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A Decade of Songs in English Posted by on Dec 4, 2019 in Culture, Music and Song

That sound you hear is the clock ticking out the final seconds of the decade. The 2010s are coming to a close and we at Transparent Language are going to bid farewell to 10 of the most tumultuous years in human history by compiling lists of the decade’s best songs in many languages. These lists, one for each language, will be assembled into a playlist on Spotify. And we want your help!

Photo courtesy of Spotify, CCO

Over the next few weeks, my fellow bloggers will join me in listing their favorite songs from 2010 – 2019. But, we want to know what you thought were the best songs in the language you are learning. Or, maybe, in your native language. And it doesn’t matter what kind of song it is. Jazz, hip-hop, pop, show tunes, rap, metal, children’s tunes – what did you love? What made you sing out loud, or made your heart beat a little faster? Share it with us! We will announce the different playlists early in 2020, and we will share them on Spotify.

So, I’m going to get this started by sharing my top 5. I have included the lyrics and a performance of each. These were my favorite English-language songs released over the last 10 years.

  1. All Too Well – Taylor Swift – songwriters Taylor Swift and Liz Rose

I walked through the door with you, the air was cold

But something ’bout it felt like home somehow and I

Left my scarf there at your sister’s house

And you still got it in your drawer even now

Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze

We’re singing in the car, getting lost upstate

Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place

And I can picture it after all these days

And I know it’s long gone and

That magic’s not here no more

And I might be okay

But I’m not fine at all

Oh, oh, oh

‘Cause there we are again on that little town street

You almost ran the red ’cause you were looking over me

Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well

Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red

You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed

And your mother’s telling stories ’bout you on a tee ball team

You tell me ’bout your past, thinking your future was me

And I know it’s long gone and

There was nothing else I could do

And I forget about you long enough

To forget why I needed to

‘Cause there we are again in the middle of the night

We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light

Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all too well, yeah

Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much

But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up

Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well

Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise

So casually cruel in the name of being honest

I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here

‘Cause I remember it all, all, all too well

Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it

I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it

After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own

Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week

‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me

You can’t get rid of it, ’cause you remember it all too well, yeah

‘Cause there we are again, when I loved you so

Back before you lost the one real thing you’ve ever known

It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

Wind in my hair, you were there, you remember it all

Down the stairs, you were there, you remember it all

It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

  1. Someone Like You – Adele – songwriters Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Daniel Dodd Wilson

I heard that you’re settled down

That you found a girl and you’re married now

I heard that your dreams came true

Guess she gave you things, I didn’t give to you

Old friend, why are you so shy?

Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light

I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited

But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it

I had hoped you’d see my face

And that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you, too

“Don’t forget me, ” I beg

“I’ll remember, ” you said

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

You know how the time flies

Only yesterday was the time of our lives

We were born and raised in a summer haze

Bound by the surprise of our glory days

I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited

But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it

I had hoped you’d see my face

And that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you, too

“Don’t forget me, ” I begged

“I’ll remember, ” you said

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Nothing compares, no worries or cares

Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made

Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you

“Don’t forget me, ” I beg

“I’ll remember, ” you said

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you, too

“Don’t forget me, ” I begged

“I’ll remember, ” you said

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

  1. Going Home – Charlie Haden and Hank Jones (jazz instrumental based on the third movement of Antonin Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony)

  1. Rolling in the Deep – Adele – songwriters Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Paul Richard Epworth

There’s a fire starting in my heart

Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark

Finally I can see you crystal clear

Go ‘head and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare

See how I leave with every piece of you

Don’t underestimate the things that I will do

There’s a fire starting in my heart

Reaching a fever pitch and its bringing me out the dark

The scars of your love remind me of us

They keep me thinking that we almost had it all

The scars of your love they leave me breathless, I can’t help feeling

We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

And you played it to the beat (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Baby I have no story to be told

But I’ve heard one on you and I’m gonna make your head burn

Think of me in the depths of your despair

Making a home down there ’cause mine sure won’t be shared

The scars of your love remind me of us (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

They keep me thinking that we almost had it all (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

The scars of your love they leave me breathless, I can’t help feeling

We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

And you played it to the beat (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could’ve had it all

Rolling in the deep

You had my heart inside your hand

But you played it with a beating

Throw your soul through every open door

Count your blessings to find what you look for

Turned my sorrow into treasured gold

You pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow

we could’ve had it all

We could’ve had it all (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

It all, it all, it all, (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

And you played it to the beat (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could’ve had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

You had my heart inside your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

But you played it, you played it, you played it, you played it

To the beat.

  1. My Shot – Cast of Hamilton – Songwriters: Bootsy William Collins / Joell Christopher Ortiz / Kejuan Waliek Muchita / Lin-Manuel Miranda / Roger Troutman / Tariq Trotter / Albert J. Johnson

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge

I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal

Tryin’ to reach my goal my power of speech, unimpeachable

Only nineteen but my mind is older

These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder

Every burden, every disadvantage

I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish

I walk these streets famished

The plan is to fan this spark into a flame

But damn, it’s getting dark, so let me spell out the name

I am the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R we are meant to be

A colony that runs independently

Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly

Essentially, they tax us relentlessly

Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree

He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free

So there will be a revolution in this century

Enter me, he says in parentheses

Don’t be shocked when your hist’ry book mentions me

I will lay down my life if it sets us free

Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy

And I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

It’s time to take a shot

I dream of life without a monarchy

The unrest in France will lead to onarchy?

Onarchy how you say, how you say, anarchy?

When I fight, I make the other side panicky

With my, shot

Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice

And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis

I’m joining the rebellion ’cause I know it’s my chance

To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants

I’m gonna take a shot

But we’ll never be truly free

Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me

You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in

On a stallion with the first black battalion

Have another shot

Geniuses, lower your voices

You keep out of trouble and you double your choices

I’m with you, but the situation is fraught

You’ve got to be carefully taught

If you talk, you’re gonna get shot

Burr, check what we got

Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot

I think your pants look hot

Laurens, I like you a lot

Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot

What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot

Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not

A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?

Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?

Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth

I never had a group of friends before

I promise that I’ll make y’all proud

Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

Everybody sing

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa

Ay, let ’em hear ya

Let’s go

Whoa, whoa, whoa I said shout it to the rooftops

Whoa, whoa, whoa said, to the rooftops

Whoa, whoa, whoa come on

Come on, let’s go

Rise up

When you’re living on your knees, you rise up

Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up

Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

Rise up

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory

When’s it gonna get me?

In my sleep, seven feet ahead of me?

If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be?

Is it like a beat without a melody?

See, I never thought I’d live past twenty

Where I come from some get half as many

Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask

We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty

Scratch that this is not a moment, it’s the movement

Where all the hungriest brothers with something to prove went?

Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand

We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land

And? If we win our independence?

‘Zat a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?

Or will the blood we shed begin an endless cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?

I know the action in the street is excitin’

But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n fightin’

I’ve been readin’ ‘n writin’

We need to handle our financial situation

Are we a nation of states what’s the state of our nation?

I’m past patiently waitin’ I’m passionately mashin’ every expectation

Every action’s an act of creation

I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow

For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow

And I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

We’re gonna rise up (time to take a shot)

We’re gonna rise up (time to take a shot)

We’re gonna, rise up, rise up

It’s time to take a shot

Rise up, rise up, it’s time to take a shot

Rise up, it’s time to take a shot

Rise up, take a shot, shot, shot

It’s time to take a shot, time to take a shot

And I am not throwing away my shot

Not throwing away my shot

Okay, now it’s your turn! What are your top English-language songs of the last 10 years? Please list them in the comments section below.

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