Not all of the songs were big hits – some had an intriguing lyric or subject matter leading you to check out the stories behind them. Before we get into the Top 10, here are some that bubbled under:
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" by Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and cast of Encanto
"Until I Found You" by Stephen Sanchez
"Cuff It" by Beyoncé
"Wait In The Truck" by Hardy featuring Lainey Wilson
"Heat Waves" by Glass Animals
10) Lizzo – "About Damn Time"
"About Damn Time" is Lizzo's melodic medicine for the blues, and many of you took a dose of the pop-rap superstar's medication. The empowering banger appealed across the generations as both a radio hit and a TikTok dance challenge. As to why "About Damn Time" made the Songfacts Top 10, it's down to the sheer popularity of Lizzo's three-minute pop masterclass.
"About Damn Time" Songfacts entry
9) Metallica – "Master Of Puppets"
"Master Of Puppets" reanimated in 2022 after it featured in the Netflix series Stranger Things and entered the Hot 100 for the first time. Older metal heads recognized Metallica's 36-year-old song as a classic thrash metal number, but many Generation Zers heard it for the first time and wanted to find out more about the song.
Lead singer James Hetfield originally wrote the lyrics about being manipulated by drugs. Later, its meaning evolved to being controlled by other things, like overbearing parents, or Vecna. We wonder how many Stranger Things fans are now rocking Metallica T-shirts?
The song also popped back into the news after our interview with Dave Mustaine, who recalled watching Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich come up with the opening riff on an acoustic guitar.
"Master Of Puppets" Songfacts entry
8) OneRepublic – "I Ain't Worried"
"I Ain't Worried" is a cheery, upbeat number recorded by OneRepublic for the soundtrack of Top Gun: Maverick. The whistling intrigued many of you; it sounds familiar, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Their singer, Ryan Tedder, came up with the whistling melody first, then the rest of the song flowed. Later, when Tedder realized it sounded like the whistling on Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John's song "Young Folks," he gave them a songwriting credit.
OneRepublic has been one of the most successful pop-rock acts of the 21st century, but this is their first entry in our annual Top 10 Songs of the Year list. However, Tedder has appeared before as a writer; he co-penned Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," the third most popular song on Songfacts back in 2008.
"I Ain't Worried" Songfacts entry
7) Chris Brown – "Under The Influence"
An archetype TikTok-accelerated hit, Chris Brown recorded "Under The Influence" for the extended version of his 2019 album, Indigo. It went viral three years later when the Los Angeles choreographer Nicole Kirkland and her dancers uploaded a video to the platform. The song entered the charts worldwide and got plenty of attention on our site.
Chris Brown's viral smash finds him "under the influence" of codeine after sipping Robitussin cough syrup. He entreats his lover to come over for sex, as the cough syrup made him too lethargic to go out (don't follow Brown's example, dear reader).
Our entry generated a worldwide viewing with lots of readers from the UK, US, Philippines, India, and Nigeria.
"Under The Influence" Songfacts entry
6) Zach Bryan – "Something In The Orange"
Something stirred in the waters in Nashville in 2022. A bunch of male acts exploded on country radio with songs of heartbreak backed by a rootsy rock-influenced sound. At the forefront of this woe-country invasion was US Navy veteran Zach Bryan.
This raw, stripped-down heartbreaker took the charts by storm as listeners emoted with his quiet devastation after his lover left him. Bryan begs for her to return, but "somethin' in the orange" tells him she's never coming home.
Why "something in the orange"? Bryan was inspired by watching a sunset from a cabin in Wisconsin.
"Something In The Orange" Songfacts entry
5) Declan McKenna – "Brazil"
A surprise entry that many of you will be unfamiliar with, "Brazil" was the debut single from the English singer-songwriter Declan McKenna. Written when he was just 16, he initially self-released the song through his own YouTube channel in December 2014. It gained some recognition, but it was only when "Brazil" exploded on TikTok in May 2022 that radio stations in America started played the track.
The song criticizes the awarding of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to Brazil, and corruption within the FIFA organization. It took on a whole new life in November and December 2022 during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar when many questioned how that tournament ended up in the small Middle Eastern country. McKenna's protest number seemed oh so relevant, hence its popularity on Songfacts.
"Brazil" Songfacts entry
4) Fontaines D.C. – "Jackie Down The Line"
Another surprise entry in our Top 10, Fontaines D.C. is an Irish post-punk band that moved from Dublin to London in 2020. Their three albums have received five-star reviews and some commercial success, but for many of you they're an unfamiliar name. "Jackie Down The Line" was the lead single from their third album, Skinty Fia. The record was the Fontaine D.C.'s first to reach #1 on the UK albums chart and garnered them many new fans.
You wanted to know why lead singer Grian Chatten refers to himself in this song as "Jackie." According to our resident Irish expert, it's derived from "Jackeen," a pejorative term used by people from other parts of Ireland to describe Dubliners. Now settled in England, the band's Irishness is mutating into an Anglo-Irish identity.
"Jackie Down The Line" Songfacts entry
3) Ed Sheeran – "The Joker And The Queen"
When Ed Sheeran released his fifth studio album, Equals, many of you visited our site to find about its tracks. "The Joker And The Queen" was the song that garnered the most interest, especially after Sheeran released a duet version with Taylor Swift as a single. The pair are two of the most popular artists on Songfacts, so its appearance on our Top 10 is not surprising (Swift's songs were viewed more than any other artist's in 2022 while Sheeran was the third-most popular, behind Justin Bieber).
Nearly half of the readers were from the United Kingdom. The carrot-topped singer's fellow Brits and others worldwide wanted to know who the titular joker and the queen were. We explained how Sheeran uses playing-card metaphors to illustrate how his "Queen" (his wife Cherry) married a "Joker" like him.
"The Joker And The Queen" Songfacts entry
2) Tom Odell – "Another Love"
"Another Love" was originally a hit for Tom Odell in 2013. Fast forward to 2021 when people started to use the stirring piano ballad to accompany a slew of protest videos on TikTok. The following year, it became a symbol of Ukraine's resilience against the Russians when thousands of Ukrainians used the song to soundtrack footage showing what their homeland used to look like before the invasion, contrasted with images of the devastating war.
Many of you were unfamiliar with Tom Odell until "Another Love" started trending. He's an English singer-songwriter, and this song was his debut hit. It's about a teenage romance where the girl broke his heart; when Odell moved onto a new relationship, he couldn't stop thinking about the old one.
"Another Love" Songfacts entry
1) Kate Bush – "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)"
The hills were alive with the sound of Kate Bush's 1985 galloping musical brew in 2022. The second tune to find its way onto our list because of the Stranger Things effect, it was the character Max Mayfield's favorite song and played an important part in the plot.
Many of you visited Songfacts to learn about Bush's deal with God. The whimsical British pop singer is flipping the Faustian bargain where a person makes a deal with the Devil. Instead, she's making a deal with God to trade places with her partner so they understand each other better.
"Running Up That Hill" has always been popular on Songfacts and had an entry back in the early days of our site. That entry has grown considerably as the song has taken on new life with cover versions and media appearances. Now, Kate Bush's tune is the most popular Songfacts entry of 2022. A damehood for Bush can't be far away.
"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" Songfacts entry
December 28, 2022
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