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bittersweet symphony

15 songs that are now 20 years old and prove we're ancient

If you can’t remember them, come back in five years.


That’s what you should be in when you realise that these songs are actually 20 years old.

1. R Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly

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While technically coming out at the end of 1996, it wasn’t until the following year that it hit Ireland with all the force of a Michael Jordan Space Jam slam dunk.

And now all those things mentioned are 20 years older, so we’ll head off for a cry now.

2. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony

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Obnoxious walking had never seemed so cool. It cemented its ’90s status with its scene-stealing appearance in Cruel Intentions as well.

3. Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are

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*sounds old person klaxon*

4. Dustin the Turkey and Joe Dolan – Good Looking Woman

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“Come on, sing again and knock the stuffing out of it.”

Come for Dustin, stay for Joe’s turkey puns.

5. Sash! – Encore Une Fois

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You’d never been in a nightclub, but you could pick up a glowstick and pretend with this banger.

6. Hanson – MMMBop

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Could you name each one and identify them on a scale of oldest-youngest?

That discussion was the background noise to MMMBop, every time.

7. Marc Roberts – Mysterious Woman

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Holy sh*t.

You think you’ve put something out of your memory and then Mysterious Woman comes on YouTube and drags up a long lost nostalgia you never thought was there.

It came second in our hometown Eurovision of 1997 – perhaps why it hasn’t gone down the pantheon of great Irish entries.

Mysterious womaaaan. 

8. Puff Daddy & Faith Evans - I’ll Be Missing You

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Standing alone in a field was a big theme for 1997 videos. And it was glorious.

9. Elton John – Candle In The Wind

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So many mams had this on tape.

10. Aqua – Barbie Girl

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The inexplicable rise of Aqua began here – the surreal sound of childhoods across the globe.

11. Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

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Gleefully singing along to the vodka, lager and whiskey bit was the highlight of any healthy, balanced childhood. And let’s not forget the section that kind of sounded like the original Danny Boy.

A song designed for Britpop-era English nightclubs went down a treat with Irish teenagers who couldn’t drink.

12. No Doubt – Don’t Speak

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13. Robbie Williams – Angel

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Soon to be belted out at Slane in 1998 and 1999 as the unofficial national anthem.

Again, the field aesthetic was key to the look of the video.

14. Various Artists – Perfect Day

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Joining Candle in the Wind as the ultimate mam 1997 tape banger was this collection of artists singing Perfect Day.

15. Savage Garden – Truly Madly Deeply


No field this time – but a street with packed with leaves keeps Savage Garden well within the 1997 style guide.

Good times.

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