Closer To The Edge: Childhood Nostalgia Playlist


Who doesn’t love to reflect on their childhood? Here at The Edge, we certainly do love to think back to that simpler, more beautiful time, and this week we’ve especially turned to the music of our childhood. Compiling a playlist that looks scarily like the set-list for a primary school disco, this week’s Closer To The Edge takes a look at some of our favourite childhood tunes.

Peter Andre – ‘Mysterious Girl’

Does ‘Mysterious Girl’ require explanation? Can any words truly lay bare or analyse it, in any way that we can fathom? Can mere mortals ever truly understand the complex minutiae involved in this 1996 gem? Featuring the sounds of steel drums, waterfalls and waves crashing on a beach, and with interlude from Caribbean rapper Bubbler Ranx, Peter Andre’s pop-reggae creation remains the man’s most commercially successful track to date after lodging itself squarely in the hearts of every 90s kid. It was track number 10 on Disc 1 of Now! 57. I didn’t need to look that up. I just remembered, in much the same way as I will remember my child’s first steps and how my spouse looks on our wedding day. It feels tropical, fun, and fruity. And, of course, mysterious. The music video was a thing of beauty. Andre and Bubbler shirtless, in lightwash denim jeans, standing in a crystal blue lagoon while a woman acts out a Herbal Essences advert in a waterfall nearby. Then she vanishes. Is she the mysterious girl the legends tell of? Maybe we’ll never know.

Words by Camilla Cassidy

Bowling For Soup – ‘1985’

I started forming my own taste in music quite late, around age 10 or so. Having heard it on the radio, Bowling For Soup’s ‘1985’ was the first song to really capture my attention. On my first trip to a record shop I searched for the single, finally finding it under the name ‘Bowling For Saints’ (silly HMV). Ecstatic with glee and with a massive, excited smile plastered all over my face, I went home and put it carefully in the CD player and it was there that my obsession with music was born.

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With all the nostalgia of an era I hadn’t even known and all the goofiness of just a couple of guys messing around with some instruments, ‘1985’ became the hallmark of my childhood and early teen years. What could be better than a few catchy riffs, a catchy chorus and an outstanding number of pop culture references? It was the introduction to pop-punk which would become a gateway into all things rock n’ roll for me. And for that, BFS, I thank you.

words by Sophie Trenear

Beyonce feat. Jay-Z – ‘Crazy in Love’

Her first single after splitting from Destiny’s Child, Queen B proved pretty early on that she was here and she was here to stay. An absolute banger that still gets me on my feet every time, and is instantly recognisable, ‘Crazy In Love’ is one of the iconic anthems and noughties. The video is pretty incredible too, with Beyonce being one of the only people in the world who is able to pull off the combination of orange and pink in an outfit. As well as this, it would be the first of many instances where we saw how insanely cool this power couple was. This song is endlessly fun and brilliant and sexy and wonderful and… yeah. It’s just fab.

words by Rehana Nurmahi

The Hoosiers

I was recently reminded of the ultimate childhood obsession, the Hoosiers, when I heard they played an Edge Session for us last year. Listening to the five acoustic songs they played for us, my love for them came flooding back, with one key word at the front of my mind: F-U-N.

Before I knew it, I was rocking along to ‘Goodbye Mr A’, ‘Worried About Ray’, and my personal favourite, ‘Cops and Robbers’. Chunky piano and upbeat guitar makes for a musical experience that wants to make you dance around your bedroom with your boxers on your head. Accuse me of being classless all you want, but the Hoosiers define everything that your childhood should be about – having a good old time at a school disco.

words by James Barker

S Club 7 – ‘Bring It All Back’

“DON’T STOP. NEVER GIVE UP. HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND REACH THE TOP. LET THE WORLD SEE WHAT YOU HAVE GOT. BRING IT ALL BACK TO YOU.” Ah, the phenomenon that was S Club 7. The pop septet released so many great noughties tunes; ‘Reach’. ‘Don’t Stop Movin’, ‘S Club Party’ (“THERE AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE AN S CLUB PARTY!”)… But ‘Bring It All Back’, in all it’s high tempo, auto-tuned glory, is perhaps the most nostalgic. Just have a listen and feel the pure noughties joy radiate over you, like musical sunshine.

words by Anneka Honeyball

Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left To Lose and One By One

To those of you that know me, you’ll know that the Foo Fighters are my absolute all time favourite band. They’re also the band that I have to thank for my love of heavier music, as well as rock music in general.

‘Learn To Fly’ in particular I recall as being the first song I heard from the band and the one that made me fall in love with them from a young age. So whilst that song from There Is Nothing Left To Lose may be highly influential and nostalgic for me, the album One By One is perhaps my fondest memory.
It was the first album I ever bought; I had my portable CD player with me, with One By One taking up a long term residency, and I fell in love immediately. The sheer heaviness and aggressiveness of songs like ‘All My Life’ and ‘Low’ was something that I’d never heard before and I couldn’t get enough. Then there’s songs like ‘Times Like These’ which were a lot more melodic and mellow but still remained rock n’ roll enough for me to feel like a real cool kid.

One By One is the album that really helped to shape me as a person and my music taste for the rest of my life, and I shall be forever in it’s debt.

words by David Mitchell-Baker

Madonna – ‘Beautiful Stranger’ / Robbie Williams – ‘Rock DJ’

The early 2000s were defined by a variety of things, but my impressionable young ears were constantly exposed to the strange music landscape that couldn’t seem to escape the 90s. Some say that the 90s didn’t end until 2004, and I agree wholeheartedly. Two songs defined this ear for me: ‘Rock DJ’ by Robbie Williams and ‘Beautiful Stranger’ by Madonna.

The main reason? My Mum. Whatever my parents like, I automatically liked (unless it got overplayed – I’m looking at you with your prog, Dad). I may not particularly like Robbie Williams or Madonna now (although I still appreciate 80s Madonna, she slays), they still give me that warm nostalgic feeling that I just can’t get enough of. It brings me back to the simpler times of being a kid at the start of the millennium, playing Pokemon and trying to figure myself out.

words by Sophie McEvoy

DJ Casper – ‘Cha Cha Slide’

It’s the simple things… DJ Casper’s ‘Cha Cha Slide’ was a mainstay on every Year 6 School Disco soundtrack. It didn’t matter how cool you were, this was the one tune that could get everybody on the dancefloor turnin’ it up. It hardly needs an explanation. Just press play and you won’t be able to help yourself from cha-cha-ing real smooth… “Take it back now y’all.”

words by Anneka Honeyball

Busted – ‘You Said No’

Admittedly, most tracks by Busted could be put on this list. Their debut self-titled album, being the first album I ever bought, and the tour of it being the first gig I ever attended; this band and album will always bring back a pang of longing for childhood.

However, this song was probably one of the first of theirs I knew, and its lyrics being (slightly) less inappropriate than the rest of their music, it was fun to sing along to. Being slightly older, and understanding the feeling of being rejected a bit better; singing along to this when I recently saw Busted at the O2 was even more fun and endlessly more satisfying.

words by Rehana Nurmahi


I grew up in a house surrounded by all kinds of rock. Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Killers dominated the airwaves of my house and I went to bed each night to the sounds of Black Holes and Revelations and Californication emerging from its various rooms. I didn’t have lullabies, I had the anthemic falsetto of Matt Bellamy.

Muse were a staple of my childhood, especially Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, and then later Black Holes. They would play on repeat in car rides down to Devon in the summer, they would be playing full blast when I came home from school and they would fill the air when my parents were cooking in the kitchen. By age seven I knew all the words to most of their songs, without even having a clue of their power and depth. The rising crescendo of ‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’ always gave me chills, and still does. The guitar riff of ‘Plug in Baby’ is still one of the most familiar sounds to me. And the naïve dreams of being able to reach the heights of Bellamy’s vocals in ‘Feeling Good’ still makes me smile. And some 12 years later, they have an even bigger effect on me, and I a deeper appreciation for them. Props to you, Muse.

words by Sophie Trenear

Toploader – ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’

Toploader’s ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ is the first song I think of when I think of music from my childhood. Home was always full of music, and either mum always played this or it was popular on the radio in the early noughties, because one of my clearest and earliest memories is of dancing to this in the kitchen with mum. It’s easy to see why it was appealing to me! It’s upbeat, happy, makes you feel ‘warm and bright’. The song is what sums it all up for me: ‘it’s such a fine and natural sight/everybody’s dancing in the moonlight’. It’s carefree, it’s brilliant – who wouldn’t want to dance the night away? Or at least, the ten minutes while the pasta is cooking.

words by Carly-May Kavanagh

Gorillaz – ‘Clint Eastwood’

When I was about 5 years old, my parents bought a Summer hits compilation CD and would stick it on in the car every long drive we took. An early track on this album happened to be Gorillaz’s now magnum opus ‘Clint Eastwood’, so it played many a time… and I loved it.

It had such a fun and singable chorus, “I ain’t happy, I’m feeling glad/I got sunshine in a bag/I’m useless, but not for long/The future is coming on”. To 5 year old me, the concept of someone having sunshine in a bag was just hilarious and I loved how the singer would repeat the line “It’s coming on” over and over again. I also tried to learn the rap to no avail and you can just imagine how funny that must have been,  a 5 year old white kid could never have a rap flow as sick as the rapper on ‘Clint Eastwood’, who it turns out is called Del the Funky Homosapien (5 year old me would be wetting himself laughing at that right now). The song is still popular to this day and is regarded by many as one of the best of the 2000s, so 5 year old me had great taste too.

words by David Mitchell-Baker

JoJo- ‘Leave (Get Out)’

This anthemic break-up song was an absolute gem when I was 7 years old; you know, even though I was 7 and clearly had never broken up with anyone… However, Jojo’s song still seemed relevant and I loved singing along to it, and attempting in vain to try and replicate her badass vocal runs. Seriously, the girl was like 15 when she released this song and I’m still trying to comprehend how sick she is vocally??? Also, part of me still wants the ‘Boys Stink’ t-shirt that she wears in the video.

words by Rehana Nurmahi

Andy Williams – ‘Solitaire’

$T2eC16RHJIYE9qUcOPgUBP+WqKWuNQ--60_35 (1)I pride myself on a delightfully eclectic musical repertoire. Much of my broad taste was shaped by the CDs which came free with the Daily Mail On Sunday. With cheesy titles like Disco Greats and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, I happily sat in the car, kicking my tiny legs along with the classics coming through my walkman. I could provide any number of examples, each more bizarre than the last- but as the seminal example there can be no other. Andy William’s ‘Solitaire’ is frankly a great belter, that uses the card game as a metaphor for a man who has lost his love through indifference. For the sheer improbable juxtaposition of this being among the favourite songs, listened to by a gleeful 7-year-old, truly, this was a song of my childhood.

Words by Camilla Cassidy

Shaggy feat. RikRok – ‘It Wasn’t Me’

In the same way that you couldn’t start a conversation in the noughties without a “WAAASSSSSUP!”, you also couldn’t resist answering any accusation of any kind with the immortal words; ‘It Wasn’t Me.’ It seems weird that our parents allowed us to sing along to such a crude track, detailing the full and graphic extent of a man sleeping with the girl next door. (“Picture this, we were both butt-naked, banging on the bathroom floor”). But let’s be honest, despite it’s questionable relationship advice, it’s still a damn good tune.

words by Anneka Honeyball

Natasha Bedingfield- ‘Unwritten’

This song is timeless. ‘Nuff said. Genuinely though, although Natasha Bedingfield’s songs do bring back memories of childhood, I still adore them all. They do all inherently have an insane amount of nostalgia attached to them though. Her positive vibes and fun summery tunes are a reminder of running round fields and dancing like nobody was watching, and I think that these are the things that childhood should be about. Also, there is something so innocent and uplifting about this song that makes it iconic and timeless in its themes.

words by Rehana Nurmahi

Avril Lavigne – ‘Sk8er Boi’

Before she dyed her hair blonde and started singing about Hello Kitty and other bland, fanciful things, Avril Lavigne was like a pop punk-goddess. She, along with the likes of Busted, was the start of every Generation Z-er’s ’emo/punk’ phase. Of course, her brand of ‘punk’, consisting of school-ties and wristbands, was pretty stale compared to real punk, but hey, we were kids. It was enough for us. ‘Sk8r Boi’ was one of the best tracks to come from that great and all-too short phase of Avril’s music career. I know you know the words….

words by Anneka Honeyball

To check out all our favourite childhood nostalgia tunes in one simple place, check out our Spotify playlist below and follow us on the service to catch all our future playlists as they appear.


About Author

Film and English student. Lover of YA novels, Netflixing, fluffy blankets, all things Musical Theatre and modern Shakespeare adaptations. Life goals include writing a novel and being best friends with Emma Stone. Deputy Editor 2017/18 - or so they tell me.

Third year Film and English student living in D.C., self-proclaimed go-to Edge expert on Cloverfield, Fall Out Boy, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Loves mostly those three things.

Editor of The Edge 2017-18. Culture Editor before that. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

The Edge's Film Editor 2017-2018, David has an unabashed love for all things Dave Grohl, Jack Black and Lord of the Rings. A compulsive liar who shouldn't be trusted, David once beat legendary actor David Hasselhoff in a hot dog eating contest and is best friends with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, they speak on the phone three times a week.

A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

Editor [2016 - 2017], News Editor [2015 - 2016]. Current record holder for most ever articles written by a single Edgeling. Also Film & English Student and TV Editor for The National Student. Main loves include cats, actors and pasta.

Features Editor 2015/16. PhD student. Sorry I give everything five stars, I just have a lot of love in my heart.

Politics and International Relations graduate, Live Editor 2016-18, now a semi-functional adult and journalist. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about the above @cmkavanagh on Twitter.

The Edge's resident grumpy old man, a final year Web Scientist with a name even his parents couldn’t spell properly. Ask him any question and you’ll probably get the answer of “Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2015 album E•MO•TION,” which might explain why we still can't get rid of him.

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