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Songs describing major life events?
April 19, 2009 6:13 PM   Subscribe

I hope someone will help me out. I'm working n a semi-biographical music mix for a friend of mine, but I'm having trouble coming up with a few songs for some big life events.

For instance, what song best describes...
-Study abroad
-Your parents having marital problems
-Spending a year somewhere you don't like (after college)
-Heading off to grad school

I just can't seem to find the right songs!
posted by virtualcourtney to Human Relations (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
where did your friend go for study abroad? maybe you could use/somebody could suggest a song about that place.

also, can you say what the other songs on the mix are? no point breaking out the latvian cabaret collection if it's all alt country or r&b or glam rock so far!
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:21 PM on April 19, 2009


Wow, that sounds like a very cool idea! Where (and when) did your friend go on study abroad? You might be able to find a top hit from your friend's study abroad.

Good luck!
posted by wiskunde at 6:33 PM on April 19, 2009


Everclear is a champion of songs about parent issues. "Wonderful" is one I can think of off the top of my head but it may be too blunt.

Seconding suggesting you post all the songs so far- what a great idea for a mix!
posted by thewestinggame at 6:40 PM on April 19, 2009


Is this a surprise? If not, along with or instead of using songs about those times, I'm sure there are songs that they listened to during those periods. For example, the Euro-trash pop song that was playing in all the clubs and Irish bars during study abroad, the whiny Counting Crows song during the parents' divorce, etc.
posted by thebazilist at 6:40 PM on April 19, 2009


Ah yes, the other songs!

1. Koufukuron v3.0 (Shiina Ringo) - Rymdkraft <> 2. Long Tall Texan - Lyle Lovett <> 3. I Fought the Law - The Clash <>
"Study Abroad" goes here

4. Remember Me, My Friend - The Moody Blues <> 5. Sad Song - The Velvet Underground <> 6. Twinkle Eyes Polka <>
"Parents" goes here

7. Stranger on Earth - Lisa Ekdahl <>
"Grad School" goes here
...
8. Old Friends - Simon and Garfunkel

She went to Europe for study abroad--I think she hit the major highlights (it was right before we met). Around 2002, I think.
posted by virtualcourtney at 6:45 PM on April 19, 2009


Depending on what her study abroad was like, Home for a Rest by Spirit of the West might be just right.
posted by MsMolly at 6:59 PM on April 19, 2009


-Spending a year somewhere you don't like (after college)

Green Day's "Welcome To Paradise"? The Sundays' "Hideous Towns"?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:00 PM on April 19, 2009


Spending a year a place you don't like to me would be "We Gotta Get Out of This Place". I like the Fear cover, which has a much more "Let's get the fuck out of here" vibe than the original. And I feel like the entire grunge oeuvre of the early 90s is replete with songs about parental marital discord...but I can't really think of specific examples.

Where was the study abroad? What grad school?
posted by crinklebat at 7:00 PM on April 19, 2009


Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, by Brand New. Although I'm 99% sure it's not the type of song/lyrics you're looking for.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:03 PM on April 19, 2009


Depending on what the parental issues were, "Family Portrait" by Pink is pop-ish and a decent fit for that. Living in a place you don't want? Operation Ivy's "Bad Town"... or perhaps Skid Row from the soundtrack of Little Shop of Horrors?

As for grad school... was this person a partier? A nerd? What was the subject of study? that might help a bit. The Donnas's New Kid in School might fit.
posted by potatopeople at 7:32 PM on April 19, 2009


My "theme song" when I was in graduate school was "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", with lyrics variously amended to suit whatever was bugging me at the moment. If your friend doesn't wish for her own silver hammer at times, she's a lucky grad student indeed.
posted by Quietgal at 7:32 PM on April 19, 2009


You folks are fantastic.

She's going to grad school for comp sci/math, so she's definitely in the nerd camp. She hasn't quite decided where to go ultimately.
posted by virtualcourtney at 7:34 PM on April 19, 2009


A year somewhere lame - Belle & Sebastian's "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying"
posted by yogurtisgenocide at 8:09 PM on April 19, 2009


Study abroad:
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah

Marital Problems:
Blink 182 - Stay Together For The Kids
Journey - Mother Father

Spending a year somewhere you don't like (after college)
Peter Gabriel - Wallflower - For the staying
Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill - For the leaving

-Heading off to grad school
Beatles - She's Leaving Home
Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

I'll try to think of some more.
posted by Cobalt at 8:09 PM on April 19, 2009


Of course! Simon and Garfunkel!

"America" for grad school.
"The Boxer" for the unpleasant year.
posted by Cobalt at 8:13 PM on April 19, 2009


Staying somewhere you don't like: "Summer in Ohio" from The Last Five Years.
posted by Madamina at 8:15 PM on April 19, 2009


I was going to recommend "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying" for the bad year song too!

If she spent lots of time in England during study abroad, you could go for Dirty Pretty Things "Tired of England" or for a punkier vibe, Demolition 23's "I Ain't Had No Fun Since the Hammersmith Palais."

Studying math and computers: Datarock, "Computer Camp Love Song" or My Robot Friend, "Robot High School."
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:22 PM on April 19, 2009


Parents having marital problems: Husker Du, "Broken Home, Broken Heart".
posted by Beardman at 8:44 PM on April 19, 2009


Euro - trash Girl by Cracker might fit into a couple of categories.
Maybe Three is a Magic Number.
posted by Sailormom at 8:47 PM on April 19, 2009


Spending a year somewhere you don't like: Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo
posted by roll truck roll at 10:51 PM on April 19, 2009


-Spending a year somewhere you don't like (after college)

This Year, by the Mountain Goats. The chorus is "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:52 AM on April 20, 2009


parents having marital problems: madness -our house
posted by defmute at 4:10 AM on April 20, 2009


spending a year somewhere you don't like: donovan - sunny goodge street
posted by defmute at 4:11 AM on April 20, 2009


heading off to grad school: billy nicholls - white lightning
posted by defmute at 4:15 AM on April 20, 2009


Parents having marital problems: "Light from a Dead Star" on the Lush album, Split.
posted by googly at 6:54 AM on April 20, 2009


-Spending a year somewhere you don't like (after college)

Sloop John B by The Beach Boys

Let me go home
let me go home
I wanna go home
Well I feel so broke up
I wanna go home
posted by stefnet at 1:30 PM on May 19, 2009


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