► Pomp & Circumstance. As high school graduates line stages and fill up metal folding chairs in stadiums across the country, here’s a few tunes to turn tassels to.
Many songs of a moving-on nature address romance (namely, break-ups) or other events and emotions that may outpace the life experience of the average high school graduate (or at least I can hope so!). So I kept the songs on this playlist (mostly) classic and stuck with songs that feel honest, reflective and—dare I say?—hopeful.
Which I think is the best kind of mix—of songs and emotions—we can offer up for a big send-off anyway.
► In order of play:
8 • Feeling Good • Nina Simone ► Wait for it…that scatting at the end. As if the creeping horns and slow crescendo weren’t enough to begin with.
7 • New Soul • Yael Naim ► Upbeat piano-driven ditty about new worlds and fresh mistakes. This is a happy end (because you don’t understand). Welcome to adulthood.
6 • Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) • Arcade Fire ► Atmospheric yet oddly uplifting retrospective about places once known and names long forgotten.
5 • Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby • Counting Crows ► “If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts / You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.” For over 7 minutes, this song shoots off these coupleted zingers like arrows right to the heart. If Mrs. Potter still isn’t talking after this song is over, I don’t think she ever will.
4 • Shine a Light • the Rolling Stones ► A rock-n-roll benediction of the finest order: “May the good Lord shine a light on you / May every song you sing be better in tune.” (We can just ignore the part about being drunk and abandoned in the alley…)
3 • Ramble On • Led Zeppelin ► Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I’ve got one thing I’ve got to do: Ramble on.
2 • Free Bird • Lynyrd Skynyrd ► What song is it you want to hear? Always this rock classic, which clearly understand that things will never be the same now. Play it pretty for graduation.
1 • Time to Move On • Tom Petty ► It’s time to get going. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing. ■
► Bonus Track [Bro’s Pick] » Hello, Goodbye • The Beatles ► »
A song of oppositions. Feels about right for this life stage (and, let’s be honest, for so many other ones afterwards).
► Bonus Track » With a Little Help from My Friends • Joe Cocker ► »
Poignant, earthy, genuine. And, thanks to The Wonder Years, iconic.
graphics, text © 2017 hilary hall photograph "Graduation" by Mark Ramsay courtesy of Flickr