Are you hosting a party this New Year's Eve? If you are, you'll need music. What are the best songs to farewell the old year and ring in the new? Well you might want them to be thematic. In which case they should be both slightly sentimental and rather celebratory. You want to reminisce and party at the same event. You want to get up and dance but also have those slow-dance tunes that get you in the mood for the countdown kiss. I have some suggestions for you. Let's roll out the song-and-dance numbers, shall we?
'What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve' - Ella Fitzgerald
Nobody argues with a little Ella Fitzgerald. This is a gorgeous song about getting that someone you’ve got your eye on to ring in the new year with you. Harry Connick Jr. also does a version of this that destroys me. It’s the definition of crooning.
'Happy New Year' - Judy Garland
A classic song from a classic voice. If you don’t love Judy you’re doing it wrong.
'Bringing in a Brand New Year' - Charles Brown
Groove! Let’s have a little soul up in this party. This song is both thematic in lyric and title and a damn great tune.
'Let’s Start the New Year Right' - Bing Crosby
This song is from the movie Holiday Inn. If the jaunty melody and Bing's smooth-as-butter vocals don't get you in the mood to dance real close and smooch, not much will.
'Having a Party' - Sam Cooke
It's not about New Year's Eve but it is about partying. If this song is on, you’re having a party. It’s impossible not to. Sam Cooke is so good, you guys.
'Next Year' - Foo Fighters
The Foos have some fantastic songs and this heartfelt number is one of them. Though the video features the band as astronauts and the lyrics fit that aesthetic, it’s still a song full of sweetness about reuniting in a new year.
'A Long December' - Counting Crows
This song feels tragic but sounds lovely. It’s definitely not a spritely dance tune but the wistful sentiment is somehow fitting as the year draws to a close.
'This Will Be Our Year' - The Zombies
It will be our year. Believe. It’s not a classic tune but it’s thematic and really very charming.
'New Year’s Resolution' - Otis Redding and Carla Thomas
They’re making promises they can keep which is a very significant decision when it comes to resolutions. You couldn’t ask for a more soulful, on-point song for New Year’s Eve, honestly.
'1999' - Prince
Do I need to explain? Prince is a legend and this song is iconic. If you had a sub-par New Year's Eve last year it’s probably because you didn’t play this song. Correct that this year.
'A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)' - Fergie ft. Q-Tip and Goonrock
I love the tempo and feel of this song from Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. Nobody threw a party like Jay Gatsby threw a party. It’s a ‘get up and dance’ song. It’s has nothing to do with New Year's Eve and everything to do with grabbing a partner and hitting the dance floor.
'New Year’s Day' - U2
Another iconic song. It’s thematic. It rocks. It’s also very full of yearning and declarative statements. Start the new year by boldly deciding to be with the one you love. Let Bono help with that.
'What A Wonderful World' - Louis Armstrong
This isn’t a new years song in the strict sense of the definition but it really should be. I can think of no greater song to start a year with than this. It’s the most optimistic, most celebratory, and most emotional song about our world and our place in it ever sung.
'Auld Lang Syne' - Boney M
Well this has to be on your playlist because it’s “the new years song”. There are hundreds of versions out there but I like the euro-dance feel of Boney M’s version best.
- Corinne Simpson