Arts & Entertainment, Music

Trib Mix: Songs for lovers at McGill

Being distracted in class while thinking about your significant other

Song: A Dreamy Day of Daydreaming of You (2001)

Artist: Of Montreal

As it’s title suggests, this soft, piano-driven song encapsulates the mood of a blissful daydream. The dragging chords and the band frontman Kevin Barnes’ hypnotic, honey-like vocals invite the listener to indulge in their imagination. This all comes together to elicit a euphoric feeling similar to what someone might experience when their attention is being lulled out of the lecture by the thoughts of a crush or a lover. The lyrics capture the feeling of being so completely lost in another person that everything else in life feels like a bore.

Best lyric: “I can dream of you without snoring and I'm lucky that that's true / Because everyone would know that I found them boring simply because they're not you.”

When you are too broke to go on a date

Song: Can’t Buy Me Love (1964)

Artist: The Beatles

This classic serves as a playful reminder that love is not about material possessions. Backed by a messily upbeat rhythm section, and Harrison’s iconic clangy lead guitar, McCartney proudly sings, “Say you don’t need no diamond rings, and I’ll be satisfied / Tell me that you want the kind of things that money just can’t buy / I don’t care too much for money, cause money can’t buy me love.” This is a message that many university students can take comfort in; in the midst of mounting student debts, it’s difficult for some of us to afford a dinner date, let alone a diamond ring.

Crushing on your lab partner

Song: Love Potion no. 9 (1973)

Artist: The Clovers

There is perhaps no better soundtrack for a budding romance between two lab partners than this classic song about a love potion. The concept of a magical potion that can make someone fall in love is an age-old trope; while surrounded by countless chemical solutions and compounds, an aspiring scientist’s mind might be fascinated by this idea. The lyrics tell the story of a lonely man who drinks a concoction which makes him fall wildly in love with anyone he sees. While drinking strange mixtures is the last thing anyone should do, this song gets the message across that at the end of the day, love is all about chemistry.

Avoiding your ex on campus

Song: Campus (2008)

Artist: Vampire Weekend

This song expresses the bitter anxiety of bumping into an ex-lover on campus. Accented by a fast, driving, muted guitar riff, the song builds a palpable feeling of nervousness, akin to the uneasy excitement associated with the narrative. Into the chorus, after the singer describes the moment of seeing his ex—the instrumentation blooms into a tender rhythm, as the lyrics express the sincerely poignant sentiments of the singer: ‘How am I supposed to pretend/I never want to see you again?

Love at first sight/night

Song: Strangers in the Night (1966)

Artist: Frank Sinatra

This is a classic love song that has captured the hearts of many for decades. Amidst the romantic orchestral accompaniment and Sinatra’s recognizable cheesy crooning, millennials can find a very relatable story about two people who impulsively fall in love in the dead of night. This vintage tune offers a classy commentary on modern hook-up culture, reminding listeners that it is completely possible for strangers to experience romance—even fleetingly.

Best lyrics: “Wondering in the night / What were the chances / We'd be sharing love/Before the night was through?”

For those moving away from their significant other

Song: Another Town (2006)

Artist: Regina Spektor

While the song is not explicitly about long-distance relationships, Spektor elegantly expresses the geographical boundlessness of love in this sweetly optimistic piece. In the verses, Spektor describes how she could be in different places doing different things: ‘In another town / They've given me the key / I'm drinking for free.’’ However, the chorus earnestly assures the listener that despite these variables, the one unchanging factor is that the singer would love the subject of her affections: ‘In another town / But I know I know I know / I love you.” Supported by Spektor’s lively and imaginative piano-work, this song serves as an affirmation of love’s mystical ability to bypass physical separation.

When everyone, including yourself, doubts your relationship  

Song: Bound 2 (2013)

Artist: Kanye West

In this song Kanye eloquently lays out the challenges of sustaining a new and rocky relationship. In university, enveloped in a dating culture based on hook-ups and short flings, we often make tenuous connections. Many student relationships begin in a place of insecurity, and friends-with-benefits wonder if what they have is worth committing to. Kanye’s lyrics succinctly and cleverly express the doubt, but also the underlying hopefulness unlikely lovers often feel: “And hey, ayo, we made it to Thanksgiving / So hey, maybe we can make it to Christmas.”

Learning to love everyone

Song: Seasons of Love (1996)

Artist : Jonathan Larson

In university, thousands of students with different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs come together to learn. Because of this, it is the best place to gain first-hard experience of the universality of love. While there are many songs that explore this idea, none of them gets the message across with as much astute simplicity as this broadway classic from /Rent/. Wrapped in a medley of ethereal harmonies, the song contains the message that the best way to measure one’s life is through love: “In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / How do you measure a year in the life / How about love?” Delivered by a diverse chorus, the song can serve as a reminder to students that, while there is a wide array of people at university, no matter who you are, and what you go through, the love you experience is ultimately the most important thing.

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