Top 10 Memorable Pop Song Lyrics of 2012

01
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10. Alicia Keys - "Girl On Fire"

Alicia Keys Girl On Fire
Alicia Keys - "Girl On Fire". Courtesy RCA

Songwriters Alicia Keys, Jeff Bhasker, Salaam Remi, and Billy Squier

She’s just a girl and she’s on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway
She’s living in a world and it’s on fire
Filled with catastrophe, but she know she can fly away
Oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she’s burning it down
Oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she’s not backing down
This girl is on fire

The song "Girl On Fire" was inspired by Alicia Keys' marriage to Swizz Beatz and the birth of her son Egypt. "Girl On Fire" climbed to #11 on the US pop chart, #5 on the R&B chart and reached the top 10 at both mainstream and adult pop radio. It was Alicia Keys' highest charting single in five years.

02
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9. Katy Perry - "Wide Awake"

Katy Perry Wide Awake
Katy Perry - "Wide Awake". Courtesy Capitol

Songwriters Katy Perry, Bonnie McKee, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, and Henry Walter

How did I read the stars so wrong
I'm wide awake
And now it's clear to me
That everything you see
Ain't always what it seems
I'm wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

Katy Perry released "Wide Awake" as the second single from her expanded version of the Teenage Dream album. It was inspired by major changes in Katy Perry's life including her divorce from Russell Brand. "Wide Awake" was a #2 charting pop hit which topped the mainstream pop, adult pop, and dance charts.

03
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8. Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

Kelly Clarkson Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)". Courtesy RCA

Songwriters Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, David Gamson, and Greg Kurstin

You know the bed feels warmer
Sleeping here alone
You know I dream in color
And do the things I want

You think you've got the best of me
Think you've had enough the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I'd come running back
Baby, you don't know me, 'cause you're dead wrong

Kelly Clarkson's title cut from her Stronger album was inspired by Nietzsche's famous quote, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." It became Kelly Clarkson's third #1 pop hit single and reached the top of the mainstream pop, adult pop, adult contemporary, and dance charts. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" earned three Grammy Award nominations including for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

04
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7. Calvin Harris - "Feel So Close"

Calvin Harris Feel So Close
Calvin Harris - "Feel So Close". Courtesy Columbia

Songwriter Calvin Harris

I feel so close to you right now
It's a force field
I wear my heart upon my sleeve, like a big deal
Your love pours down on me, surrounds me like a waterfall
And there's no stopping us right now
I feel so close to you right now

In a rarity for electronic dance music artist Calvin Harris, he sings on this recording. It became his breakthrough solo hit in the US. The song climbed into the top 10 at mainstream pop radio and reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

05
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6. Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You"

Frank Ocean Thinkin Bout You
Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You". Courtesy Def Jam

Songwriters Christopher Francis Ocean and N. Cobey

A tornado flew around my room before you came
Excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn't rain
In Southern California, much like Arizona
My eyes don't shed tears, but, boy, they bawl

When I'm thinkin' 'bout you
I've been thinkin' 'bout you
I've been thinkin' 'bout you
Do you think about me still?

Frank Ocean's debut studio album Channel Orange was one of the most critically celebrated of 2012. The first recording of "Thinkin Bout You" was by Bridget Kelly under the title "Thinking About You" and is included on her EP Every Girl. Frank Ocean decided to release his own version because of the personal nature of the lyrics. "Thinkin Bout You" became a top 10 R&B hit single and Frank Ocean's first song to break into the pop top 40.

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06
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5. Carly Ray Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"

Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe
Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe". Courtesy Interscope

Songwriters Carly Rae Jepsen, Josh Ramsay, and Tavish Crowe

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe?

Canada's Carly Rae Jepsen was one of the big breakthrough artists of 2012. "Call Me Maybe" spent nine consecutive weeks at #1 on the pop chart. It also reached the top 10 across adult pop, adult contemporary, and dance charts. "Call Me Maybe" was originally written as a folk song and then turned into a pop record. It earned two Grammy Award nominations including for Song of the Year.

07
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4. Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" featuring Kimbra

Gotye Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know". Courtesy Universal Republic

Songwriter Wally de Backer

You can get addicted to a certain kinda sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing
I don't even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough

Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye came out of left field to have a major international smash hit with "Somebody That I Used To Know." It spent eight consecutive weeks at #1 on the pop chart in the US. It also went to the top of alternative, adult pop, adult contemporary, and dance charts. "Somebody That I Used To Know" one two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group.

08
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3. Ed Sheeran - "The A Team"

Ed Sheeran The A Team
Ed Sheeran - "The A Team". Courtesy Atlantic Records

Songwriter Ed Sheeran

White lips, pale face
Breathing in snowflakes
Burnt lungs, sour taste
Light's gone, day's end
Struggling to pay rent
Long nights, strange men

And they say
She's in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries

Ed Sheeran's international breakthrough hit is a haunting tale about a prostitute addicted to cocaine. "The A Team" broke into the top 10 at both mainstream pop and adult pop radio. It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year.

09
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2. Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". Courtesy Big Machine

Songwriters Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback

We are never ever ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends
Talk to my friends
Talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever...

I'm really gonna miss you picking fights
And me, falling for it screaming that I'm right
And you, will hide away and find your peace of mind
With some indie record that's much cooler than mine

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was written after an ex-boyfriend of Taylor Swift's came to the studio and talked about rumors being spread. She discussed the relationship with collaborator Max Martin after the ex-boyfriend left. The result was a #1 pop smash hit for Taylor Swift. It also hit the top 10 at mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year.

10
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1. fun - "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monae

fun we are young
fun - "We Are Young". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

Songwriters Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, and Jeffrey Bhasker

Give me a second
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom
Getting higher than the empire state
My lover she is waiting for me
Just across the bar
My seat's been taken by some sunglasses
Asking 'bout a scar
And I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you're trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
the holes in my apologies
You know I'm trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home

"We Are Young" was the breakthrough hit for alternative pop band fun. The group's lead vocalist says the song was inspired by one particular bad drinking night. The song spent six weeks at #1 on the US pop chart. It also hit the top of alternative, rock, adult pop, and mainstream pop charts. "We Are Young" won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and was nominated for Record of the Year.