Everyone has a staple pride tune that reminds them to be unapologetic and proud about who they are. These pride anthems give us confidence, joy and serve as the backdrop for our pride celebrations (even if those celebrations this year are going to be a little smaller than usual); here’s a few of our writers top picks.
‘Woman’s World’ – Cher
It’s a warm summer’s eve and you want to celebrate pride season; who’s at top of your playlist? The answer: Cher. Now, Cher has many gay anthems from ‘Believe’ to ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, however ‘Woman’s World’ tops the list for being the best pride anthem. It’s one of Cher’s lesser known anthems, but regardless it embodies everything that makes Cher amazing with its extensive use of vocoder, which transforms Cher into a pride robot with a voice that makes you want to dance until the break of dawn. ‘Woman’s World’ is a liberating club jam portraying the image of only needing self-love to rise above, and the love of the club as a way to battle through the pain of any relationship drama that you may face. The song is played at pride events across the world and, despite being called ‘Woman’s World’, is really a song about solidarity regardless of gender or sexuality.
‘Strangers’ – Halsey
Released as a song on her 2017 album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, ‘Strangers’ by Halsey and featuring Lauren Jauregui centres on a love duet between two women. In an interview about the single, Halsey specifically mentioned that she wanted to duet with a woman who, like herself, was not straight, leading to two mainstream artists writing and performing a love song for the LGBTQ community.
With a strong pop beat and a tune that you can listen to over and over again, “Strangers” was critically acclaimed and named one of the best singles of 2017 by Billboard. AllMusic even wrote that same-sex pop songs are still rare in mainstream music, with Halsey explicitly showing the story of two women in love without hiding it behind ambiguity in its lyrics being a stance in itself.
It’s personally one of my favourite singles from Halsey’s second studio album, and the authenticity of Halsey’s first song with female pronouns is one that earns its place in my pride playlist!
‘It’s Raining Men’ – The Weather Girls
Is there a more iconic pride song than ‘It’s Raining Men’ by The Weathergirls? It’s been blaring out of our stereos for decades and yet it still evokes such a strong response from the LGBT+ community when it comes on. It brings the drama, storytelling and irrestitible funkiness that all pride anthems should have. It’s so catchy, with it’s memorable lyrics and killer beat, that it has stood the test of time. Originally released in 1982, it has been a staple of the pride season for decades, a legendary bop that you’re sure to hear at any pride parade or drag bar. It is the song of pride across the world, and although it may not fully represent every LGBT+ person with it’s lyrics, it’s still undeniably an absolute banger.
‘Cut to the Feeling’ – Carly Rae Jepson
I want Carly Rae Jepson to compose the soundtrack to my life. Her music is just so ridiculously happy, proud, dramatic and heartfelt; ‘Cut to the Feeling’ is a perfect example of this. Jepson may not be confirmed LGBT herself, but good lord does this song speak for the LGBT experience. The opening verse alone has massive similarities with coming to terms with your sexuality; ‘I’ve been denying how I feel, you’ve been denying what you want… I want some satisfaction, take me to the stars’. The following chorus explodes out of your speakers like a divine revelation, with Jepson singing out that she wants to ‘cut through the clouds, break the ceiling, I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone, I want to cut to the feeling’, mirroring that feeling of just not caring anymore of what people may think of you, you’re just happy to be who you are. The journey the song takes you on, from hesitation, confusion and misunderstanding, to self-acceptance, joy and pride, is a reflection of my personal journey at least with sexuality. For that reason, ‘Cut to the Feeling’ is my pride anthem.