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Say Goodbye to “Anyway, Here’s Wonderwall”

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You might be familiar with the open mic staple “Wonderwall” by Oasis. It’s a classic song played time and time again by dudes who just picked up an acoustic guitar and think “how can I let everyone in this room know that I’m single?” Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh, but it really is a classic of the most overplayed nature.

As the current host of Whitney Young’s monthly open mic, Coffeehouse, I’m no stranger to songs that get covered by everyone, but the one thing I’ve noticed as of late is that nobody’s played Wonderwall in at least six months. Usually I would expect at least one pure, unassuming cover, or maybe a mashup with “All Star” by Smash Mouth.

So, in search of answers, I talked to the people who would know best: teenage guitar players. One guitarist, Terrence O’Neal ‘18, says “You just can’t pick anybody up with Wonderwall anymore. It’s too basic, now you’ve gotta tap or something at least.” Tapping refers to a more advanced guitar technique in which instead of plucking strings, the player “taps” the fretboard with both hands. So maybe the change in cover choices is following an audience demand of more highly skilled performers?

Ukulele player Miclo Gonzales ‘20 disagrees with this assumption, instead he thinks “people just want to play more current songs. Wonderwall is getting pretty old, it’s not what people listen to anyway.” This seems to be a common sentiment among other young performers who don’t feel motivated to play music they wouldn’t already be listening to. “Open mics are about having fun, so I learn songs I already like,” says Molly Clemente ‘20.

As popular music changes, at some point even ubiquitous cover songs must change too. I think there’s no better candidate for Wonderwall coveted position is “House of Gold” by Twenty One Pilots. It’s catchy, easy to play, liked by young musicians, and most importantly, I can’t stop hearing covers of it no matter where I am. President of Coffeehouse, Lily Everett ‘18 has also been watching the changing trends of covers. She says, “I think I’ve heard ‘House of Gold’ at almost every open mic I’ve been to in the last year.”

Nobody can know just what song will be the most covered angsty teen anthem of next year, but at the very least, it probably won’t be Wonderwall.

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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Say Goodbye to “Anyway, Here’s Wonderwall”