Nostalgia: British & Irish Pop From My Childhood/Teen Years

Because the last great empire + Ireland had some unforgettable jams that will still have me tearing up the floor when they come on. Either that, or lip-synching in the mirror like I’m singing for a crowd of 10,000 people.

1. Spice Girls – Wannabe


Let’s face it; this is probably in almost every twenty something woman’s top ten favorite jams from childhood. At least every twenty something woman who had a radio or television and/or wasn’t living in the boonies, or under a rock growing up. I’ve been to some remote parts of the world and have heard this song being played. And everybody – Black, Chinese, Puerto Rican, etc. becomes a British 8 year-old girl when this song comes on. Let your inner British 8 year-old girl shine.

2. Westlife – When You’re Looking Like That


Ah, Westlife. I blame Westlife for my continual attraction to boys with a little (or a lot) of Irish in them. For the most part, growing up and interacting/being surrounded by Brits and Irish well enough, I used to think the boys were some of the most unfortunate-looking creatures on God’s green earth. (Sans David Beckham and Craig David of course.) But as I got older, I got wiser. And now that I live in the USA, I am ALL ABOUT the British/Irish boys, among all other boys of course. (And no, it’s not their accent; I will never understand why especially American females find their accents so sexy.) Anyway this was THE song, which by the way mentions 5’10 girls. Guess who grew up to be 5’10? (Okay, 5’9 and three-quarters. Whatever, I round up.)

3. Blue – All Rise


I actually made up my own dance moves to this song. And I just got up, and made sure that I still remembered them. How embarrassing is it that I still remember my choreography perfectly? Yikes.

4. Atomic Kitten – You Are


I geeked out to this song last night. Actually it was more like at 1 this morning. I have no shame; I know.

5. Craig David – Seven Days


This is the song that made me fall in love with Craig David, one of the finest RnB artists of my childhood and teen years. And by fall in love, I definitely was to Craig David what most teeny boppers are to Justin Bieber: Obsessed and thought I would marry him. Yep…

6. Robbie Williams – Love Supreme


This song always made me pleasantly sad when I was younger. As an adult, I now understand why. I understand you Robbie, I finally understand you.

7. Sugababes  – Overload


For every boy I had a crush on growing up, this was “our song.” Years later, this is still my go-to/ plays repeatedly in my head when I have a crush. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, they say.

8. Seal – Kiss From A Rose


I know this is R’n’B/Soul but I mean “pop” as in “popular” so relax everyone. This is one of the greatest love songs made in my lifetime. Period. I REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS TOWARDS SEAL. Just enjoy the music.

9. The Corrs – Breathless


Breathless is a sappy romance songs that I still play quite regularly. And overall, the Corrs were pretty legit. Another strong competitor by The Corrs: Give Me A Reason.

10. Coldplay  – The Scientist


My love affair with Coldplay began when one of my brothers had this song on repeat for about an ENTIRE YEAR. I thought I hated it, but it was the best kind of love – the one that first disguises itself as hate.

11. James Blunt – You’re Beautiful


Blunt was really one of the few edgy musicians of the time who wasn’t trying so hard to be edgy; he just was. He could probably teach some of the musicians these days a thing or two about not trying so hard. And of course he told us all that we’re beautiful.

12. Amy Winehouse –  Rehab


Winehouse had one of the best voices to grace our generation to be honest. Singing Amy Winehouse, dressed in all back at a karaoke bar is the closest I will probably ever come to being edgy in my lifetime. Yes, that actually happened. It’s a damn shame the world lost her and her beautiful voice far too soon.

13. U2 – Beautiful Day


Before Bono wanted to save the world, which by the way I really love – he was actually a musician by day. And him and his band made beautiful rock music indeed.

14. Jamelia – Superstar


While she may have been a three-hit wonder, no one will ever know all the shades of diva I became performing to this jam in my parent’s living room.

15. Corinne Bailey Ray – Put Your Records On


I still listen to this lovely lady who is yet another R’n’B starlet. But It all began with “Put Your Records On,” which is definitely on my list of personal life anthems.

16. Ronan Keating – Lovin’ Each Day

The world might have forgotten about you Ron, and yes we may all know your “You say nothing at all” rendition. But this will always be the song that reminds of me of you, and the love in my heart I will always have for some good, bad, and “so good it’s bad,” British Pop.

Honorable Mentions:

BONUS Track 1: The Streets – Dry Your Eyes


Still a good post-break up song.

BONUS Track 2: The Streets – The Irony Of It All


Clearly, this song was ahead of its time. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – YouTube

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