100 songs that changed history: how we did it
Music editor Eddy Lawrence explains the thinking behind the list
The criteria for inclusion on the list were simple – either the song itself or the playing thereof at a crucial moment must have had an impact on real-world events, political, social or cultural.
We assembled a panel of historians, musicians, critics and industry honchos to tell us their favoured candidates. They were allowed to nominate up to three songs which they felt had made the biggest impact on the world. The votes were then tallied with the Time Out's team own recommendations and put in a semblance of order. In the event of a tie for any position – which was surprisingly often – we argued the case for each song's historical merits, revised the list and applied Savlon.
The vast majority of the tracks represented are pop, folk or traditional standards. However, we have stretched the definition of 'song' where a strong argument was made for a particular movement of a classical piece or even a national anthem. And, thanks to cheeky rule-bending historian Dan Snow, there's even a poem – which we did think of trying to bill as an early progenitor of rap, but we didn't think we'd get away with it.
The final list is by no means definitive, and we're interested to hear what you think of it, especially if there are any glaring omissions you think should be addressed. Tell us what you think in the comments below.