In Twitter's short 3-year lifespan, the rapid-growing microblogging platform has spawned over 6 million followers who not only blog in 140 characters or less, but have also penned and performed songs in its honor.
In addition to being a staple for rapid-fire communication amongst technophiles and a merchandising tool for tech-savvy companies, Twitter has inspired would-be songwriters to write music and pen lyrics about the obsession that has swept the nation. And while celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Jane Fonda have graced our presence in Twitter-ville, the real celebs are the those "unsung heroes" who are now singing their hearts out on YouTube. It's high time to acknowledge and give props to their bravery and musicality.
So in honor of these innovative souls, I would like to award the "first-time-ever" Top Ten Twitter Songs of All Time.
So in true David Letterman's top-ten list style, this year's 10th place award goes to Alana Taylor, a 20-yr old native of New York City, attending NYU who is a true troubadour-ess, lauding the praises of Twitter to the discredit of Facebook, because after all "140 characters are all you need to say." While she knows there are now a lot of Twitter songs on YouTube, she claims that she was the first to write a tribute song to Twitter, posting her's as early as March, 2008. Alana blogs for Mashable.com, PBS.org and her own at alanataylor.com.
In 9th Place...Ms. Krystyl Baldwin, who is quick to warn you that the only thing she will harm during her video performance is "your ears" due to an "out of tune guitar" and a voice that is somewhat "off key." Versus singing for a living, her self-titled website, krystyl.net lists her current vocation as a fashion event producer. However, if you like what you hear, Krystyl has informed me that her "Twitter, Part 2" video will be out in mid March. Stay tuned...
Keaton Branch, a 23-yr old Apple Store Manager, out of Houston, Texas is number 8 in our countdown. His whimsical refrain describes the Twitterverse as "somewhere between blog posts and emails" where someone still says, "hey man, what's up? Keaton amusingly notes that although the top brass at Twitter HDQ haven't gotten wind of his song, he is hopefully "waiting for a DM (Direct Message) from them one day!" @kbranch also has a music blog at AudioADD.net.
7th Place goes to Mary Hodder & Joshua Levy who work for TheUptake.org, a non-profit citizen journalism organization focused on video. Adapted from Lee Hays and Peter Seeger's classic folk ballad "If I Had A Hammer," Hodder's and Levy's parody not only extols the virtues of Twitter, but also promotes cell phone texting and Flickr photo pasting. Sing a long, if you like...
Allen Williams is our 6th place winner.He is a 47 yr-old ( "going on 15", according to Allen) writer, public speaker and self proclaimed "terrible guitar/piano player and song writer." Williams teaches part-time at two universities in Nagoya, Japan. His Twitter tune has a catchy beat and his lyrics are quick to warn the twitterati about the hazards of just "following" anyone on Twitter. As he puts it, "Just heed these words carefully, or it just could be your loss, that silly @work follower, just might be your boss."
The "Tweetbomb Song" by Camille Israel, a 21-yr old student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver comes in at Number 5. "Tweetbomb" according to the @tweetbomb bio forewarns all followers that following @tweetbomb can result in an onslaught of tweets. Inspired by this, Camille assures you that she will retweet you "by Tweetdeck or Twhirl" cuz as she sings: "she just might be your kind of girl"
Our 4th place winner goes to the lovely Justine Ezarik (also known as iJustine) and Zappos.TV. Billing herself as an Internet Superstar, Justine can be found on blogs.YouTube, and Ebay. When she's not performing online, she works as a freelance graphic/web designer and video editor. Zappos, an online shoe and handbag company that will generate more than $1 billion in sales this year contracted Justine to perform their homage to Twitter, called "I Tweet Myself." Warning: A toilet scene and one naked man are truly hilarious!
When Chris Pirillo, who touts himself as a "Shameless self-promoter" asked his friend Dave Ryder to write a Twitter song, what came out of it became my pick for the Number 3 Twitter Song. Dave has since written and produced another Twitter song, but that one just missed this year's deadline. While several versions of this year's song exist on YouTube, I chose this version based on the clever editing that incorporates the cartoon character, Felix the Cat.
In second place, I selected Ben Walker and his song entitled: "You're No One if You're Not on Twitter." Since YouTube is a social network and social networks are based on visitor feedback, the visitation to Ben's video has remarkably racked up tallies just shy of 300,000 views and over 450 user comments. When asked if his song has been performed by others, Ben noted: "Apart from crowds of drunken Twits singing along at various gigs and Twestivals, I don't think anybody else has performed the song. Twestival Paris almost got somebody to sing it in French (the lyrics were translated by a couple of fans last year) but they backed out at the last minute." Ben's day job keeps him busy as a web developer at torchbox.com and his personal website featuring all of his music can be found at ihatemornings.com.
There are also a number of songs, that are not truly "Twitter" songs per se and were actually written prior to the existence of Twitter. Songs that contain the word "follow" in the title come to mind; e.g. "Follow Me " by Pain, "Follow Me, Where I go" by John Denver, "Won't you Follow Me" by Rory Gallagher and "Follow Me, Gangsta" by 50 Cent.
However, my all time favorite "Follow" song and the one worthy of being our Number One Twitter song this year has got to go to "Follow You, Follow Me." This song has a definite big-band-rock sensibility that can get even the most complacent listener a little jiggy! So this year's Top Number One Twitter Song of all time goes to Phil Collins & Genesis, and their rock anthem: "Follow You, Follow Me." Sit back enjoy their live performance filmed at one of their concerts held in Dusseldorf.
Perhaps a little bit of a cop-out regarding my Number One selection, but we all deserved to end this blog on a high note (pun intended)! However, if you don't agree with any of my choices, please take our Poll and select your own Top Ten. Final Poll numbers will be tallied and posted by April 15, 2009, so your vote counts! (see TOP TEN POLL at the end of this article) Also feel free to follow any of these songwriters on Twitter and extend a hearty congratulations to them while you're at it! Don't forget to use the hashtag: #twittersongs in your tweets!
So there you have it... this year's Top Ten Twitter Songs of All Time. If you don't take our poll, I'd love to hear your comments and feedback. After viewing all of these great artists, what do you think? Which one tickled your fancy? Or perhaps you know of one I missed? Or maybe you are a songwriter and just finished writing one yourself? If so, comment here, as there is always next year! In the meantime, see you in Twitter-ville, and remember to keep it under 140 characters!