Last year I reviewed the most popular songs of the year on Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live radio show. It was an imprecise attempt to gauge the popularity of artists and songs on a national level. Given that the show has nearly 17,000 fans on its Facebook page, its listenership is not small.
Almost every weekend, the channel broadcasts its "13 Under 13" show, a Casey Kasem for the kiddos which counts down the week's top songs. As noted last year, the list is not totally objective -- there is a subjective nature to the list which takes into the station's directors' sense of buzz, for example, associated with each song. There's a practical limit to the number of times the station can play a song in a week without annoying its audience through oversaturation, a limit which may not totally reflect the demand for it via listener requests.
Having said that, there does appear to be a rational relationship between the rankings and actual airplay. For example, the most recent "13 Under 13" had the Board of Education's "Why Is Dad So Mad?" at #1, Keller Williams' "Mama Tooted" at #7, and Caspar Babypants' "Sugar Ant" at #14. The total number of airplays (excluding double-counts) for the week that roughly corresponds to KPL's week, according to Dogstar Radio, was 25, 16, and 13, respectively.
Once again, I used the Kids Place Live Fans page as the source of my data, making assumptions regarding chart placement when Gwyneth wasn't able to record the list for the week. I counted all songs which first charted in 2011. (Note: some are still charting in 2012.)
Now, all the standards and caveats from last year's effort still applies -- there are data gaps, it's not perfect, and may or may not be the best songs of the year. But these are the songs to which, once they started getting some airplay, kids really responded to.
I'm presenting here the Top 13 songs of 2011, a year-long "13 Under 13," as it were. That's mostly because the data lent itself to a nice division. (It also makes for a nice comparison to KPL's own summary from New Year's weekend.) And due to the data gaps, I'm presenting them in three relatively distinct groups points-wise, ordered alphabetically within each group. So here goes:
- Baron von Rumblebuss - "Did You See (What the Cat Dragged In)?"
- Caspar Babypants - "Butterfly Driving a Truck"
- Todd McHatton - "I Think I'm a Bunny"
- Mike Phirman - "Chicken Monkey Duck"
- Barbra Streisand (Llamanator Mix) - "Duck Sauce"
- Keller Williams - "Mama Tooted"
Notes: the McHatton and Williams songs are still charting, more than half a year after they first made the chart.
- Blue October - "Jump Rope"
- Seth Decker and the Missing Piece - "Cucumber Canoe"
- The Fray - "Mahna Mahna"
- Joe McDermott - "Kitty Fight"
- Recess Monkey - "Flapjacks"
- Cars 2 - "Collision of the Worlds"
- Recess Monkey - "Grandmom's House"
Note that Jonathan Coulton's "The Princess Who Saved Herself," which made the Top 5 list last year, would have made this list had it been expanded to Top 15. It is without much doubt (according these lists, anyway), the most popular song of the past couple years.
Finally, there are always some artists who don't score massive hits, but get multiple hits. So, the top 10 artists if you look at songs which first charted in 2011, listed alphabetically, are:
- Baron von Rumblebuss
- Caspar Babypants
- Joe McDermott
- Todd McHatton
- Mike Phirman
- Recess Monkey
- Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
- Barbra Streisand (Llamanator Mix)
- Keller Williams
Thank you for letting me indulge my inner numbers nerd just a little bit.