If you’re on Twitter, you probably know that if you play “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence at 11:59:08 on New Year’s Eve, your 2018 will commence at the same time Amy Lee sings, “Wake me up.” And you’ve probably seen Phil Collins point out that if you play his “In The Air Tonight” at 11:56:40, the drum break will sync up with the stroke of the clock (note: it is actually 11:56:20. Phil got confused).
All this got me brainstorming other songs that can usher you into 2018. Whether you’re hopeful, apathetic, gloomy, or conflicted about the new year, there’s a song for you.
I used some snark below, but jokes aside: These New Year’s song memes, like music itself, have bonded hundreds of thousands of people all over the world around one intangible warmth. I love that the Evanescence tweet took off, because it offered such a goofy, pure way to honor the cultural artifact that is “Bring Me To Life”; I couldn’t stop laughing once I saw Phil Collins had recommended his own song. Now more than ever, I treasure the bright moments that music and human presence, whether online or in-person, can spark.
And no matter which song you listen to or don’t: happy New Year.
On the lighter side, if you’re feeling…
Ebullient: Start Dessa’s “Skeleton Key (Youngblood Brass Band Remix)” at 11:59:29. You’ll ring in the New Year to the first groovy horn blast, which you will feel surging through your veins not unlike the champagne you may be about to drink.
Independent: Start Alice Merton’s “No Roots” at 11:57:01. You’ll ring in the New Year when she yells, “I’ve got no roots,” which will prompt you to untether yourself from destructive systems, habits, and relationships. Happy New Year, indeed.
Infatuated: Start Francis and the Lights’s “May I Have This Dance (Remix) [feat. Chance the Rapper]” at 11:59:24. You’ll ring in the New Year as Francis Starlite asks, “Can I say something crazy? I love you,” and then you can take the hands of your beloved and hold them forever and spend 2018 ignoring the outside world.
In awe of Whitney Houston always: Start Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at 11:56:47. You’ll ring in the New Year to one of the most perfect key changes ever, a full step from G to A. Once the party ends, doze off to Still Processing‘s episode “We Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston.”
Acrobatic: Start Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” at 11:57:16. You’ll ring in the New Year at the exact moment Baby jumps into Patrick Swayze’s arms, and you are encouraged to attempt the same feat.
If the thought of 2018 makes you want to curl into a ball, you may be feeling…
Slightly bitter: Start *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” at 11:57:20 (11:57:07 if you use the music video). You’ll ring in the New Year as you take in a breath and scream, “I’m leaving you behind!”
Afraid: Start Prince’s “1999” at 11:54:01. You’ll ring in the New Year to, “Mommy! Why does everybody have a bomb?” which quickly dissolves into silence.
Resilient: Start Beyoncé’s “***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)” at 11:57:39. You’ll ring in the New Year channeling Queen Bey herself, which should give you at least a day’s stamina to deal with the ever-insistent barrage of bad news.
Numb: Start St. Vincent’s “Smoking Section” at 11:58:49. You’ll ring in the New Year to Annie Clark chanting, “Let it happen” in a downtempo stupor.
Rebellious: Start Lorde’s “Homemade Dynamite” at 11:57:49. You’ll ring in the New Year as Lorde blows everything up.
While you’re waiting to cue up the perfect song, listen to The Current’s Top 89 countdown, which airs on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. to midnight and on New Year’s Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.