10 “Perfect” Songs on One Direction’s 10 Year Anniversary

I never need an excuse to write about my love for One Direction, but now is the “Perfect” time for an article.

As you all may know, I’ve written a couple of articles about Harry Styles, yet I’ve never covered the greatest boy band of all time. Shocking, right? The only reason I can think of is that the band went on hiatus in 2016 before I began writing for Her Campus. Despite my lack of public support, my love for the band never died.

This passion has been reignited since it’s now 10 years since yesterday—July 23, 2010—that the band was formed. It came as a shock to see the old One Direction account reactivated, but I had been waiting for this reunion. When the day came, nothing disappointed me.

Aside from re-watching old music videos and interviews, there was a lot for Directioners to do yesterday. Fans finally had new content, from the YouTube video highlighting their five albums to the website that crashed from the millions trying to use it.

What made the day even better were the messages that four of the original five members wrote (still waiting for you, Zayn). Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan wrote touching messages that inspired me to commemorate the occasion with this article.

I know that I’m not the only one writing about this day since the world lit up from the news. In a beautiful article I saw on the Her Campus mailing list, another writer also commemorated the special occasion by explaining how One Direction is not just a band, but a community. While I wholeheartedly agree with her, this article isn’t about that.

I fell in love with One Direction because of their music. I knew that I had to focus my article on my favorite songs—after I summarized the anniversary, of course! While I became a Directioner for a lot more than the music, most of these songs inspired me in different ways and made me feel untouchable.

Obviously, it was difficult choosing just 10 songs from five different albums. I chose the ones that stuck with me from the moment I first heard it until now.

Hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane—in no particular order!

  1. 1.  “Steal My Girl” from Four

    Favorite lyric: “Couple billion in the whole wide world / Find another one 'cause she belongs to me.”

    One Direction knew how to write love songs. This one could make any girl feel special. While the verses are melt-worthy, the chorus is super catchy. I still find myself humming it randomly!

  2. 2. “Act My Age” from Four

    Favorite lyric: “I can count on you after all that we've been through / 'Cause I know that you'll always understand.”

    Aside from the very defiant claim that the boys will never act like old men, there is more meaning to this song that I fell for. I remember imagining having my best friend beside me as we goof off and grow old together. The sentiment is there, people!

  3. 3. “Infinity” From Made in the A.M.

    Favorite lyric: “How many nights have you wished someone would stay? / Lay awake only hoping they're okay / I never counted all of mine / If I tried, I know it would feel like infinity.”

    I know I’ve had sleepless nights before. Sometimes, I spend hours thinking about people. The nights where you close your eyes and your mind races. Or, it’s completely blank, yet sleep still won’t come.

  4. 4. “Little Things” from Take Me Home

    Favorite lyric: “I know you've never loved the sound of your voice on tape / You never want to know how much you weigh / You still have to squeeze into your jeans / But you're perfect to me.”

    If I had to choose an all-time favorite song, this would be it. As an insecure 13-year-old girl who resonated with all these words, hearing Styles croon these lyrics made me feel invincible. I know I’m a strong woman who didn’t need to hear this from a man, but it helps when your idols are saying they love every little thing about you. I still feel that love most of the time.

  5. 5. “She’s Not Afraid” from Take Me Home

    Favorite lyric: “She's not afraid of all the attention / She's not afraid of running wild / How come she's so afraid of falling in love?”

    This song makes the list because it’s the exact opposite of me. I don’t love attention. I rarely run wild. I’ve also never fallen in love. A part of me wishes to be this girl in the song—minus being scared of love—because I want to be open to new things.

  6. 6. “More Than This” from Up All Night

    Favorite lyric: “I'm dancin' alone, I'm praying / That your heart will just turn around.”

    Yet another heartbreaking love song. This made the list because I vividly remember crying when I first heard it. There doesn’t have to be another reason.

  7. 7. “Story of My Life” from Midnight Memories

    Favorite lyric: “Written in these walls are the stories that I can't explain / I leave my heart open but it stays right here empty for days.”

    This song makes me melt whenever I hear it. Right from the first lyrics, Styles (again—I’m sure it must be a coincidence) sucks me into the band’s story. After all this time, they still haven’t found the love that they’re waiting for.

  8. 8. “Half A Heart” from Midnight Memories

    Favorite lyric: “Only half a blue sky / Kinda there but not quite / I'm walking around with just one shoe / I'm half a heart without you.”

    I’m sure you all see the trend of love songs on this list, but I can’t resist a pop ballad! This song has some of the best metaphors of what love is like. As a writer, I couldn’t resist the story that is told in this song. Plus, the melody is super sweet.

  9. 9. “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” from Midnight Memories

    Favorite lyric: “Don't matter how far I've gone / I'm always free to run home.”

    This song was partially inspired by how the boys were never home and always on tour. While the lyrics are more about world travelers, they also fit for anyone who is going off on their own. I know that my family will always be here to support me no matter what I do. These lyrics honor that.

  10. 10. “History” from Made in the A.M.

    Favorite lyric: “You and me got a whole lot of history (oh oh) / So don't let it go, we can make some more, we can live forever.”

    This song makes me think of Zayn. Just watch the music video and it will make even more sense. One Direction will always live forever, and Zayn is still a part of that. There are many speculations about why he left the band, but I’m sure we’ll never know the true answer. All we can do is wish that someday, all five members could reunite again.

  11. 11.  Bonus: “What Makes You Beautiful” from Up All Night

    Favorite lyric: “That’s what makes you beautiful.”

    So, I broke my rules and added an eleventh song. I’m sure you all knew it was coming. I had to include One Direction’s debut single! This song is the anthem for all teen girls. I like to think of this song as a precursor to “Little Things” because once again, the boys are showing girls that they’re beautiful no matter what. 

“I Would” do anything for One Direction to start all “Over Again.” I’ll just “Happily” settle for blasting my playlist instead.