Friday, April 16, 2021

Standards of the American Songbook: Top 100

American Songbook Standards:

Top 100 Songs

Songs which have become known as standards or those comprising the great American songbook are generally popular songs from the early 20th century. These are songs from an era when songwriters were more at the forefront, penning songs for theater and film that were often recorded by multiple artists and spawned multiple chart versions.

This list has been created by aggregating 31 lists (see sources at the bottom of the page) which focused on 20th century song titles not recorded by any specific artist. Here are the top 100 songs listed with their songwriters and first year of appearance:

1. Irving Berlin “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1911)
2. Cole Porter “Night and Day” (1932)
3. Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish “Stardust” (1927)
4. W.C. Handy “St. Louis Blues” (1914)
5. Irving Berlin “White Christmas” (1942)
6. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II “All the Things You Are” (1939)
7. Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg “Over the Rainbow” (1939)
8. Cole Porter “Begin the Beguine” (1935)
9. George M. Cohan “Give My Regards to Broadway” (1904)
10. George M. Cohan “Over There” (1917)

11. Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (1930)
12. Fats Waller “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (1929)
13. George Gershwin and Irving Caesar “Swanee” (1920)
14. Isham Jones and Gus Kahn “It Had to Be You” (1924)
15. Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (1928)
16. Hughie Cannon and Johnnie Queen “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” (1902)
17. George and Ira Gershwin “I Got Rhythm” (1930)
18. Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar “Tea for Two” (1925)
19. Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields “The Way You Look Tonight” (1936)
20. Cole Porter “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (1936)

21. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II “Ol’ Man River” (1927)
22. Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1933)
23. Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler “Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)” (1933)
24. Irving Berlin “Cheek to Cheek” (1935)
25. Richard H. Gerard and Harry Armstrong “Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)” (1903)
26. Duke Ellington, Mitchell Parish, and Irving Mills “Sophisticated Lady” (1933)
27. Gus Kahn, Raymond B. Egan, and Richard Whiting “Ain’t We Got Fun?” (1921)
28. Ernie Burnett and George A. Norton “My Melancholy Baby” (1928)
29. Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson “Carolina in the Morning” (1923)
30. Kurt Weill, Mark Blitzstein, and Berthold Brecht “Mack the Knife” (1928)

31. Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1908)
32. Jay Gorney and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (1932)
33. Duke Ellington “Mood Indigo” (1931)
34. Herman Hupfield “As Time Goes By” (1931)
35. Jimmy Monaco and Joseph McCarthy “You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)” (1913)
36. George & Ira Gershwin “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” (1937)
37. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer “Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)” (1941)
38. George & Ira Gershwin “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1926)
39. Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting “My Blue Heaven” (1927)
40. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart “Manhattan” (1925)

41. Arthur B Sterling and Kerry Mills “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis” (1904)
42. Irving Berlin “Blue Skies” (1927)
43. Vernon Duke and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg “April in Paris” (1932)
44. Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse “They Didn't Believe Me” (1914)
45. George Meyer, Edgar Leslie, and E. Ray Goetz “For Me and My Gal” (1917)
46. traditional, adapted by Fred Weatherly “Danny Boy” (1913)
47. George M. Cohan “You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”)” (1906)
48. Irving Berlin “God Bless America” (1939)
49. Edward Madden and Percy Wenrich “Moonlight Bay” (1912)
50. Irving Berlin “Always” (1926)

51. Harry H. Williams and Egbert Van Alstyne “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree” (1905)
52. Harry Warren and Al Dubin “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1934)
53. Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson “September Song” (1905)
54. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart “Blue Moon” (1935)
55. John Schonberger, Richard Coburn, and Vincent Rose “Whispering” (1920)
56. Shelton Brooks “Darktown Strutters’ Ball” (1917)
57. Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed “Singin’ in the Rain” (1929)
58. Johnny Green, Eddie Heyman, Robert Sour, and Frank Eyton “Body and Soul” (1930)
59. Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell “Georgia on My Mind” (1930)
60. Richard A. Whiting and Raymond B. Egan “Till We Meet Again” (1919)

61. Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I’m in the Mood for Love” (1935)
62. Andy Razaf and Joe Garland “In the Mood” (1939)
63. Buddy DeSylva and Louis Silvers “April Showers” (1922)
64. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart “My Funny Valentine” (1937)
65. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart “Lover” (1933)
66. Irving Berlin “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” (1918)
67. Fred Fisher “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” (1922)
68. Cole Porter “Just One of Those Things” (1935)
69. Edward Madden and Gus Edwards “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (1909)
70. George Powell (aka Charles Asaf) and Felix Powell “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile” (1915)

71. Alfred Bryan and Fred Fisher “Peg O’ My Heart” (1913)
72. Max Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
73. Paul Dresser “My Gal Sal” (1905)
74. Richard Whiting “The Japanese Sandman” (1920)
75. Ren Shields and George Evans “In the Good Old Summertime” (1902)
76. Ren Shields and George Evans “In My Merry Oldsmobile” (1902)
77. Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes “Shine on, Harvest Moon” (1908)
78. Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young, and Jean Schwartz “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” (1918)
79. Milton Ager and Jack Yellen “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1930)
80. Leigh Harline and Ned Washington “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940)

81. George M. Cohan “Yankee Doodle Boy” (1905)
82. Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” (1910)
83. Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn “My Buddy” (1922)
84. George & Ira Gershwin “Summertime” (1935)
85. Shelton Brooks “Some of These Days” (1910)
86. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer “That Old Black Magic” (1943)
87. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (1941)
88. Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin “I Can’t Get Started” (1938)
89. Walter Donaldson and Arthur Fields “The Aba Daba Honeymoon” (1914)
90. Cole Porter “I Get a Kick Out of You” (1934)

91. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (1945)
92. Harry Warren and Al Dubin “42nd Street” (1933)
93. Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin “Long Ago and Far Away” (1944)
94. Walter Gross and Jack Lawrence “Tenderly” (1947)
95. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II “It Might As Well Be Spring” (1945)
96. Nat D. Ayer and Seymour Brown “Oh You Beautiful Doll” (1911)
97. Walter Donaldson, Sam Lewis, and Joy Young “My Mammy (The Sun Shines East, the Sun Shines West)” (1920)
98. George & Ira Gershwin “Embraceable You” (1930)
99. George & Ira Gershwin “The Man I Love” (1928)
100. Turner Layton and Henry Creamer “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” (1922)

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First posted 4/11/2020; last updated 4/16/2020.


  1. Shouldn't songs with higher points rank first & then have songs being on more lists as a tie breaker?

  2. I would love to list like this with the best versions of each song. I want to setup a playlist of American songbook songs.