BFB #10: Songs of My Semester

by Michele Dale

While I may not have as cool taste as our lovely editor and Friday Playlist creator Olivia Jenkins, I certainly have a newfound appreciation for music this semester. My semester has been…a million different things. When I sat down to write about it, I couldn’t find the words but I could find the songs. There’s lots of feelings and moments I wish I could describe but right now, these songs will have to do.

Another Story by The Head and the Heart

Favorite Line: Can we go on like it once was

I’m on a walk, heading off campus. I’m wearing a big scarf and my hair is in a neat low bun. I’m thinking about what’s in store for me. I feel everything—I tear up at a bowling alley hearing this song even though it’s not sad and I’m not sad.

Buckets of Rain by Bob Dylan

Favorite Stanza: (I’m sorry but I couldn’t pick just one line—this is Dylan after all.) I like your smile/And your fingertips/I like the way that you move your hips/I like the cool way you look at me/Everything about you is bringing me/Misery

I’m in a coffee shop and the people around me are real people living real lives drinking real coffee. I’m feeling melancholic. The song is simple in its pain—raw, plain pain. I listen and think the strings of Dylan’s guitar are going to fall off. I’m sad for him, playing solo under the spotlight on a lone stool.

True Feeling by Galantis

Favorite Line: Go wild, let your hair down/What you got to lose?

I just started my run. I’m building with the song, I fight the urge to dance in public. The red bricks are swirling and the yellow leaves scream at me to keep going. Hearing this song performed live this semester was magic. I’m electrified. My very best friends around me, a killer crop top, and Galantis are a recipe for a good night.

Graceland by Paul Simon

Favorite Line: My traveling companion is nine years old/He is the child of my first marriage

That line makes me laugh. I’m in a nice big house near Maryland. I’m babysitting. There’s a dog and Barbie Dream House. She says something that contains so much wisdom that I am silent for several minutes. Every Thursday, I share her feeling of comfort and safety, even if only for an hour or two.

New York by St. Vincent

Favorite Line: And if I call you from First Avenue/Where you're the only motherfucker in the city/Who can handle me

I’m lonely. I’m missing home. I live on first avenue. I’m thinking about what it’s like to have a person in a city that can feel oh so cold. I don’t believe in true love or soulmates or destiny but why do I constrict when hearing “you're the only motherfucker in the city who can handle me”?

Monsoon (feat. Mia Mark) by Amber Mark, Mia Mark

Favorite Line: But all the stubborn things you do/I must've gotten that from you/ Now there's nothing they can do, and why you?

I’m with my family in a low-lit restaurant for two weekends. I have on my big-girl shoes. There’s red wine and after-dinner drinks and duck both times. There are announcements and apologies and congratulations and I find the apologies wonderful and the duck overwhelming. Pause. Switch.

Any Party by Feist

Favorite Line: I’m getting tired of these clowns and balloons/Oh, you know I’d leave any party for you

It’s 10:35pm and I’m leaving the party early—not for a person, for my couch. I swap the short skirt I’m wearing for a pajama shirt that goes down to my knees. I’ve been seeing the same people and listening to the same songs for a while now and it’s not a bad thing—it’s just something I don’t need Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I’m a terrible 20-year-old.

Supercut by Lorde

Favorite Line: Because ours are the moments I play in the dark/We were wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart

I’m listening to Lorde’s album for the hundredth time (play more Lorde at parties). I idealize/romanticize/glamorize. Don’t we all? It’s 1am and I’m playing my supercut and smiling to myself like a crazy person. Living in my movie is nice right now.

You Make Me by Chelsea Cutler

Favorite Line: you make me go insane, but that's how I want it

It’s 9pm in Henle 84 and I’m with the best of the best. We’re all leaning over each other in the bathroom, elbows out fighting for space. The UE Boom is on high and I’m convinced I’ll lose my hearing but we’re singing at the top of our tone-deaf lungs. Feeling joy, feeling love, looking around and feeling lucky.  

Bring Em Out by T.I.

Favorite Line: heard the night life lost life when I leave

This one’s for you big Mo. It’s well past noon. We’re all in the kitchen. We have black under our eyes and knots in our hair. It smells like bacon and tastes like OJ. The toast is burning. We can’t breathe, we’re laughing so hard, we’re on the floor. No one wants to get into why they left. We’re young and care-free and savoring every moment. The toast is burnt.

Michele Dale