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Get To Know Me Through Music

At last week’s initiative meeting, the members of Backrow Records – including myself – collectively decided that we were going to post weekly playlists showcasing each member’s individual taste in music. I’m not set to post mine until much later in the term, but being the overzealous one I immediately put together my playlist, and I thought I’d share it with all of you to get to know me a little better. The playlist can be found here

1. Fuel Up – Stornoway
This song was there for me when I was going through the tough decision to not continue my university studies and instead take a year off before applying for MBM. I’m constantly impressed by the cleverness that is the metaphors throughout the song and comforted by its message. It means so much to me that I even have a line from it tattooed: “get back on the road / it’s a beautiful day”. It’s a daily reminder that even when things seem a little difficult, it’ll all be worth it in the end. 

2. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
I can’t be sad when I’m listening to this song. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know the lyrics to it. My love for it was only heightened when I finally watched 500 Days of Summer and got to this scene; Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing to Hall & Oates was everything that I didn’t know I needed. And then I got it. 

3. Drops of Jupiter – Train
I’ve always loved this song musically, but I’ve only recently delved into the lyrics. Patrick Monahan wrote this song about his mother’s passing; the lyrics are a story of him feeling as though his life is over, but then realizing that her spirit has returned and taken on different forms. I only love this song more after my grandma’s passing late last year. 

4. The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Bruce talks of many social issues that were prevalent at the time of its release (some that are still prevalent today). He talks of wanting to make a change and abolish poverty, segregation, and overall discrimination – something that we’re still working towards today. This one will always be important to me. 

5. You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon 
Paul’s songwriting is incredible. The lyrics in this song pose a lot of questions about an aging person’s future and this page can aid you in understanding it completely, but at its surface, it was written for Chevy Chase who was in treatment at the Betty Ford Centre (“I can call you Betty”) for alcoholism. If you haven’t watched the video, please do so now. 

6. Songbird – Fleetwood Mac
I was lucky enough to see this song performed for the first time in Toronto for 16 years after Christine McVie’s return, and it was incredible. Although it’s a love song, it’s become a very symbolic song in my family, as it was played at my grandmother’s funeral, will be played at my mother’s, and will be played at mine. 

7. Walking in the Wind – One Direction 
My grandmother was the one person who would indulge in all of my idiosyncrasies, including my new-found love for One Direction in March 2015. She would sit and watch performances with me and was quite excited about the release of their newest album. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to its release, so when the album came out and I gave it a good listen through, this song made me very emotional. Harry wrote it about his own grandmother who had passed and it even includes lines of poetry from a friend’s grandmother, so I connect with it very much. She would have loved the song, and I think of her every time I hear it. 

8. The Gambler – fun.
Should I ever get married, this will be my wedding song. Nate Ruess wrote this song from the perspective of his own parents and I cannot imagine a prettier song about everlasting love. 

9. Simple As This – Jake Bugg
This song has great importance to me as it’s my best friend Zoie’s favourite song; she even has the title tattooed on her arm. You might recognize it if you’ve watched The Fault In Our Stars. The song talks about finding one’s meaning in life, and the narrator goes through many trials and tribulations whilst looking for the answer.

10. Summer Sun – Jukebox the Ghost
This is my all-time favourite band. I could go on about them for hours. I’ve met them twice, I’ve befriended their former tour manager (hi Charlotte, if you’re reading this), and I’m amped to see them for a third time this year. This song has always stuck with me; I love Ben’s vocals so much. The first time I met the band, I was listening to this song on full-blast, dancing, and singing the last few lyrics at the top of my lungs. Ben (the lead singer) chose that time to come through the door behind me, so naturally I decided to pretend that I was tripping. Because that’s better than singing and dancing dramatically. Anyways, we met, everyone was super nice, I continue to be a fan x amount of years later (it’s going on a ridiculous amount of years). 

11. Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford & Sons 
This one also has special importance to me because of Zoie. I’ve been lucky enough to see Mumford & Sons live four times with Zoie; even luckier to have been in the Toronto Star with her for being in line at the secret show they held in Toronto last April. For about a week, if you Googled “Mumford & Sons”, the first thing that came up was a picture of Zoie and I. The article can still be found here. Anyways, Roll Away Your Stone is and continues to be both our favourite song by the group, and I can’t imagine ever seeing them without Zoie. One day I’m sure we’ll somehow get it marked on our skin. 

12. I Can Lift a Car – WALK THE MOON
Okay, everyone knows WtM from “Shut Up and Dance”, but I’m telling you, you’ve gotta listen to their self-titled. I had loved their music based on melodies, vocals, and everything else, but when I saw them in September 2013, I found myself tearing up at Nick Petricca’s introduction to this one. After a first listen, you sort of think it’s just some quirky song; after listening to his speech about “being able to do anything we can, right here, right now”, I realize that it’s actually so much more. It’s such an inspirational song to me and I won’t let it go. I’m so proud of everything they’ve accomplished. Look up their YouTube account; when they were on tour, they created 7 music videos in 7 days (called them 7in7). They’re incredible.

Putting this playlist together was a lot of fun and helped me to really centre in on what’s important to me. If you’ve got some time, I definitely encourage doing this for yourself. I might make a habit of doing this every once in a while to re-evaluate my favourites and what they mean to me. 


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Haylee Baskerville

First-year student, music lover, volunteer, baker.

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