► 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.” This song reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” in that both songs are basically compilations of couplets that are just unrelenting in their power and poetry. I mean, seriously: For over 7 minutes, this song shoots off these 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