The Most Famous Song in the World: Ranking the Ultimate Global Anthem

Choose the song you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 1, 2023 06:44
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion takes center stage! Today, we're on a mission to find the most famous song in the world and we need your help to make it happen. Join thousands of music enthusiasts as they cast their votes and share their thoughts on the unforgettable tunes that have shaped the soundtrack of our lives. From timeless classics to contemporary anthems, our extensive list covers a wide range of genres and eras, but if you think we've missed a beat, don't hesitate to suggest a missing option. So, tune in, turn up the volume, and let your voice be heard as we embark on this melodic journey to uncover the ultimate chart-topper!

What Is the Most Famous Song in the World? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    This song is sung worldwide to celebrate birthdays and is considered the most recognized song in the English language.
    Happy Birthday to You is a widely recognized and popular song used to celebrate birthdays. It is sung to honor someone on their special day and is typically accompanied by the presentation and cutting of a birthday cake.
    • Year of creation: 1893
    • Melody composers: Mildred J. Hill and Patty Smith Hill
    • Lyricist: Patty Smith Hill (disputed)
    • Language: English
    • Duration: Around 15-20 seconds
    Happy Birthday to You in other rankings
  2. 2
    Auld Lang Syne
    Bbaker516 · Public domain
    This Scottish folk song is traditionally sung to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, making it a staple at New Year's Eve celebrations worldwide.
    Auld Lang Syne is a traditional Scottish folk song that is often sung during New Year's Eve celebrations as well as at the end of various events and occasions. The song carries a sentimental and nostalgic tone, reflecting on friendships and memories of the past.
    • Genre: Scottish folk song
    • Lyrics Language: Scots language
    • Melody: Based on a traditional folk tune
    • Theme: Nostalgia, friendship, and the passage of time
    • Significance: Often associated with farewells and endings
    Auld Lang Syne in other rankings
  3. 3

    The Star-Spangled Banner

    Francis Scott Key
    The national anthem of the United States of America is one of the most famous songs in the world, often performed at major sporting events and patriotic ceremonies.
    The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States. It is a patriotic song that symbolizes American resilience and courage.
    • Title: The Star-Spangled Banner
    • Language: English
    • Adopted as Anthem: March 3, 1931
    • Lyrics: Francis Scott Key, 1814
    • Music: John Stafford Smith, 1780s
    The Star-Spangled Banner in other rankings
  4. 4

    Jingle Bells

    James Lord Pierpont
    This Christmas classic has been translated into multiple languages and is recognized worldwide as a holiday favorite.
    Jingle Bells is a popular Christmas song that is synonymous with holiday cheer and celebration. It is a joyful, upbeat tune that evokes the spirit of Christmas and is loved by people of all ages.
    • Genre: Christmas song
    • Date of creation: 1857
    • Original title: One Horse Open Sleigh
    • Lyrics language: English
    • Music style: Cavalry march
    Jingle Bells in other rankings
  5. 5
    This iconic rock anthem by Queen has become a staple at sporting events and concerts worldwide, with its distinctive beat and chant-like lyrics.
    We Will Rock You is a powerful anthem by the British rock band Queen. It was released as a part of their 1977 album 'News of the World' and quickly became one of their most iconic songs. Composed by Brian May, the song features a distinctive foot-stomping beat and minimalist musical arrangement, making it instantly recognizable and universally beloved.
    • Year of Release: 1977
    • Album: News of the World
    • Composer: Brian May
    • Genre: Rock
    • Length: 2 minutes and 2 seconds
    We Will Rock You in other rankings
  6. 6
    Bohemian Rhapsody
    Queen · Public domain
    Another Queen classic, this song's unique structure and powerful vocals have made it a favorite of generations since its release in 1975.
    Bohemian Rhapsody is a groundbreaking rock song by the British band Queen. It was released in 1975 as a part of their album 'A Night at the Opera'. The song is known for its unconventional structure, combining elements of progressive rock, opera, and ballad. With its rich harmonies, intricate vocal arrangements, and diverse musical sections, Bohemian Rhapsody stands as an epic composition that pushes the boundaries of traditional rock music.
    • Release Year: 1975
    • Album: A Night at the Opera
    • Genre: Rock
    • Length: 5 minutes and 55 seconds
    • Structure: Introduction, Ballad, Operatic section, Hard rock segment, Ballad reprise, Outro
    Bohemian Rhapsody in other rankings
  7. 7

    Stairway to Heaven

    Led Zeppelin
    Led Zeppelin's epic rock ballad is often cited as one of the greatest songs of all time, with its intricate guitar work and haunting lyrics.
    Stairway to Heaven is a rock ballad considered one of the greatest songs of all time. It was released by the British band Led Zeppelin in 1971 as part of their untitled fourth studio album. The song was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant and has since become synonymous with the band's legacy.
    • Genre: Rock ballad
    • Release year: 1971
    • Album: Untitled (Led Zeppelin IV)
    • Songwriters: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
    • Length: 8 minutes and 2 seconds
    Stairway to Heaven in other rankings
  8. 8
    John Lennon's iconic peace anthem has become a symbol of hope and unity around the world, with its simple yet powerful message.
    Imagine is a timeless anthem that calls for peace, unity, and the envisioning of a better world. It is a soulful ballad that encourages listeners to imagine a world without divisions and conflicts, where people live harmoniously. The powerful and poignant lyrics, combined with a simple yet captivating melody, make it an iconic song that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.
    • Release Date: October 11, 1971
    • Genre: Pop
    • Length: 3:03
    • Album: Imagine
    • Record Label: Apple
    Imagine in other rankings
  9. 9
    Celine Dion's ballad from the movie Titanic has become one of the most recognizable and beloved songs of all time, with its soaring vocals and emotional lyrics.
    My Heart Will Go On is a ballad song known for its powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics. It is widely recognized as the theme song for the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. The song depicts a love that transcends time and continues to evoke strong emotions in listeners worldwide.
    • Release Date: December 8, 1997
    • Genre: Pop
    • Album: Let's Talk About Love
    • Songwriters: James Horner, Will Jennings
    • Length: 4 minutes and 41 seconds
    My Heart Will Go On in other rankings
  10. 10
    This K-Pop hit by Psy became a viral sensation in 2012, breaking records and becoming the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. Its catchy beat and quirky dance moves made it a global phenomenon.
    Gangnam Style is a South Korean music video that became a global sensation. It was released in July 2012 and quickly gained popularity for its catchy music and unique dance moves. The video features the artist PSY and is a satirical take on the luxurious lifestyle and culture of the Gangnam District in Seoul.
    • Views: Over 3.8 billion views
    • Likes: Over 17 million likes
    • Dislikes: Over 1.5 million dislikes
    • Duration: 4 minutes and 13 seconds
    • Release Date: July 15, 2012
    Gangnam Style in other rankings

Missing your favorite song?


Ranking factors for famous song

  1. Cultural impact
    Consider how the song has influenced popular culture, permeated different demographics, and connected with listeners from various backgrounds. This includes the impact it has had on fashion, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.
  2. Timelessness
    Evaluate how well the song has aged or endured over time. A truly famous song typically remains popular and relevant across generations.
  3. Awards and critical acclaim
    Consider the song's reception by critics and music industry professionals, as well as awards received (e.g., Grammy Awards, MTV Awards, etc.).
  4. Radio airplay and streaming numbers
    Evaluate the song's popularity on traditional media like radio stations and its performance on digital platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. A song's ranking in terms of streams and airplay is a good indicator of its popularity and reach.
  5. Social and political impact
    Assess whether the song has played a role in shaping social movements, politics, or activism.
  6. Iconic music video or live performance
    A song's popularity can be attributed to a groundbreaking or memorable music video or live performance. Evaluate if the song has such a defining visual or performance aspect.
  7. Coverage and adaptation
    Examine the range of covers that other artists or performers have created, as well as any adaptations for movies, television, commercials, or other media formats. A song's versatility and adaptability can contribute to its overall fame.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous song in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite song is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 165 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each song once every 24 hours. The rank of each song is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous song in the world

Music has the power to transcend borders, cultures, and languages. It is a universal language that speaks to everyone, regardless of race, gender, or age. We have all found ourselves humming a tune or tapping our feet to a catchy beat at some point in our lives. But have you ever wondered what the most famous song in the world is? Determining the most famous song in the world is a subjective task, as it depends on various factors such as popularity, cultural significance, and historical relevance. Some might argue that it is "Happy Birthday to You," as it is sung in almost every language and is universally recognized. Others might say it is "Yesterday" by The Beatles, as it is the most covered song in history, with over 2,200 versions recorded. However, according to data collected by various music charts and streaming platforms, the most famous song in the world is "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran. Released in 2017, the song has broken numerous records, including being the most streamed song on Spotify and the most played track on British radio. It has also topped music charts in over 30 countries, making it a global hit. Regardless of which song you believe is the most famous, there is no denying the power of music and its ability to bring people together. At StrawPoll, we celebrate the world's love for music by hosting polls and rankings that showcase the diverse tastes and preferences of our global community.