Top 10 Songfacts of 2020

by Ed Pearce

A very "memorable" song tops the list, but the Top 10 Songfacts entries of 2020 also include one by a little-known Canadian singer, and another by a classic band whose hit made a meme-powered comeback.

Even though 2020 basically came to a screeching halt in March, a lot of great songs got released during the year. While the rest of us were busy baking bread, hoarding toilet paper and washing our hands, musicians carried on composing, albeit while quarantining in their homes rather than in the studio.

Here are the 10 songs in the Songfacts database that have been viewed the most over the past year.
10) The Weeknd - "Blinding Lights"

In less than a decade, The Weeknd has gone from a creepy purveyor of dark, druggy and louche R&B anthems to a chart-topping pop star. "Blinding Lights" was 2020's biggest song both in terms of sales and size, peaking at #1 in 34 countries, including the United States. No one escaped this electropop smash, so it's unsurprising to find this in our Top 10 list.

Many of you wanted an explanation of the song title. It refers to how The Weeknd's lover lights up his life; also, he is talking about being drunk and blinded by streetlights as he drives to see his lady. As with many songs on the After Hours album, the Canadian singer is likely addressing his on-off-on girlfriend, Bella Hadid.

"Blinding Lights" Songfacts entry


9) Lewis Capaldi - "Before You Go"

Lewis Capaldi is the only artist to return to our list after placing an entry on our Top 10 Songfacts of 2019. Last year he clocked up the eighth most popular song with "Someone You Loved," and now he's #9 with "Before You Go."

Both tunes are heartbreaking numbers, with this one being about the aftermath of someone close committing suicide. What's the story behind the tear-stained song? It came from the shattering news when Capaldi was five or six that his mother's sister had killed herself.

"Before You Go" Songfacts entry


8) Eminem - "Godzilla"

The untimely death of Juice WRLD after he overdosed on Percocet pills on December 8, 2019 prompted an outpouring of grief across social media and the rap community. This collaboration with Eminem was the Chicago rapper's first release since his passing.

Slim Shady is one of our most popular artists (his cuts have appeared three times before in our annual Top 10s), so naturally this song generated much interest on our site. We explained that the Detroit wordsmith likens his destructive tendencies throughout the track to various beasts, including the titular Godzilla. Juice WRLD then continues channeling the song's "monster" theme during the hook.

The aptly named song was a monster hit throughout the world; many of the views came from African countries.

"Godzilla" Songfacts entry


7) Roddy Ricch - "The Box"

Roddy Ricch's "The Box" was the biggest song of the first half of 2020 in the US and also sold huge amounts throughout the rest of the world. Lyrically, it finds the Compton, California, rapper talking about his gangsta life and successful trappin in the hood. However, many of you were drawn to the track's Songfacts page by the squeaky noise that plays throughout the cut. We informed you that Ricch came up with the "eee err" sound himself in the studio after completing the song.

"The Box" Songfacts entry


6) Powfu - "Death Bed"

This time last year, Isaiah Faber was a jobbing Canadian singer-songwriter specializing in melancholic, lo-fi hip-hop songs under the name of Powfu. Then in February 2020 he released "Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)," which charted all over the world. It was especially popular in Malaysia and Singapore where it reached #1 - many who visited the track's Songfacts page came from those territories.

"Death Bed' finds Powfu addressing his lover, reminiscing about their time together before an upcoming death. It samples the Filipino-British singer-songwriter Beabadoobee's track "Coffee."

"Death Bed" Songfacts entry


5) Miranda Lambert - "Bluebird"

Having started off her career unleashing the daily sublimated rage felt by women everywhere, Miranda Lambert's first-ever entry in our annual Top 10 finds her in a more laid-back frame of mind. Co-written by the mainstream-country bad girl with Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby in 2019, "Bluebird" is a positive song about remaining hopeful when life is giving you lemons. Released in December 2019, the single's message of resilience during tough times proved apt as COVID-19 swept worldwide.

Many of you were also drawn to our site by the video, which showed Lambert dressed as the titular bluebird, performing the song on a swing while inside of a giant birdcage as spectators watch from their seats. At the end of the clip, a now-free Lambert strolls slowly away.

"Bluebird" Songfacts entry


4) Matt Maltese - "As The World Caves In"

Our annual Top 10 lists often throw up unexpected entries like "As The World Caves In." Its popularity can be explained by two major 2020 trends: songs going viral on the TikTok video-sharing social networking service, and the popularity of end-of-the-world tracks arising from the coronavirus pandemic. First released by Matt Maltese in 2017 and entered into our database the same year, "As The World Caves In" only started generating interest in April 2020 when COVID started wreaking havoc worldwide. One reason so many of you came to Songfacts to find out about the song is that Matt Maltese didn't yet have a Wikipedia entry.

We explained "As The World Caves In" is a satirical song where Theresa May (the UK PM at the time) and Donald Trump are enjoying a night of passion together after launching nuclear warheads.

"As The World Caves In" Songfacts entry


3) Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"

You may be asking what on earth is this 1977 Fleetwood Mac track doing in our Top 10 list of contemporary songs? One of the biggest trends of 2020 was seeing older hits finding new listeners through a medium like TikTok. "Dreams" returned to the charts in certain countries, including the US, after TikTok user Doggface208 uploaded a video of himself skateboarding down a road while drinking Ocean Spray juice and lip-syncing along to the song. The clip went viral, and 10 days later, Mick Fleetwood made his own TikTok re-creating Doggface208's video. Fleetwood posted: "@420doggface208 had it right. Dreams and Cranberry just hits different."

We have an extensive write-up of "Dreams," having originally uploaded it in the early days of Songfacts and added various morsels of trivia over the years.

"Dreams" Songfacts entry


2) Saint Jhn - "Roses"

The Guyanese-American rapper Saint Jhn first released "Roses" in 2016, but it was only when the Kazakh producer Imanbek Zeikenov remixed the woozy track three years later that it garnered international recognition. We entered "Roses" into our database in February 2020 when it started gaining traction in the UK and Canada, and it, er, rose to become one of the most popular songs on our site.

Many of you wanted to know the song's meaning, and we told you the 2000 Hungarian movie Werckmeister Harmonies served as inspiration for the song. Saint Jhn had the bleak arthouse film on mute in the studio at the same time as he was recording the track and he based "Roses" on the feeling it gave him.

"Roses" Songfacts entry


1) Maroon 5 - "Memories"

Seventeen years after Maroon 5 clocked up their first hit single with "Harder To Breathe," they are still charting in the upper echelons of the Hot 100. "Memories" reached its peak position of #2 in the first week of January 2020 and remained in the top 20 throughout the first half of the year. It was just as popular in other territories, reaching #2 in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The only glitch was that the song kept stumbling at the final hurdle, failing to top the chart in any of the major territories. Maybe Maroon 5 will feel compensated by reaching #1 on The Songfacts Top 10 of 2020.

There are several reasons for the song's popularity with Songfacts users. Many who were missing loved ones during the COVID lockdown connected with the lyrics, which pay homage to someone who has passed on. Others wanted to know who it's about. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine wrote the song in honor of his late manager and best friend, Jordan Feldstein. You also wondered what its familiar-sounding melody was. It's based on the eight-chord progression of Johann Pachelbel's "Canon In D Major."

"Memories" Songfacts entry

December 27, 2020
Here's the list of the top Songfacts of 2019
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