Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

The power of the perfect song(s)

Over the lockdown I decided to bring back blogging (well, I wrote three blogs that were just me sort of saying ‘we’re in a lockdown – how weird!’ – profound) and I was having a little read of it the other day when I found this gem of a line: 

‘I used to wonder what it would be like if I was actually living in a film. What kind of film would it be? A romance? A coming-of-age story? A drama about a teenage writing prodigy?’ I even wrote a poem about those very thoughts that I shall not be sharing here as it is quite frankly the work solely of my hormones and they steal enough of the limelight already.

The end of this little thought was that it turned out we were probably (sadly) in some sort of pandemic-based film, but that’s beside the point. The point is I have always been (and yes still am) obsessed with viewing life as a film: call me narcissistic if you like! (Actually please don’t, I’ll be really sad). And what is crucial, nay integral to a good film? A cinematic score obviously. Which leads me onto my thought of the week: playlists. 

I have many a playlist (a surplus one might say – a boring one mind you) and each one has a very specific vibe, a specific function, a certain “je ne sais quoi”. ‘In April we Dance’ obviously referred to dancing in April, but has since morphed into the ultimate pres playlist. ‘Bops but like chill bops but still bops’ does exactly what it says on the tin, and ‘NEW (old)’ is a new playlist where some of the songs are old favourites. I’m straightforward in my playlist naming. And each of these playlists has a moment. For example, my ‘film soundtracks’ playlist is what I write essays to. My friend has a playlist entitled ‘room’ which unsurprisingly she plays in her room. Another friend uses the classic playlist for the month format. 

If clothes are, as I discussed in my sparkly top article, something we swaddle ourselves in when we want to feel protected but also undeniably ourselves, then I think the playlists we curate are our audio equivalents. I have a playlist that I made to listen to on a train journey to London that is not only now synonymous with London for me, but is what I listen to whenever I need to feel powerful and BIG and like I can stomp through a city and really, really confidently use the tube. And it works. Playlists are just one of the many ways that I think we all compartmentalise our lives through what we are consuming at any one time. They are auditory scrapbooks and they’re so uniquely us. Only I know why Feist, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Mazzy Star demand to all be in a playlist entitled three star emojis (ok well yeah the last one might be a bit self-explanatory). 

They’re also collaborative! No matter how cynical you are, you have to admit doing a Spotify blend with your mates is fun – especially during exam season when you get to see everyones’ deranged revision music. And in this spirit of collaboration, I would like to invite you all to join the collaborative playlist linked here and in the spirit of honesty, in the spirit of people who are really cool being the people who do not try to be cool (yes, I sound like a mam, but mam’s are always right), put the songs you LOVE, the songs you dance to in your room to make you want to go out, the songs you listen to before a tutorial and maybe we can all have our ‘life-is-a-film-and-this-is-my-theme-tune’ moment. Because I don’t know about you, but I’d quite like to dance through life. 

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles