Some songs are bound to outlive their authors. Eventually, they just belong to the people of the world, entering a new cannon of songs that are just accepted as ‘folk songs’. Think of songs like ‘London Bridge’, ‘I’ve Been Working On The Railroad’, ‘Jingle Bells’, and even more modern stuff like Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’. These songs will be around forever. Your children’s children will hear them, and they’ll have no idea who wrote them. There are a couple of modern songs (written within the past thirty years) that will enter that same cannon of songs, that will be repeated and covered and sung over and over again, over years and years, until their original authors are nothing more than a trivia answer. Check out our short list of  three modern songs that will live forever below:

1.) All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
With the holiday season upon us, it’s appropriate to mention the only holiday song written since Bing Crosby’s days to really be embraced as a new holiday classic. I feel like ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is the most played Christmas song every season. It gets played so much, so often, it’s easy to forget its been around for only about fifteen years. You can’t walk into a store in December without hearing this song. It follows you. And it will never die.

A ‘So So Def’ remix was released in 2000, a club mix was released in 2009, and the song was re-recorded as a duet with Justin fucking Bieber in 2011. Recently, a performance on Late Night With Jammy Fallon with the assistance of toy instruments went viral. This single song keeps Mariah Carey relevant. It will never die. Hologram Mariah Carey will perform this at Christmas Jam 2112. I promise.

2.) Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Before 2003, The White Stripes were known as a hot garage rock band with an awesome Lego-based music video. Seriously, that video is awesome. But with the release of their major label debut, Elephant, in 2003, the band cemented their spoit in the rock music scene. The album took home the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, and the lead single, Seven Nation Army, took home the Grammy for Best Rock song.

From there, the song took on a life of it’s own. UK’s The Gaurdian traced the song’s popularity in sporting events back to a bar in Milan, Italy on October 22, 2003. Fans of Club Brugge KV overheard the song while waiting for a match against AC Milan, and began chanting along with the riff. After the team won, upsetting the favored AC Milan, the fans continued chanting the song, eventually bringing it back to Belgium where the song was played at Club Brugge’s games. After a visit from AS Roma, Italian fans brought back the song to Italy, where it spread – eventually becoming the anthem for Italy’s national team in their 2006 World Cup victory. At that point, the song was cemented in sports music history.

Since then, the song has become an rallying cry for not just soccer games, but all sporting events. Actually, it’s become the goto chant for ANY time a bunch of people are crowded together. Seriously, a crowd of people + alcohol = Seven Nation Army chants. Jack White even weighed in on the song’s popularity, telling Artist Direct,

“I am honored that the Italians have adopted this song as their own. Nothing is more beautiful than when people embrace a melody and allow it to enter the pantheon of folk music. As a songwriter it is something impossible to plan. Especially in modern times. I love that most people who are chanting it have no idea where it came from. That’s folk music.”

3.) Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ is widely covered, appears in so many different mediums, in so many different languages, that it’s hard to believe that it was only first released in 1984. The song’s simple structure and beautiful gospel tones make the song feel older, like it has been around forever. However when Cohen first released the song, it was somewhat of a commercial failure. It wasn’t until the song was covered by John Cale in 1991 for a Leonard Cohen tribute album, that the song really gained traction. The best known cover was by Jeff Buckley in 1994, which itself took a while to gain commercial success – the album went gold in 2002, and didn’t chart until 2006. After the song was performed on American Idol in 2008, ther song catapulted the top of US Digital Downloads.

Besides Cale and Cohen, the song has been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, Willia Nelson, Bono, and kd lang, among others. The song has appeared various movie and television soundtracks, and is known to be one of the most popular songs on televised singing competitions.  Over 300 recorded versions are known to exist. That means, if you do the math, we’re getting about one new Hallelujah cover recorded each month – not including the hundreds more on sites like YouTube. Most people today don’t know who to associate the song with – so people 100 years from now will have absolutely no idea.

Three songs, that will, for different reasons, all be around forever. Cohen’s has been covered so many times it has become a standard. The White Stripes’ has invaded the culture of countries that probably couldn’t tell Jack White from Jack Black. And Carey’s has entered the cannon of Holiday classics that will be commercialized and milked for every last dime, ensuring that we will not ever go a Christmas without seeing Mrs. Nick Cannon. If there’s any songs you think will outlive their authors, let us know in the comments.