8 tracks ► songs for moving on (high school graduation edition)


►  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.

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graphics, text © 2017 hilary hall
photograph "Graduation" by Mark Ramsay courtesy of Flickr