Music is one of the most powerful forms of expression, and artists often have their own ways to make music memorable. Numbers are used frequently in songs- whether that be to represent dates and years, or to create an ambitious atmosphere by referencing money and power.
This article will take a look at some of the best songs with numbers in their titles that have ever been released. From hip-hop anthems to chart-toppling pop classics, sit back and enjoy a trip down memory lane with some of the biggest numbers in music history.
The Top 10 Best Songs with Numbers in Their Titles
- “99 Problems” – Jay-Z
This 2003 track from rap legend Jay-Z has become one of the most iconic hip-hop songs ever written. In it, Jay-Z raps about the many issues that he’s faced in life as he works towards achieving success, and the 99 references illustrate just how many circumstances can stand in his way.
- “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
No list of songs with numbers in their titles would be complete without mentioning Michael Jackson’s iconic hit “Thriller.” The chilling track is the seventh song on his 1982 album of the same name, and features the chorus line: “Cause this is thriller, thriller night.” With a catchy riff and unforgettable lyrics, “Thriller” is a classic that has endured the test of time.
- “Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes
This 2003 indie rock song is renowned as one of the most difficult songs to play on guitar, but its iconic bass line has gained a huge following over the years. It has been used by sports fans at stadiums around the world and has been featured in numerous films and video games.
- “1999” – Prince
This 80s classic from the late, great Prince has become an iconic anthem for partying, with its catchy chorus: “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999.” The track celebrates the one-year countdown to the new millennium, and both its beat and its lyrics take us back to a simpler time.
- “Umbrella” – Rihanna
Rihanna’s iconic song “Umbrella” was released in 2007 and topped the charts in many countries. Its chorus features the line: “Under my umbrella, ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh,” and has since become one of the most recognisable hooks in music.
- “One Dance” – Drake
2016 saw Drake release his summer hit “One Dance” which quickly became one of the biggest songs to ever come out of Canada. The track samples UK funky music, a genre from the 2000s, and its chorus includes the line: “One dance, one night, one chance, to make it all right.”
- “Lose Yourself” – Eminem
Eminem’s 2002 single “Lose Yourself” is one of the biggest rap songs of all time. The four-times platinum track was featured on his 8 Mile soundtrack, and its chorus includes the line: “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go.”
- “1999” – Charli XCX & Troye Sivan
2018 saw pop duo Charli XCX and Troye Sivan release the infectious pop track “1999.” The song takes us back to the turn of the millennium, with its nostalgic chorus including the line: “We were the kings and queens of promise, we were the pharaohs of the streets.”
- “8 Mile” – Eminem
“8 Mile” by Eminem is the theme song to the critically-acclaimed film of the same name. The song was released in 2002, and its hook features the line: “8 Mile road, 8 Mile road, runnin’ like a bullet out of control.” The song is an ode to the Detroit neighborhood in which the film is set.
- “Three Little Birds” – Bob Marley
The classic reggae anthem “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley is one of his most iconic songs. Released in 1980, the track features the line: “Don’t worry, ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every little thing, gonna be alright.”
The Most Popular Numbers in Song Titles
Though the number of songs with numbers in their titles is practically limitless, there are some numbers that have become particularly popular with music makers.
One is often used in song titles to represent a single entity or person, or signify an individual’s power over a situation. This can be seen in song titles such as “One Love” by Bob Marley and “One” by U2.
Two can be used to show a duality between two individuals, groups or even ideas. Examples include “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins.
Three often signifies a perfect balance between two people or things. This can be seen in song titles like Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape,” Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” and “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.
Five is often used to symbolize strength, as it is the number of fingers on a human hand. Examples of song titles using five include “Five Years Time” by Noah and the Whale and “Gimme Five” by the Backstreet Boys.
The number eight is often used to represent eternity due to its never-ending shape. This can be seen in song titles like “Eighth Day” by the Hues Corporation and “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds.
Ten often symbolizes completion, as it is the highest single-digit number. This can be seen in songs like “One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten” by The New Seekers, and “Ten out of Ten” by Paulo Nutini.
Honorable Mentions: Songs with Numbers in Their Titles
Though it was no easy task, the above list represents the best songs with numbers in their titles. However, there are many other songs that deserve mention for their references to numerals.
Here are some honorable mentions of songs with numbers in their titles:
• “6 Foot 7 Foot” – Lil Wayne
• “7 Years” – Lukas Graham
• “One More Time” – Daft Punk
• “Two of Us” – The Beatles
• “Five Minutes” – Mando Diao
• “Eight Days a Week” – The Beatles
• “Ten Thousand Hours” – Macklemore
Throughout the decades, musicians have used numbers in their song titles to create an array of different stories and emotions. Whether it is used to illustrate a person’s struggle or to bring attention to an important issue, the numerical references in songs can be powerful.
From the upbeat pop of “Umbrella” to the bleak hip-hop of “99 Problems”, this list has demonstrated a selection of some of the best songs with numbers in their titles throughout music history. These songs have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed by people around the world.