Let the Music Do the Talking

M-A Students Share Songs with Personal Meaning 

We all have a couple of special songs tucked away in our hearts, those that remind us of a vivid memory or contain particularly resonant lyrics. They teleport us across the planet as we slouch over midnight homework, or urge us to miss someone we haven't thought of in years as we drive home from school. Some carry messages that have served as overarching anthems throughout our lives. Others are meaningful simply because a mere pop artist obsession has evolved into a time capsule preserving our fourteen-year-old selves. Below, M-A students share songs that carry a special meaning in their own lives. 

Heath Hooper

                                                                                      "Don't be Denied" by Neil Young

"I first heard the song at a Neil Young concert last summer. It's simple but meaningful, and definitely ranks as one of my all-time favorite songs. I kind of forgot about the song for a while, but recently rediscovered it. This song has taught me to persevere, to 'not be denied' even if I fail at something. Neil writes about failing but not giving up and eventually achieving his goal. That message makes the song important to me."

Check out the lyrics here.  

Lauren McDonnell            

                                                                              "Madness" by Lucius

"I was sitting in Anthropologie waiting for a friend the first time I heard the song. It makes me feel like I can do anything because, in the end, nothing matters. Before my wrestling matches, I like to listen to it because it makes me mentally ready to try new things on the mat. It makes my feel like my actions are somewhat unimportant, so why shouldn't I do a certain move?" 

Check out the lyrics here

Eli Goodman                  

                                                                                           "At Last" by Etta James 

"I first heard the song when I was seven and my sister, Anna, performed it with her college a cappella group. It was in this group where she met her future husband, Scott. They married last year, and my sister chose this song for their first dance. Listening to 'At Last' brings back memories of her wedding and just of being proud of my sister in general, both for her accomplishments as a performer and her development as a person."

Check out Etta James's original version here

Paola Ramirez         

                                                                                     "Selfish" - PNB Rock

"I connect with this song because I've liked people, but I haven't wanted to date them ... being with people kinda scares me. He wants to be with her and they're together but they're not dating, so he can't claim her. Nothing lasts forever, that's kind of how I look at it. I've been in situations where we've both liked each other but it just gets too complicated. You're never gonna be with one person forever."

Check out the original lyrics here

Christian Wiseman

                                                                                       "Going Up The Country" by Canned Heat 

"This song is from the movie Into the Wild, when Christopher McCandless leaves his life behind and begins a new adventure on the road. I love the idea behind what he's doing, of 'killing the false being within' and learning to be free – kind of like an anthem of adventure. It's not just the song itself that I love, but also the meaning it carries in my life. I always play this song when I'm on an adventure or whatnot, so it reminds me of those times ... times where I'm exploring some mysterious place, or tromping through the forest by myself, generally just moments where I feel alive and truly free. The song always makes me happy and lets me get away from whatever hardships I might be facing. It's almost like I'm in a different world when I hear it, a world where there's no stress and time isn't a worry. I remember a day when I just took off by myself into nature and put that song on loop. That day at Skyline Ridge, I felt like I was truly the the present, not worrying about things in the future or being brought down by stuff in the past. It was liberating and the song really captures days like that one to me."

Check out the lyrics here

                      Michael Stark            

                                                                                       "Baby I'm Yours" by Breakbot

"I was in Italy with my friends over the summer. We were driving to the beach when one of them played this song for us. Whenever I hear it now, it reminds me of good weather and warm summer nights. Breakbot is also one my favorite musicians and his ability to use different vocalists and produce songs that capture a moment so well is astounding."

Check out the lyrics here