Friday, August 5, 2022

The Top Songs by Decade, 1890-2019

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Top Songs by Decade:


Dave’s Music Database has compiled the best songs of all-time into a variety of lists over the years. Check out the full array of DMDB best-of lists here. However, this page – which at 72,000+ hits is the second most visited on the DMDB blog – offers snapshots of the top 10 songs of each decade from 1890 to present.

Click here to see ‘Top 100 Songs of the Decade’ lists or click on the corresponding badges below.

1. Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!” (2014)
2. Ed Sheeran “Shape of You” (2017)
3. Adele “Rolling in the Deep” (2010)
4. Pharrell Williams “Happy” (2013)
5. Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber “Despacito” (2017)
6. Gotye with Kimbra “Somebody That I Used to Know” (2011)
7. Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines” (2013)
8. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe” (2011)
9. Adele “Hello” (2015)
10. Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road” (2018)

1. OutKast “Hey Ya!” (2003)
2. Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” (2009)
3. Eminem “Lose Yourself” (2002)
4. Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris “Yeah!” (2004)
5. Beyoncé with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” (2003)
6. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” (2006)
7. Beyoncé “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008)
8. Rihanna with Jay-Z “Umbrella” (2007)
9. Flo Rida with T-Pain “Low” (2007)
10. Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” (2005)

1. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
2. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
3. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)
4. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
5. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
6. Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)” (1997)
7. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion” (1991)
8. Oasis “Wonderwall” (1995)
9. Los Del Rio “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” (1995)
10. U2 “One” (1991)

1. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)
2. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
3. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1987)
4. Prince “When Doves Cry” (1984)
5. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)
6. U2 “With or Without You” (1987)
7. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer” (1986)
8. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
9. Van Halen “Jump” (1984)
10. Michael Jackson “Beat It” (1983)

1. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
2. John Lennon “Imagine” (1971)
3. Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
4. Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970)
5. Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)
6. Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)
7. Don McLean “American Pie” (1971)
8. The Beatles “Let It Be” (1970)
9. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972)
10. Derek & the Dominos “Layla” (1970)

1. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
2. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
3. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
4. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)
5. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
6. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)
7. The Beatles “Yesterday” (1965)
8. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
9. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)
10. The Animals “The House of the Rising Sun”(1964)

1. Bill Haley & His Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
2. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)
3. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
4. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (1956)
5. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956)
6. Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)
7. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)
8. Patti Page “Tennessee Waltz” (1950)
9. Ray Charles “What’d I Say” (1959)
10. The Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)

1. Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers “White Christmas” (1942)
2. Artie Shaw “Stardust” (1941)
3. Gene Autry “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1949)
4. Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941)
5. Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey” (1945)
6. Nat “King” Cole “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (1946)
7. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers “I’ll Never Smile Again” (1940)
8. Cliff Edwards “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940)
9. Duke Ellington “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941)
10. Dooley Wilson “As Time Goes By” (1942)

1. Judy Garland “Over the Rainbow” (1939)
2. Glenn Miller “In the Mood” (1939)
3. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman “Night and Day” (1932)
4. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman “Cheek to Cheek” (1935)
5. Artie Shaw “Begin the Beguine” (1938)
6. Ethel Waters “Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)” (1933)
7. Fred Astaire with Johnny Green “The Way You Look Tonight” (1936)
8. Bing Crosby with the Guardsmen Quartette “Silent Night” (1935)
9. Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (1938)
10. Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard “All the Things You Are” (1939)

1. Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong “St. Louis Blues” (1925)
2. Al Jolson “Swanee” (1920)
3. Gene Austin “My Blue Heaven” (1927)
4. Thomas “Fats” Waller “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (1929)
5. Paul Whiteman “Whispering” (1920)
6. Al Jolson "April Showers” (1922)
7. Marion Harris “Tea for Two” (1925)
8. Vernon Dalhart “The Prisoner’s Song” (1925)
9. Ben Selvin “Dardanella” (1920)
10. Isham Jones “It Had to Be You” (1924)

1. Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1911)
2. American Quartet “Over There” (1917)
3. Peerless Quartet “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” (1911)
4. Al Jolson “You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)” (1913)
5. Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (1910)
6. American Quartet “Moonlight Bay” (1912)
7. Original Dixieland Jazz Band “Tiger Rag” (1918)
8. Sophie Tucker “Some of These Days” (1911)
9. Marion Harris “After You’ve Gone” (1919)
10. Al Jolson “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” (1918)

1. Haydn Quartet “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1908)
2. Billy Murray “You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”)” (1906)
3. Haydn Quartet “Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)” (1904)
4. Billy Murray “Yankee Doodle Boy” (1905)
5. Arthur Collins “Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home” (1902)
6. Billy Murray “Give My Regards to Broadway” (1905)
7. Harry MacDonough with Miss Walton “Shine on Harvest Moon” (1909)
8. Haydn Quartet “In the Good Old Summertime” (1903)
9. Billy Murray “Meet Me in St. Louis Louis” (1904)
10. Byron Harlan “School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids)” (1907)

1. George J. Gaskin “After the Ball” (1893)
2. Arthur Collins “Hello Ma Baby” (1899)
3. John Yorke Atlee “Listen to the Mocking Bird (aka “The Mocking Bird”)” (1891)
4. John Philip Sousa “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (1897)
5. Dan Quinn “A Hot Time in the Old Town” (1896)
6. Katherine Lee Bates & Samuel A. Ward (songwriters) “America the Beautiful” (1895)
7. Len Spencer “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay” (1892)
8. Scott Joplin “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899)
9. Dan Quinn “Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two)” (1893)
10. George J. Gaskin “On the Banks of the Wabash” (1897)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 4/9/2012; last updated 8/5/2022.


  1. Dave should fix this. He has "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" twice - once by Marvin Gaye in 1968, which is correct, and once by the Beach Boys in 1966, which is wrong. I'm pretty sure the Beach Boys song was intended to be "Good Vibrations".

    1. Thanks for the catch, Pat. It has been corrected.

  2. I love all of them. Incredible list. Thanks for sharing with us. "My Blue Heaven" is my all-time favorite song. I still know that I used to dance on this track like crazy. Here is a website which has huge collection of such 90's Era songs. Visit Here

  3. Great list of songs from each decade, I really love some of the older ones.
    Just one question, how come "Charleston" isn't with list of 1920s hits?
    Other than that, very good list of some of the best music from the times

    1. Thanks for the feedback. "Charleston" doesn't make the top 10, but it is on the list of the best songs of the 1920s. You can see the full list here:

  4. Hi trying to find song sung in australian schools late 1920 or early 1930 called buttercups and daisies. Anyone able to help identify

    1. Do you mean the old folk song Rolling on the Grass - that has the line in it "Rolling on the grass amongst the buttercups and daisies" in the chorus? If so, it's by Michael Kilgarriff, who wrote popular folk songs from the late 1800s to around 1920.

  5. LOVE this site, btw. You really should be commended! Dana Graybeal

  6. Great song collection

  7. What information was used to create lists for 1890s, 1900s and 1910s

    1. Appearances on best-of lists, chart peaks, and sales all factor in.

  8. It would be interesting to see a similar page to this but for Albums and Musical Acts

  9. Nice list of songs. My favorite from this era is still Over the Rainbow