'My First English Song': This Twitter Trend Is Making Desis Feel Old

Last Updated: February 01, 2023, 19:18 IST

Many Twitter user picked Tata Young’s Dhoom Dhoom as their first English song. (Image source: YouTube/YRF)

“Which was the 1st English song you heard and why was it Baby by Justin Bieber?” asked a Twitter user.

Growing up at the cusp of the internet revolution, the Indian Gen Z were exposed to an international culture much earlier in their life than millennials and Gen X. Unlike people of older generations who first heard a song from a US or UK artist in their mid-twenties, Zoomers were only teens when English songs started becoming popular in India. Nothing illustrates this better than one dynamic trend on Twitter. How did Gen Z relating to hearing Justin Bieber’s Baby end up triggering 2000s Bollywood nostalgia for older desis?

It probably all began with this tweet. “Which was the 1st English song you heard and why was it Baby by Justin Bieber?” asked a user.

A lot of people related to this. After all, Justin Bieber’s Baby was the most-watched YouTube video at one point. It enjoyed great international popularity, too. Those who didn’t agree, mentioned the first English songs they heard in the comments. It included “as long as you love me” by Backstreet Boys, “I’m a Barbie Girl” from the Barbie movies, and “Smack That” by Akon. Still in the same ballpark.

Then, older desis came across the trend that was slowly building up. Their experience said differently from what the original tweet said. “Not Baby by Justin Bieber, This was my first English song,” wrote another user. They had attached a video of Awarapan’s Mahiya which has a small English introduction.

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Turns out, this stirred a strong sense of nostalgia among others. One user responded with a song from Dhoom, which also had English lyrics between Hindi wordings.

For one user, it was Mika Singh’s Something Something. People in the comments section found this pick very relatable! Influenced a generation, it seems.

A more recent Bollywood song a person listed was Tera Hone Laga from Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani. It’s starting lyrics, “Shining in the setting sun like a pearl upon the ocean”, is rather famous.

While these tweets are reminding people of songs, they grooved to over a decade ago, they seem to also be making people feel rather old.

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