It’s a small music world after all: Similar songs take top spots on Spotify's country-specific "top lists"

I’ve become one of those people whose music, books and movies all reside on my smartphone and tablet. I can’t help it. I enjoy having all of my cultural, artistic and creative outlets with me at all times – at home or on the road.

For music, I tend to “swipe” on over to the Spotify app to listen to a specific artist or album (which, these days, tends to be Harry Potter, High School Musical or Despicable Me 2, as requested by my sons). But, more often than not, I find myself “browsing” one of Spotify’s “Top Lists” of the most popular songs within different genres.

Just a few of the country-specific "top lists" on Spotify

Just a few of the country-specific “top lists” on Spotify. I went through at least 12 of the lists – and saw “Happy” and “Dark Horse” on each one.

At first, I just “clicked” on Spotify’s “Top 100 Pop” list just so I could try to keep up with my kids. Yes, at ages 5 and 8, they somehow manage to hear the most popular “pop” hits before I do! But, the other day, I got excited when I went to “browse” Spotify’s Top Lists and came across a few global options for the very first time.

I kept scrolling and scrolling trying to see all of the available lists of the most popular songs in a given country, and I was surprised to find lists for Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and more.

I was so excited to give these new lists a try and to expose my sons to popular music in other countries around the world. But, my initial thrill didn’t last long.

In list after list, I saw the same few songs take the top spots. At least 12 country-specific lists included “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2) by Pharrell Williams and “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. Another seven country-specific lists that I scrolled through included “All of Me” by John Legend. Many other songs at the top of each list were from US-based artists.

That, to me, is proof that this really is a small music world after all. What’s popular here in the US continues to transcend geographic borders, infiltrating the top “pop” song charts in other counties. And, the same came be said for music that originates in other countries, too.


A look at the top US songs on the left and the top Hong Kong songs on the right.

Thanks to the French “robot” duo, Daft Punk, my sons now sing songs off of its Grammy-winning Random Access Memories album. And, thanks to the New Zealand-born Lorde, my sons now sing of life as a never-be royal. And, the list goes on.

These days, I’m content to put on one of the “Top Lists” of the most popular songs in any country, knowing that we’ll get the best of both worlds – the most popular songs played here in the US and in other countries around the world. And, in doing so, we just may stumble upon a new favorite artist – who could be based in any country around the world.

While, at first, I was a bit disappointed, I’ve accepted and even embraced it. It’s really just one more way to show my sons that we’re all connected and influenced by each other, and another way to expose them to our ever-evolving, inter-connected world – one Spotify country-specific Top List at a time.

What type of music do you typically listen to with your kids? Are there any other stations or apps you turn on to introduce them to new types of music popular in the US or other countries around the world? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

Please like Raising World Citizens on Facebook.

Want to have new Raising World Citizens blog posts delivered straight to your email inbox? Then, please enter your email address in the below box and click on “create subscription.” My list is completely spam free and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment