Ah, music, what my life would've been without it is not a question to be asked.
Below is a list of ten of the greatest songs played during my childhood, along with the stories behind them.
10. The Beatles - Twist and shout
Played for the first time during a cousin's birthday party in which I was being forced by my mom to dance with a pretty girl, this song has been one of my all time favourites ever since. Sometimes singing the lyrics out into the world when no one's watching, it might take an eternity before the song is forgotten.
9. America - Horse with no name
There is something about simple repetitive strumming of an acoustic throughout an entire song that is just so addicting. This was the song played the most when we used to travel from Riyadh to Dammam. What's more is that the lyrics could be related to a person travelling on foot inside Saudi Arabia. While peering out the window into the endless desert, this song could be imagined being played in the background even when it was not being played on the car radio player.
8. AC/DC - TNT
Included in the soundtrack of a video game I used to play, this track immediately stood out from the others. It was also the song that led me to falling in love with this band. Listening to it now reminds me of when this song was sung together by us brothers while playing its multi-player. Oh the sibling rivalry.
7. Bob Seger - Old time rock n' roll
Rock and roll, just like the old times. Performed by an artist who's face was strikingly similar to one of my uncle's, this great song has been chained to my mind for God knows how long. One of the songs I used to love to listen to with my dad, it can only be referred to as a classic.
6. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Down on the corner
Sometimes a song is played which you simple cannot resist singing along with. This is one of those songs. With a catchy melody and simple lyrics, this was one of the songs that would be played over and over and over again until someone from the family finally lost it.
5. Billy Joel - The entertainer
Billy Joel, my idol back then. Knew every single one of his songs in those days. The entertainer is by far one of his best. The rhymes being so ridiculously fun to listen to they could be compared with the greatest of nursery rhymes, this song should not be missed.
4. Smash Mouth - All star
While not old enough to be considered a classic, this amazing song would be heard on almost every animated TV show I would watch. No matter how old you are, listening to this will bring you back to the good old days when there were no responsibilities, when you were a kid.
3. Foreigner - Jukebox hero
Unique in almost every way you can imagine, this song is where I experienced my first ever spontaneous head-bang. It talks about an individual, who has never touched a guitar, buying one, practicing how to play it and ultimately transforming into a 'Jukebox hero'. Very motivational and a great tune.
2. Harry Chapin - Cats in the cradle
Referred to as the 'greatest song of all time' by my dad, this song will without a doubt be with me till my very last day. Mostly about the lyrics and less about the music, listening to it from the beginning to the end just once is enough to bring a tear to your eye. Cats in the cradle is simply one of a kind.
1. Europe - The final countdown
Maybe it's the perfect syth intro, maybe it's the powerful chorus, or maybe it's the surprisingly fast solo near the end that makes this song one of the best, if not the best song to have ever been written. Ever. Back when cassettes were used instead of CDs, I actually stole the tape from my dad's collection so I could play it on my Walkman cassette player which I got for my birthday. Listening to just a few bits of this song gives 'the feeling'. When left alone in the car, I would always be found listening to this song on max while staring blankly into space. The epic-est of the epic, The Final Countdown is the song that defines my childhood.