Yesterday, my friend sent me this Number Ones In History website which allows you to look up any date in history (back to the 1890s) and find out what song was #1 on the U.S. charts in any particular week. Seemed like a simple, cute idea, until I looked up my own birthday and found out that “Down Under” by Men at Work was the #1 song the week I was born, making me immediately elated and obsessed with the site and causing me to spend the rest of the afternoon looking up every major date I could think of.
Three quick thoughts, then I’ll post some of my favorites: 1) Pretty much every historical event has either a weird coincidental association with its corresponding #1 song, or they’re so opposite, it creates a creepy contrast; 2) I can’t help but imagine these songs playing while the events themselves are occurring, which is also highly amusing; and 3) Every song from the 1890s is now my favorite song. Without further ado:
December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Attacked – “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller
Dec 2, 1976: Castro becomes Dictator of Cuba – “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart
Mar 19, 2003: Bush announces beginning of Iraqi War – “In Da Club” by 50 Cent (I feel like a jerk, but now I can’t picture this happening without the song playing)
Nov 9, 1989: Berlin Wall Comes Down – “When I See You Smile” by Bad English (cuuuute!)
Sep 11, 2001: Attacks on the World Trade Center â€“ “Fallin” by Alicia Keys (creepy!)
Aug 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina Hits – “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey (kind of cute, but also creepy)
Dec 30, 2006: Saddam is Hung – “Irreplaceable” by BeyoncÃ© (cuh-reeeepy!)
Feb 2, 1981: Paris Hilton’s Birthday â€“ “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang (har har, nice one, History.)
Any more funny ones I’m missing? Feel free to leave ‘em in the comments, but if you get addicted to this site today, the 25-year anniversary of “Ebony and Ivory” topping the charts, don’t say I didn’t warn you.