Songs That Became Meme Material

By Kanyi M

We all know songs that we sing in the car or at a party and suddenly we find ourselves laughing with friends and strangers alike. But what happens when the songs you’re singing turn into internet memes? Ever heard of “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley? Or “Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq? Those are just two songs that turned into internet memes. Here are some more:

1. “Gangnam Style” – Psy

Image courtesy of Debby Wong / Shutterstock

Psy’s one hit “Gangnam Style” started out as a song that he and his friends would sing and dance to in their garage. The song’s popularity even encouraged Psy to release a full-length album consisting 13 additional tracks, all of which have been covered by Korean musicians including 4minute, Beast, and others. Psy went on to perform the song at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards where it took home an award for “Best Video With a Message.” As for this internet meme, its popularity has taken it around the world where it is known as Gangnam Style.

2. “Chainsaw” – Nirvana

This song by grunge band Nirvana has been known to bring forth feelings of nostalgia when you hear it. Whether or not that feeling is ever matched by the action of dancing with a Chainsaw, no one knows. What is known, however, is that there are several different versions of this song out there on the internet. These versions are often accompanied by video clips from horror movies and online videos where people dance with chainsaws while singing along. People have even made their own versions of this song using their own instruments to sound like a chainsaw while they sing the lyrics at the same time (which may be considered talent).

3. All Star – Smash Mouth

“All Star” by Smash Mouth is a great song to sing and dance to. However, the true potential of this song lies in its meme-ness. Several parody videos have been made, whether it be people dancing to the beat, or showing what they do during a normal day at various locations. Ads have even been made that spoof the original music video’s advertising style. The success of this musical meme lies in its catchy tune and easily understandable lyrics.