burst onto the scene with covers of mega-hits, like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” But this hopeful original proves they’ve got lyric writing chops as well.

“What Are Your Doing New Year’s Eve” – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald’s vocals, like the sonic version of a single candle flickering in a dark room, is the perfect soundtrack to go with the mistletoe you forgot to take down last week. Her slow, jazzy cover of this 1947 classic is made for slow-dancing around the living room.

“New Year’s Eve” – Tom Waits

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Waits offers us a song about the final day of the year – in his signature, raspy voice, of course. Waits is in rare form on this track, and even manages to sneak the phrase “auld lang syne” into the chorus amid the harmonica breaks.

“11:59 (It’s January)” – Scrawl

It’s over a week into the new year, and it’s okay to feel a little melancholic about it all. If that sounds like you, slip into your coziest pajamas, cuddle up with a warm cup of cocoa, and simmer in the punk rock attitude of the ‘80s as the women of Scrawl sing about how the new year won’t be any better than the last. Hey, it can’t all be balloons and champagne.

Did we miss your favourite New Year’s tune? Let us know in the comments!

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