There are certain actions that guys have uniformly deemed feminine. If a boy tries to sing a girly song—and by “girly,” I basically mean any pop song that is partially sung by a female artist—male eyes suspiciously seem to drift in his direction and friends suddenly need to “have a talk.”
The types of songs I mean are the ones that start to play and cause a handful of guys in a car to hesitantly look for approval from each other before switching the radio station, in silent hopes that one will be brave enough to tell the rest not to. These are the songs that a small group of young teenage girls at a sleepover, or any male high school sports captain in the shower, might sing. And whether we guys openly admit to it or not, the songs are super catchy.
“Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Taylor Swift wrote a song that was not about a bad relationship?” I was surprised, too; nevertheless, Swift has been one of the most annoying and prolific writers of catchy, girly music.
I like to tell myself in a sanctimonious manner that her songs just irritate me and that the lyrics intensify my hatred. I mean, who seriously wants to listen to a girl who just complains in rhythm about her relationships?
Unfortunately, for the last six years Swift has been producing the kind of music that will haunt your mind until you give it the satisfaction either to sing or “shake it off.” Every two years, she releases a new song even more vexingly sweet-sounding than the last, and “Shake it Off” seems to be the pinnacle of all of these.
“Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)” by Beyoncé
I know this song probably has all these “single ladies” as its intended audience, but who can help but falling in love with the chorus? Even though it was released in 2008, I’m sure I’ll still listen to this song in years to come and find it just as amazing as I did the first time I heard it.
I used to think I shouldn’t listen to this song because it was intended for girls, but, honestly, it does exactly what music is supposed to do: send a message and make you feel a certain emotion. Now, I understand the importance of “putting a ring on it” and have experienced the timeless, unique voice that defines every Beyoncé song; case in point, I have memorized quite a few of her dance moves from watching the music video way too often.
“Break Free” by Ariana Grande
Let’s be honest: Guys love Ariana. And how could this list have any credibility if I didn’t include her in it? This 21 year-old pop icon is one of the most popular female singers around, and rightfully so, because she writes the catchiest music.
Although the song’s glaring grammatical error, “now that I’ve become who I really are,” instantly makes me cringe every time I hear it (and I can’t switch the word to “am” because then it doesn’t rhyme, which is just as annoying), I can’t help but push through and listen to it anyway. I’m like a kid who gets a stomach ache, but keeps eating the ice cream anyway because it tastes good.
Well, this song is just like ice cream—you like it at any time of the day and can’t stop thinking about it once you’ve indulged.
“Lips are Movin’” by Meghan Trainor
Over the past seven months, Meghan Trainor has written songs about cheating, body image, and men in general—not particularly unusual for a female pop artist. The only difference is that, noticeably, she has zero vocal range.
Despite her inability to sing either well or about original topics, she still has that nuisance of a voice that will never leave your mind. It isn’t that the topics about which she sings resonate with me, but that the beat is just so darn catchy that I could never bring myself to turn this song off.
The same problem arises in her song “Dear Future Husband.” Sure, I know most of the lyrics, but I never actually think about what the song means because I don’t care; I care only about that smooth-sounding saxophone, which makes the chorus simply unforgettable.
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
I remember when this song came out in 2012, I heard so many girls singing it. Everywhere. And it certainly didn’t help that the radio stations would never stop playing it all the time. As I became intrigued as to why so many girls were singing this song that I had never heard before, I noticed some guys would sing it quietly to themselves too. That’s when I knew I actually had to listen to it.
When I heard it in its entirety, I couldn’t stop singing it for that whole week. Let that sink in; I listened to the song once, and it didn’t leave my mind for seven days. Needless to say, this is a classic girly song that guys love, but we love it so much that most of us aren’t even afraid to say it.
It’s no wonder this song reached the number two spot on the Billboard magazine’s year-end Hot 100: girls and guys alike were listening to it nonstop.