BILLBOARD CHART SONNETS

For the last few years, I’ve had a weird little side project in which I rewrite pop hits in iambic pentameter pseudo-Elizabethan. It started as a joke with my 9th grade English class (“Listen, guys — he isn’t saying anything you haven’t heard in a thousand pop songs! Let me prove it to you …”), and then started to spiral out of control.

Currently, my plan is to “translate” every #1 song of the year from the Billboard Charts. I’ve done 35, which means I’ve only got … oh, a lot left.

Recently, my odd hobby has found a digital home at Satyr Central, a new and awesome online literary journal dedicated to ephemera and oddities. Right now there are 6 online — from Oldies like Sonnets #2 (“Sugar, Sugar,” by the Archies) to such tasteful, more modern classics like Sonnet #36 (50 Cent’s immortal “In Da Club”). More are forthcoming soon! Here’s a list of what to expect soon:


Ye Olde Table of Contents

#1 – 1968 Hey Jude, The Beetles

#2 – 1969 Sugar Sugar, The Archies

#3 – 1970 Bridge over Troubled Water, Paul Simon & Garfunkle

#4 – 1971 Joy to the World, Three Dog Night

#5 – 1972 The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack

#6 – 1973 Tie A Yellow Ribbon, Tony Orlando

#7 – 1974 The Way We Were, Barbera Streisand

#8 – 1975 Love will Keep us Together, Captain and Tanielle

#9 – 1976 Silly Love Songs, Wings

#10 – 1977 Tonight’s the Night, Rod Stewart

#11 – 1978 Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb

#12 – 1979 My Sharona, The Knack

#13 – 1980 Call Me, Blondie

#14 – 1981 Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes 

#15 – 1982 Physical, Olivia Newton John

#16 – 1983 Every Breath You Take, The Police

#17 – 1984 When Doves Cry, Prince

#18 – 1985 Careless Whispers, Wham!

#19 – 1986 That What Friends are For, Donnie & Friends

#20 – 1987 Walk Like an Egyptian, The Bangles

#21 – 1988 Faith, George Michael 

#22- 1989 Look Away, Chicago

#23 – 1990 Hold On, Wilson Philips

#24 – 1991 Everything I Do, Bryan Adams

#25 – 1992 End of the Road, Boyz II Men

#26 – 1993 I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston

#27 – 1994 The Sign, Ace of Base

#28 – 1995 Gangster’s Paradise, Coolie

#29 – 1996 Macarena, Los Del Rio

#30 – 1997 Candle in the Wind, Elton John

#31 – 1998 Too Close, Next

#32 – 1999 Believe, Cher

#33 – 2000 Breathe, Faith Hill

#34 – 2001 Hanging By a Moment, Lighthouse

#35 – 2002 How You Remind Me, Nickleback

#36 – 2003 In Da Club, 50 cent

#37 – 2004 Yeah!, Usher

#38 – 2005 We Belong Together, Maraiah Carey

#39 – 2006 Bad Day, Daniel Powter

#40 – 2007 Irreplaceable, Beyonce

#41 – 2008 Low, Flo Rida

#42 – 2009 Boom Boom Pow, The Black Eyed Peas

#43 – 2010 Tic Tok, Kesha

#44 – 2011 Rolling in the Deep, Adele

#45 – 2012 Somebody that I used to Know, Gotye

#46 – 2013 Thrift Shop, Macklemore

#47 – 2014 Happy, Pherrell

#48 – 2015 Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson

#49 – 2016 Love Yourself, Justin Beeber

#50 – 2017 Shape of You, Ed Sheerhan

#51 – 2018 God’s Plan, Drake 

#52 – 2019 Old Town Road, Lil Nas X

BONUS TRACKS

2013 All About that Bass, Megan Trainor

2015 Trap Queen, Fetty Wap

2013 Wrecking Ball, Miley Cyrus

2014 Shake it Off, Taylor Swift