Top Ten Geek Anthems: the Geekiest Songs in the Universe

mc frontalot

The geek have officially inherited the Earth, as was prophesied in Psalms 37:7 (more or less) so many bearded men ago. It’s a fairly recent thing, having happened somewhere between Google’s ascent to ubiquity, the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the eyebrow-raising popularity of Weird Al’s White & Nerdy. And since history is told by the victor, I figured I should try rounding up the soundtrack to geeks’ most epic of victories. Which is a surprisingly monumental task, mostly because I’m realizing that there are so many subgenres to geek music.

In researching this list, I came up with a few categories for Geek Anthems: Mainstream Geek Jams, Geek Metal, Nerdcore Rap, Video Game Themes and Meme Songs. (Hip Hop’s geekery-masked-as-hardcore is a whole different post. At the end of the day, who’s really made geekiness more legit than the Wu Tang Clan?)

Now for the second challenge- how to quantify what makes one geek anthem better than the next. Popularity? Geekiness of lyrics? Hardcoreness of dorkitude? Sheer bombastic nerdery? Nostalgia factor?

I did my best. I’m sure I’ll hear some flack over my choices, what I forgot (let me know) and the order- but the title says Top Ten, and so shall I attempt it. Because the choice was so hard, I have a whole section at the bottom full of geek anthems that should’ve been Top Ten.

10. Ramble On – Led Zeppelin

You’re listening to one of the greatest songs by the best band of all time, maybe for the first time, maybe for the five hundredth. You’re vaguely aware that it’s about wandering around, that it involves a girl, and that it’s as mind-blowingly brilliant as everything from the factory of Led. But this time you decide to actually pay attention to the lyrics. And you’re about 3/4ths through the songs when it hits. Mordor? Gollum? Evil one? This whole song takes place in Middle fucking Earth?!? I’ve seen the resulting grin at least three times, usually while driving around with a buddy. And it’s always ear to ear. Geekgasmic.

9. The Neverending Story Theme

So many of us second-wave geeks can trace our choice to go geek right back to this moment. Its 1984, we’ve spent the last six years caught up in Star Wars euphoria, the NES is right around the corner, and this movie/song drops. Reading wouldn’t be this cool to kids again for twenty-odd years, until a certain bespectacled wizard showed up on the scene. But for this formative moment in so many of our lives, being geeky meant getting to ride huge schnauzer-snouted dragons, chasing douchebags into dumpsters, and skipping school to hang out in creepy attics instead. What choice was there, really?

8. MC Frontalot’s Entire Ouevre

The man who basically birthed and nurtured Nerdcore Rap, MC Frontalot is as geek god as they get. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with Damian on a couple of occasions, and the guy is as legit as he is resoundingly sweet. If you’re not familiar with the man or his work, I’d suggest our buddy Negin Farsad’s incredible documentary Nerdcore Rising. It’ll give you the what, why and how of Frontalot’s position at the front of the geek elite. Lead those troops to victory, Damian.

7. Grow Up – Random

In a just world where MCs were judged solely by their skills, Random would sit on top of the heap. I’m blown away by everything Raheem does, because whatever he touches turns sublime. However, this song captures 21st Century Geekitude better than just about any other. “I just can’t seem to grow up/ But you know what? / I don’t think I want to.” The fact that it’s backed by a beat from Mega Man 2 and is an autobiographical geek Bildungsroman is just icing on the nerdtastic cake.

6. Through the Fire and the Flames

The retconned soundtrack to absolutely every epic fantasy battle, whether in book, movie, or in your friendly neighborhood D&D campaign. Nothing tops this song in terms of heroic bombast- the next time you have to do battle against a horde of orcs, you know exactly what you’re blasting from that boombox on your (plate-mailed) shoulder. If any single song has become the (fantasy) geek rallying cry, this is the one. Geeks became aware of it gradually around its release, and then Guitar Hero shot it to geek stardom as it became the ultimate Boss Fight of 2007. Personally, I won’t be happy until people re-edit every fantasy movie trailer to include it, like this. I’m also hoping HBO’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ adapted series considers it for their theme song. Make me proud, George RR Martin.

5. The Legend of Zelda Theme

Did Koji Kondo have any idea of what he was unleashing on the world in 1986? A song that would be imitated, covered and worshipped by geeks until the end of time? The most epic song that could be cranked out of an 8-bit system? This is the theme song to so many geeks’ lives (and/or their ring tone of choice)- its place in the history books is more than secure. And damn it makes for a thousand sweet electric guitar solos on YouTube.

4. White & Nerdy / Dare to Be Stupid – Weird Al

The undisputed king of geek music- I could get away with putting 5-9 of his songs on this list. Whether you consider White & Nerdy or Dare to Be Stupid the anthem is almost purely a generational thing. (I refrained from going super hardcore and putting Mellow When I’m Dead instead.) Either way, they’re huge, they’re catchy as all hell, and they attract tons of weird looks when you belt them in the supermarket aisles. And to add to its geek pedigree, Dare to Be Stupid was in the original Transformers: the Movie soundtrack. Ba weep grana weep nini bong!

3. Meganerd – YTCracker

Were I to base this list only on geekiness, and discount popularity, this would be my #1 song- no contest. The beats, flow and artistry are all top notch, but it’s the lyrics that get top honors.

hacking on computers disassembling stuff
paid off in the end now who got it rough
the beauty of the baud and the world of the switch
make a new generation of us geekstas rich
we owned those that made fun of us tried to make a run at us
beat us up in class said yea theres a ton of us
whos laughing now cuz most of us your bosses
the rest of you are flipping burgers smelling secret sauces

this is the life of a meganerd baby
we doing things and we making it happen right
from the trash 80 to a black mercedes
no one can stop us now cuz we keeping nerdy nice
this is the life of a meganerd baby
we doing things and we making it happen right
from the trash 80 to a black mercedes
no one can stop us now cuz we keeping nerdy nice

[Nab the rest of the lyrics here.]

It is to geeks what Dre’s “Nuthing But a G-Thang” was to West Coast 90s gangstas. Defining.

2. In the Garage – Weezer

It’s tenth grade and I’m riding around suburban Maryland with my bro and mom. We’ve just popped Weezer’s first album into the CD walkman that’s wired to our minivan’s tape player. We’re trading air guitar solos to “Say It Ain’t So”. And then this song drops, and suddenly I hear “Kitty Pride” and “Nightcrawler” coming out of the speakers- and Rivers Cuomo pretty much sums up my brother and I’s lives in rhyme. I knew immediately that this was The Geek Anthem. It was a coming out song, basically. And while most argue that Buddy Holly and Pinkerton cemented Weezer’s longevity, I humbly posit that it was In the Garage, and the generation of geeks it represented.

1. The Touch – Stan Bush

I hope to God that some smart Hollywood exec realizes how much money they’d make if they re-released the original Transformers movie to theaters. Maybe even in 3D. If this ever happened, I have to imagine that this song would cause the theaters to spontaneously combust out of sheer win factor, or at least cause communal heart attacks and rigor mortis smiles all over the world. This is one for the ages.

What did I miss?

So many great geek anthems lost to the power of 10. The ones I wish could’ve made it:

Still Alive (Portal’s theme song)

Nightfall by Blind Guardian

Super Mario Bros Theme Song (a toss-up between this one and Zelda)

Final Fantasy Theme Song

Mr. Roboto – Styx

Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus

And this song you might not be aware of- Level Up by Zealous1

So what did I miss, and what horrible/amazing choices did I make?

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64 Responses

  1. mike brady says:

    Nice list Vic, Weezer and The Touch are where they should be. Agree in choosing Zelda over Mario as well

  2. daWreck says:

    No TMBG? Too easy, maybe. I’d go with “The Sun Is a Mass…”

    Also: New Shirt/Heather Lewis by Weston, and the Teen Titans theme by Puffy Ami Yumi

  3. daWreck says:

    …and Virus by Deltron 3030, and Warp to World 6-9 by B.E.N.E.F.I.T., and anything by Dr. Octagon. I’m done now.

  4. lynn says:

    I have to agree my first impulse after reading was, “no TMBG?” but maybe it is too obvious after all. Then I was all, “ooh, Kid A”… and, maybe some Aphex Twin, but I think I’ve gone into subgenres of perhaps nerd. Would the geek, nerd, and dork lists differ?

  5. OPTIMUS says:

    You forgot to mention Celph Titled – Windows 98. It beats every single track you have posted.

  6. David says:

    Where is, The Final Countdown!?

  7. Dliessmgg says:

    This is the closest I’ve ever seen to a geek anthem:

  8. Dan says:

    You did a good job with the list and can’t really disagree, but other artists/songs worth mentioning are

    MC Lars – “Mr. Raven”:

    Beefy – “Gamestore Girl”:

    Maja – “transformer :


    Sam Hart – “Mario Kart Love Song”

  9. Julian The Black says:

    Boba Fett by MC Chris was totally overlooked!!! Great anthem for the Uber geeks in us all!!!

  10. Matt says:

    I’m glad someone mentioned MC Chris’ “Boba Fett”, and while I’m not all that fond of their musical style, Marcy Playground’s “A Cloak of Elvenkind” is worth a mention too. It resonates with me as someone who remembers having to conceal his RPG activities from his parents, though they did eventually come around and learn to appreciate the creativity they inspired.

  11. Scatterbots says:

    Um, how did you miss “Blinded me with Science”?

    Maybe add something from the Krafwerk boys? Something off of “Computer World” or “Electric Cafe”?

    I am a big fan of “Ramble On”, but I think I would have gone for “The Battle of Evermore” instead. Same attraction of having LotR references.

    Wrt TMBG, I’m always amazed how many of my knurdy friends (including me) like “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. I don’t think it’s good enough to be in the top 10, but I can see why the group would be in the running.

  12. agilefox says:

    Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton, of course!

  13. 50/50 on the Led Zeppln pick. Would have went for Battle of Evermore. Feel like the LotR references are a little more obvious. Plus I love the guitar in that song.

  14. colleen says:

    while fett’s vette is great, there are much geekier songs by mc chris.

    for example… “geek” by mc chris


  15. Stephen says:

    What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) by Information Society.

    Star Trek samples FTW!

  16. StubbleSpark says:

    There are two versions of Stan Bush’s The Touch. The other version is on the soundtrack of the first live-action Transformers movie, apparently.

  17. Mike says:

    This song was never officially released, and I searched Google for an actual copy of the song, but all I have right now are the lyrics.

    24 Earth Years by Clutch

    This song never got the geek cred it deserves, probably because it was made in the 90’s.

  18. Dammit- I meant to put Boba Fett and Code Monkey on the list!! Must’ve gotten lost in my notes. Yeah, Boba Fett more than deserves to be on the list, and Code Monkey is as geek anthem as they get! Next time…

    And, yeah, TMBG came in and out of this list a dozen times in the process…

  19. Andy C says:

    Growing up in the 80’s generation some of my geek faves:

    “She Blinded Me With Science” – Thomas Dolby
    “Major Tom” – Peter Schilling
    “Video” – Jeff Lynne (from the movie Electric Dreams)
    “Weird Science” – Oingo Boingo

  20. Dave Pastabitch says:

    The real life PvP at the end of this video is pretty sweet

  21. Devin Carless says:

    No MC Hawking? And put me down as another one disappointed by the lack of They Might Be Giants.

  22. Amilianna says:

    Some that I think have been missed (this list seemed a bit heavy on the harder nerdcore, or is that just me?)
    Deaf Pedestrians – Hail to the Geek (I couldn’t find a real video and all the live recordings weren’t great)
    The Rabbit Joint – Legend of Zelda (again with the lack of actual music video finding…)
    Aqua – Cartoon Heroes (not really specifically geeky, but what’s geekier than comic books?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) (long intro)
    Voltaire – The U.S.S. Make Shit Up
    moosebutter – Star Wars

    Oh, did I mention I have an entire playlist of geek music? *blush*

  23. Thenilla says:

    Honorary mention for the contra song!

    Some bands have done really good covers of it. My favorite is my vomitron!! \m/

  24. Alex says:

    “Date My Avatar” by the Guild and “Technologic” by Daft Punk are also pretty geeky…

  25. 90MilesNorth says:

    MC Chris needs a spot on this list. Not only for Boba Fett, but for almost every other track he’s put out.

    Also, CNN is another example of how giant-sized, corporate media just doesn’t get it and never will. News media stealing from bloggers is sad.

  26. Stacey says:

    Another notable omission: Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth. Yes the whole album is about Middle Earth.

  27. I would have thrown in Secret Wars Part I by The Last Emperor for its realistic imagining of an epic battle between bad-ass MC’s and heroes of the Marvel U. The name drops from both sides are unmatched by any other geek anthem!

  28. ubernym says:

    What about Alphabet Aerobics and Chemical Calisthenics by Blackalicious?

  29. Reithe says:

    The Portal song! That’s another that should be here ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. Rebelcomix says:

    The Touch is the greatest geek song EVER!!! Hell, the Transformers movie soundtrack should have been #1.

    Sorry CNN busted on you, dude. For the record though, if it says ‘geek’ in the title and CNN wrote it, it’s probably going to be condescending as hell. Small consolation, but screw ’em.

  31. tombjo says:

    Great list but as I scrolled down just waited for when Queens 39′ would appear. If a song about Middle Earth is geeky so must a song about time travel and the twin paradox be! Remember, Brian May has got a Ph. D in Astrophysics (though he finished that just a few years ago)!

  32. No Star Trekking or Doctorin’ the TARDIS? They’re the highlights of the Torchwood con I go to (even if you get Barrowman and GDL kissing, diong Doctorin The TARDIS on mass beats it)

  33. Darkfynne says:

    Hey Hey 16K, MJ Hibbet & The Validators

  34. Lanny Poffo says:

    Glad to see a mention for Beefy.

    Optimus rhyme should be on here too…
    Obey the Moderator & Autobeat Airbus are a couple of classics:

    Also a shout out to MC Hawking is appropriate:

  35. shada says:

    Flashlight Brown – Ready to Roll
    Nightwish – Elvenpath (not original music video, but has lyrics)

    Also, while not famous (yet) Loading Ready Run’s house band 64k would probably be much enjoyed by most reading this article =)

  36. djdblk says:

    But wait there’s more!…
    everything i do, i do with william shatner by warp11
    i am not your gameboy by freezepop
    never trust a klingon by s.p.o.c.k.
    the MST3K theme covered by man or astroman?
    wok the party by notorious MSG
    paranoimia by art of noise
    worship the robots by dj swamp
    lord of the rhymes by the BMV
    big blue dress by cranius (?)
    (to name a few)

  37. AtomicNewt says:

    MC Chris.. absolutely…

    Dunno where it should place in the top 10, but…

    Fett’s Vette.. should be in there.

  38. Otacon says:

    What about Fatty spins – Apple store Love Song?

  39. Karina Dale says:

    What the hell is wrong with you people!?


  40. KY-D2 says:

    Yeah list was legit, but honestly there was one song that was sorely missed man, Dragostea Dint Tei by O-Zone, or simply known as the numa numa song. Dude that was the SHIT when it came out with that big dude dancing and singing that song, it was revolutionary.

  41. Square says:

    Do you think that most people know what “Kichel and Hamentasch” means?

    It’s funny.

  42. geeky_kid says:


  43. Adam Gaylord says:

    Great list!

    I’ve written a geek love song and I’d love to hear what people think. Check it out:

  44. Matumbino says:

    Agree with final coutdown at 110 per cent but where the hell are themes like star wars or ather geek classical musics

  45. Matumbino says:

    WTF is the logical song (supertramp)?

  46. Obiwansentme says:

    What about game over – falling in reverse?

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