What song should I use?
March 10, 2009 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I need a sentimental/moving song for a slideshow about senior varsity basketball players that will be leaving.

It's a ~five minute slideshow that has pictures of the senior (Boys) basketball players that will be graduating this year. There are about 10 pictures of the guys growing up from when they were very young to today.

I've been put in charge of it by the booster club (both my parents are members) and am told by them to include music.

The song I think is the best is "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky. I like that song because of the sentimental and hopeful emotions that it evokes, regardless of the fact that there are no words.

However, my mom is, and always has been, adamantly opposed to instrumental, non-vocal music. Her suggestions are the following:

Time of My Life - David Cook
No Such Thing - John Mayer
My Wish -Rascal Flatts
Graduation - Vitamin C

There's a few reasons why I don't like the suggestion of those songs:

1) Timing. I was so into "Your Hand in Mine" that I already edited it to be an appropriate length, and that is much easier to do with an instrumental than a vocal song [I think]. And her suggestion to this problem is to play one and a half songs, which I think sounds very unprofessional. I am getting paid to do the slideshow because I am good at what I do, and I take pride in my work.

2)Some of them are really cheesy - Vitamin C? Please.

3) I really don't think you need words to convey the emotions. My mom thinks so. She doesn't have a graduating senior (I am, but didn't play on the team this past year, though I did previous years) and I think that if she was feeling the emotion of seeing her boy growing up through pictures to the big (ex)basketball player that he was today, she wouldn't need words to tell her what she is feeling. (I am not on the slideshow).

I guess what I am looking for is suggestions as to what all of you think. If you prefer the instrumental "Your Hand in Mine," or one of her suggestions, or another.

Please don't make me use "Graduation" MeFi!
posted by Alec Loudenback to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about These Are Days by 10,000 Maniacs or Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) by Green Day?
posted by NoraCharles at 5:44 PM on March 10, 2009

I think your mom needs to get over it. Instrumental music is the way to go. And in that regard, I recommend, in all seriousness, The Alternate Ending Music From Napoleon Dynamite
posted by tylerfulltilt at 6:14 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Forgot to add: The reason your mom is wrong is for the exact reason you said, instrumental music will be much easier to loop and run without interruption. If you go with a song with words, at some point the song will end and there will either be a moment of silence til the next one or some kind of akward fade out of that song and fade in of the other.

When the happens the mood will totally be broken. You want five minutes of uninterrupted emotion and some good instrumental music is the way to go.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 6:16 PM on March 10, 2009

Completely support the previous comment: Instrumental is the way to go for all of the reasons stated, plus the extra bonus that the listener gets to add his/her own meaning and emotional content to the experience without lyrics telling them how to feel.

Have you heard Mothersbaugh's Canon by Mutato Muzika Orchestra? It is written by Mark Mothersbaugh, the former lead singer from DEVO. But don't let the DEVO reference throw you off - this is one of the most sentimental pieces of instrumental music you're likely to hear any time soon.
posted by crapples at 6:23 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love instrumental music especially when you're feeling pensive and nostalgic so I agree with your initial plan to use the instrumental music over the lyrical pieces. And since I also tried to come up with some songs, but found them way too cheesy especially for young guys (Vanessa Williams "Oh how the years go by"--YIKES!) I am now further convinced that you should take the instrumental route. Good luck and congratulations!
posted by arizona80 at 6:29 PM on March 10, 2009

You could also go for something like Heard Them Stirring from Fleet Foxes. There are a lot of "ohhhs" and "ahhhs", but no lyrics. It's less sentimental than the Mothersbaugh suggestion, but it's sort of nice and unimposing.
posted by crapples at 6:54 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Be Like Mike. Seriously. One minute of music that takes these kids back to their childhood dreams of succeeding in basketball.

[Fade to Black]

[Cue Instrumental Track for remaining 4:00]
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 7:41 PM on March 10, 2009

Best answer: This is your presentation, not your mom's (and I say this as the mother of a teenage son). If my son was putting together a presentation like yours, I would trust his judgment (he's very talented at video-related things and I'm sure you are too or you wouldn't have been put in charge of the project). Your mom is obviously entitled to an opinion since she's a member of the booster club, but ultimately you are the person behind the presentation and your artistic vision should be respected. Also, you're the same age as the basketball players and you're a better judge of what they'd enjoy seeing and hearing. Explain all of this to your mom in a respectful, mature way and stick to your original plan. Good luck!
posted by amyms at 8:00 PM on March 10, 2009

I say go with an instrumental track. You played on the team before, so I presume you have a pretty good handle on what would go over well with the guys that are on the team now. If they're anything like the guys I played football/basketball with in high school, they're not gonna care much for Rascal Flatts, David Cook or Vitamin C. Surely your judgment will be better than your Mom's.
posted by Team of Scientists at 8:31 PM on March 10, 2009

It's pretty short (2:49 in the version I have) but Bob Dylan's Forever Young has been on heavy rotation as I cram in lots of lasts as my college days wind down. It might be good for the second half of the show, as it's emotional but also rousing.

At the end of every school year, my photography teacher / yearbook adviser put together a slide-show with The Allman Brothers' Little Martha as background. [Link to cover; couldn't find original.] Still makes me cry.

That said, I think it's your presentation and you should do what you feel would go over well with this particular group.
posted by charmcityblues at 8:59 PM on March 10, 2009

On listening to the Forever Young link, I realized that it's a totally different version than the one I was thinking of, which is off the Planet Waves album.

There's also the Dylan / Will.i.am mashup, which is kind of fun. Used in this year's Pepsi Superbowl commercial, of course.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:03 PM on March 10, 2009

The NBA's current "Where Amazing Happens" commercials (one, two, three, more) use the track from the Noah Kalina Everyday.
posted by milkrate at 9:08 PM on March 10, 2009

For Basketball, I think I'd go with something more upbeat—I think it will mix in better with any video. Something like David Holmes - 160 Million Dollar Chinese Man, from the Ocean's 11 soundtrack.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:09 AM on March 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for everybody's response. However, the decision was made when they said they wouldn't pay me if I didn't use the songs they picked. I do appreciate everybody's help though!
posted by Alec Loudenback at 5:03 PM on March 11, 2009

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