Transcending Language: The 10 Most Popular Foreign Songs

It’s been often said that music transcends all cultural and language barriers, and truth be known, a good song can bring all types of different or divided groups together in a beauty of rhythm and dance — regardless of what language it is sung in.

With a good beat, great use of instruments, and catchy lyrics (whether you understand what they are saying or not), there are many foreign songs out there that have transcended the language barrier to become top billboard hits all across the globe.

10. “Rock Me Amedeus” by Falco

All you ‘80s kids will remember rocking out to this dance tune, released in the June 1985, by the artist Falco. “Rock Me Amedeus” hit the number one spot on Billboard Hot 100 in March of the following year and could be heard blasting out of every radio across North America that year.

The song had an incredible beat, and while all the lyrics were in German, North Americans could easily relate to the “Amedeus” theme in the chorus. In fact, the dance hit became the first German-language song to hit number one on Billboard, and the single topped the charts in the United Kingdom as well.

During an age when music videos were hitting television sets, “Rock Me Amedeus” offered an eccentric and wacky visual that MTV audiences ate up with a spoon during that period in time.


9. “La Bamba” by Richie Valens

“La Bamba” still evokes incredible emotion today, whenever it hits the radio, a bar, a wedding, or group gathering. Interestingly enough, this Mexican folk song, which stems from Veracruz state, ranked number 354 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, and was first adapted by Richie Valens, hitting the top 40 charts in 1958, However, most may be familiar with the Los Lobos rendition circa 1987, which was remade for the La Bamba film about Valens.

With an incredible beat, a riff in the middle of the tune that could stop a herd of bulls, and the history around the song, it’s no wonder that “La Bamba” continues to move music lovers to this very day.

8. “Da Da Da …” by Trio

While the full title of the song was ‘‘Da Da Da I Don’t Love You You Don’t Love Me Aha Aha Aha”, most of this 1982 international hit was in German.

With its catchy chorus, “Da Da Da …” sold 13 million copies around the globe and became a huge hit in about 30 countries worldwide. It also continues to be seen as an iconic song from the ‘80s. In fact, you probably are secretly singing the song in your head now, as you read this article (good luck getting it out of your mind now!).

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