TBTN: Songs for Survival

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

As a rule, I love Beyonce just as much as the next person.

(Actually, I probably love Beyonce MORE than the next person).

As ashamed as I am to admit it, I have occasionally engaged in an intense, tear-fueled solo-sing-along session to the early works of Taylor Swift.

However, during my short stint on Earth I have realized that–wait for it–

Beyonce and T. Swift can’t fix everything.

“Irreplaceable” and “Shake It Off” are two valuable songs for when you or a friend feel that you’ve been victimized in some way and want an instant boost of empowerment. But I’ve found that when you’re really going through something–be it a breakup, a particularly acute episode of familial dysfunction, or any variety of emotional trauma–it can be better to indulge in a song that promotes recovery and self-love in a way that’s a little less brassy.

(I also think it’s problematic to too-hastily proclaim Taylor Swift as “Queen of Heartbreak Recovery Music” because lots of reasons namely HETERONORMATIVITY but I digress)

It’s not always possible to just “shake it off.” It’s not always possible to remind yourself that you’re “irreplaceable.” Sometimes you need to sit for awhile with your hurt before you can begin to let it go.

So, in honor of Take Back The Night–and designed for all of those who are hurting-here’s a sestina of emotive, gentle songs that will remind you just how special you–and the imperfect world we live in–will always be.

Up The Wolves//The Mountain Goats

“There’s gonna be a few things, maybe a lot of things, that you’re gonna find really difficult to forgive.”

It’s Cool, We Can Still Be Friends//Bright Eyes

“Yeah, well maybe I hurt you sometimes, but let’s contrast and compare/ Lift up your shirt, the wound isn’t there”

Rootless Tree//Damien Rice

“We do what we need to be free.”

Song For Zula//Phosphorescent

“Some say love is a burning thing, that it makes a fiery ring

Oh but I know love as a fading thing

Just as fickle as a feather in a stream.”

West Coast of Ireland//Justin Vernon

“And the sun shines rights on down to the core of my bones

And as much as I know I’m far away, I know I’m going home.”

Bones//Ben Howard

“And you love like I’ll be there to hold you, always, honey, always here.”

Love Love Love//The Mountain Goats

“Some moments last forever, and some flare out with love love love.”