Strange voices are saying: Best queer songs

To be queer is to squirm, with unnoticeable effort, beneath the weight of expectations. Queers laugh when their desires are uncovered to save themselves from a public embarrassment that they have already registered as shame.

The following songs encompass a range of desires: unrequited, fulfilled, unspoken. They also limn same-sex friendships that admit to their intimacy and lusts that focus on how a part substitutes for a whole, a tendency which tortured homosexual critic F.O. Matthiessen defined as decadent before throwing himself out a window. Debbie Harry couldn’t have known this fact when she wrote “Your hair is beautiful.”

1. The Smiths – I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish
2. Pete Shelley – Homosapien
3. George Michael – One More Try
4. Rufus Wainwright – April Fools
5. The Libertines – Can’t Stand You Now
6. Madonna – Open Your Heart
7. Pet Shop Boys – Why Don’t We Live Together
8. Kesha – We R Who We R
9. Alison Moyet – Invisible
10. Fly Young Red – Throw That Boy Pussy
11. Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye
12. Change – Glow of Love
13. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
14. Blondie – Atomic
15. Tegan and Sara – Closer
16. The Rolling Stones – When the Whip Comes Down
17. Shannon – Let the Music Play
18. The Bangles – Following
19. Culture Club – Miss Me Blind
20. Sleater-Kinney – One More Hour
21. Erasure – Chains of Love
22. Azealia Banks – 212
23. Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
24. Bloc Party – I Still Remember
25. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
26. Robyn – Dancing On My Own
27. The Magnetic Fields – Papa Was A Rodeo
28. Ani DiFranco – Two Little Girls
29. CeCe Peniston – Finally
30. David Bowie – Moonage Daydream
31. Franz Ferdinand – Michael
32. Tune-Yards – Real Live Flesh
33. Pansy Division – I Really Wanted You
34. Against Me! – The Ocean
35. The B-52s – Give Me Back My Man
36. The Strokes – Automatic Stop
37. Boy George – The Crying Game
38. Jamie Principle – Waiting On My Angel
39. Luther Vandross – If Only For One Night
40. The Beatles – Two of Us
41. Bruce Springsteen – Bobby Jean
42. Years & Years – Shine
43. Pretenders – Hymn to Her
44. The Killers – When You Were Young
45. The Velvet Underground – Some Kinda Love

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2 Responses to Strange voices are saying: Best queer songs

  1. John says:

    This is a masterful list. No explanations necessary. I love that Luther made it on twice thanks to Change. Surprised Adam Lambert or Queen aren’t here (“I Want to Break Free” seems like a natural), but that’s a minor quibble at best. Well done.

    • humanizingthevacuum says:

      Thanks, John! I added some paragraphs for context. I’m glad you appreciate the Vandross double dip.

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