The song at #37 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Hey, Soul Sister” by California pop-rock band Train. From their fifth studio album Save Me, San Francisco, the song is a sweet and joyous celebration of lust and love. Technically, the song is from the previous decade, as it was released in August 2009, but didn’t peak on most charts until early 2010, so qualifies for inclusion on my best songs of the 2010s list. It’s the best-selling single of Train’s career, and also highest-charting, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Adult Top 40 and Contemporary charts. It was named the #1 song of 2010 on the Adult Top 40 chart and #3 on the Hot 100. It also reached #1 in Australia, Hungary, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Band front man Pat Monahan teamed up with New York-based Norwegian songwriting and music production duo Espionage (consisting of Espen Lind and Amund Bjørklund, who wrote Beyoncé’s smash hit “Irreplaceable”, among others) to write “Hey, Soul Sister”. Monahan told them he wanted the song to have an INXS vibe, and after they wrote the melody, he wrote the lyrics and started to sing the song, but wasn’t pleased with what they’d come up with. He later recalled: “Espen, who’s like a huge star in Norway, picked up a ukelele and said, ‘Hey, how about this?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And it made the difference. It made my words dance. It made sense. These words were meant to dance with ukulele and not guitar.” (Wikipedia)
The heartwarming lyrics speak of being besotted with a woman and singing her praises, and are nicely delivered by Monahan with an endearing fervor guaranteed to bring a smile to even the dourest face. “Hey soul sister, ain’t that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo. The way you move ain’t fair you know. Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight.” The charming video was filmed in front of Chango Coffee in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.