21 '90s Songs Whose Lyrics You’ll Never Forget
The '90s might be long one, but there are still so many things about the decade that resonate: Lisa Frank designs, all the TV shows that are getting reboots, and so much now-classic music. It doesn't matter what age you are — it's hard to forget the soundtrack to your own childhood. With that said, there are so many '90s songs whose lyrics you'll never forget, either because they are so darn catch or they've haunted you years later. From grunge and Ska to hip-hop and rap, '90s music had some pretty unforgettable tunes.
Sure, there were definitely some one hit wonders by artists who made a splash and were never heard from again, but some artists have fame that lasted all the way into the 2010s. You can also relive the '90s and see singers like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Celine Dion in their Las Vegas performance residencies, reviving their best of the decade (along with their new music) on stage in Sin City. Such an iconic decade shouldn't — and probably won't — be forgotten anytime soon.
And neither will the words to certain songs. Check out some unforgettable song lyrics to some of the most memorable '90s songs below.
1. "You Oughta Know" By Alanis Morissette
Is she perverted like me?Would she go down on you in a theater?Does she speak eloquentlyAnd would she have your baby?I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother
The breakup song of a generation. Also, probably the song that taught you what "going down on" someone meant.
2. "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" By Green Day
It's something unpredictable but in the end is rightI hope you had the time of your life
The rock band went from being alternative to the singers of everyone's graduation song.
3. "...Baby One More Time" By Britney Spears
My loneliness is killing me (and I)I must confess, I still believe (still believe)When I'm not with you I lose my mindGive me a signHit me, baby, one more time
The words that launched Spears' career in the '90s.
4. "I Will Always Love You" By Whitney Houston
I hope life treats you kindAnd I hope you have all you've dreamed ofAnd I wish to you, joy and happinessBut above all this, I wish you love
And I will always love you
Originally by Dolly Parton, this country song went mainstream when Houston sang a cover of it on the soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard, in which she starred with Kevin Costner.
5. "My Heart Will Go On" By Celine Dion
Near, far, wherever you areI believe that the heart does go onOnce more you open the doorAnd you're here in my heartAnd my heart will go on and on
This song played on and on in the '90s as the movie Titantic topped the box office and took home all the Oscars.
6. "Wannabe" By The Spice Girls
I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really wantSo tell me what you want, what you really, really wantI wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah
Just the beginning of Spice-mania.
7. "Baby Got Back" By Sir-Mix-A-Lot
I like big butts and I can not lieYou other brothers can't denyThat when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waistAnd a round thing in your faceYou get sprung, want to pull up tough
The original song about big booties.
8. "Tubthumping" By Chumbawamba
I get knocked down, but I get up againYou are never gonna keep me down
The never-surrender anthem of the '90s.
9. "All My Life" By K-Ci & Jo-Jo
And all my life I've prayed for someone like youAnd I thank God that I, that I finally found youAll my life I've prayed for someone like youAnd I hope that you feel the same way tooYes, I pray that you do love me too
That perfect song to provide the soundtrack for your fantasies of bumping into your crush in the middle school hallway.
10. "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" By Aerosmith
I don't wanna close my eyesI don't wanna fall asleep'Cause I'd miss you, babyAnd I don't wanna miss a thing
A declaration of love that works with or without Armageddon.
11. "Truly Madly Deeply" By Savage Garden
I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy.I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, be everything that you need.I love you more with every breath, truly madly deeply doI will be strong, I will be faithful 'cause I'm counting on a new beginning.A reason for living. A deeper meaning.
Love never sounded so poetic.
12. "Kiss From A Rose" By Seal
Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the greyOoh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeahNow that your rose is in bloomA light hits the gloom on the grey
Not entirely sure what all of this means, but the imagery is beautiful and has made it one of the most recognizable songs of the '90s.
13. "One Sweet Day" By Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
And I know you're shining down on me from heavenLike so many friends we've lost along the wayAnd I know eventually we'll be togetherOne sweet day
What do you get when you put together two amazing '90s acts? One catchy monster hit song.
14. "I Don't Wanna Wait" By Paula Cole
I don't want to wait for our lives to be over,I want to know right now, what will it be?I don't want to wait for our lives to be over,Will it be yes or will it be...sorry?
Perfectly captured all the raging hormones of Dawson's Creek, for which this song served as the theme.
15. "Return Of The Mack" By Mark Morrison
All those times I said that I love you(You lied to me) Yes, I tried, yes, I tried(You lied to me) Even though you know I'd die for you(You lied to me) Yes, I cried, yes, I cried
Master of None recently declared this song as the "best song ever" and Aziz Ansari is not wrong.
16. "The Boy Is Mine" By Brandy & Monica
You need to give it upHad about enoughIt's not hard to seeThe boy is mineI'm sorry that youSeem to be confusedHe belongs to meThe boy is mine
These R&B singers try to work out their boyfriend's mess in this hit tune.
17. "Iris" By the Goo-Goo Dolls
And I don't want the world to see me'Cause I don't think that they'd understandWhen everything's made to be brokenI just want you to know who I am
Oh the ~emotions~.
18. "Waterfalls" By TLC
Don't go chasing waterfallsPlease stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used toI know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at allBut I think you're moving too fast
"Waterfalls" here is a metaphor for risky behavior in a very serious song.
19. "Killing Me Softly" By The Fugees
Strumming my pain with his fingersSinging my life with his wordsKilling me softly with his song
These feels are real.
20. "No Diggity" By Blackstreet
I like the way you work itNo diggity, I got to bag it up, bag it up
21. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" By Nirvana
With the lights out, it's less dangerousHere we are now, entertain usI feel stupid and contagious
Grunge at its finest.
And with these lyrics, the '90s live on and on.