Welcome to the holiday weekend, reader. Time to celebrate New Year’s Day with some old queer faves.
It’s been a long year of wins and losses, struggles and strides. We lost figures we thought would never go and made friends we couldn’t live without. And through it all, we did our best to live our truths and help one another do the same.
But the past is officially past. In the spirit of reminiscence, let’s take a look back at some LGBTQ-beloved New Year’s tracks that should really get your ball dropping.
From a green screen mess to the Swede team’s best, here’s your New Year’s bop rewind!
“It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” by Barry Manilow (1977)
Though this song was put together in just a few days, Manilow’s songwriting talent manages to shine through on this underappreciated holiday classic. The song is touching, reflective, and deserved to be popularly covered like any number of winter standards have been.
“Happy New Year” by ABBA (1980)
While Manilow has the listener thinking back to the year gone by, ABBA is still thinking about the party they had last night. Even as a celebratory track, the band can’t help but mourn the passage of time. Somehow, it sounds sweet coming from them.
“Auld Lang Syne (The New Year’s Anthem, Fireworks Version)” performed by Mariah Carey (2010)
If you’re tired of remembering the last twelve months and just want to get as messy as possible, Mariah has you covered! And no, we’re not mentioning that one live performance. Instead, we have to make sure to raise awareness for her Auld Lang Syne cover, subtitled “The New Year’s Anthem, Fireworks Version”. Between the stark green screen, the repetition of only the refrain, and the mid-track admission of “Does anybody really know the words?”, this feels like a Jenna Maroney bit from 30 Rock made real. Five stars.
“This Is The New Year” by A Great Big World (2013)
Glee did a lot of things wrong — trans characters, the handling of Lea Michele, “Run, Joey, Run” — but what they absolutely got right was covering this New Year’s song, effectively platforming the band A Great Big World. The subsequent success of their ultra-sad song “Say Something” led them down a more ballad-heavy track, but early songs like “This Is the New Year” and “Everyone Is Gay” were the effervescence that made us love them.
“New Year’s Eve” by Mal Blum (2017)
Even while touring with queer faves like Boygenius’ Lucy Dacus and “Same Love” vocalist Mary Lambert, Mal Blum has pretty solidly maintained indie status. He does, however, have the market cornered on LGBTQ+ songs featuring making guacamole for New Year’s. This track in particularly is a fave of The Youths™, with one excerpt from it being used as a sound in over 200,000 different TikToks (so far). It’s not his fault he’s relatable!
Join us here in 2023 for yet another bop after bop!