Some memories come with soundtracks, some moments are so intrinsically connected with songs it is impossible to separate the two. Below, Bwoggers reminisce about Columbia, creating a confusing yet hauntingly beautiful playlist.
Sight of You — Sigrid
Taking the subway to the poster museum with my friends in mid-November, shivering but singing and laughing while walking down Times Square.
A Case of You — k.d. lang
Crying at Postcrypt, feeling both overwhelmed with nostalgia, sadness, and love for New York. My friend holding my hand and winking in the dark, a quiet reminder everything would be fine.
I Think We’re Alone Now — Tiffany
Liz’s on a Saturday morning, whispering the lyrics to my friend as we sat down to work on the tall white tables. Iced coffee and bagels, people-watching as we pretended to do our readings.
Good Life — Sammy Rae
Singing/crying/screaming the lyrics with my friends on one of our last evenings together, the room warm and cramped, our faces glowing.
Jackie And Wilson — Hozier
Hugging my friends too tightly during my first ever New York concert, swaying and singing with a crowd of smiling strangers.
Campus — Vampire Weekend
Realizing this song was about Columbia too late into the semester, playing it on my headphones every time I went for a walk alone, imagining where on campus it was written.
Adore You — Harry Style
Sharing headphones at Hewitt over brunch, sitting across from one of my first college friends. Feeling incredibly grateful to have met such wonderful people, with whom I can always share a meal, a story, and a song.
Running Up That Hill — Kate Bush
Laying on my friend’s white fluffy carpet, trading song recommendations while eating ice cream straight from the tub. Her, making tea and me, steeping it for too long, the bitter liquid burning my tongue every time.
Good Kisser — Lake Street Dive
My first and last picnic at Central Park. Sharing cranberry limeade with my friends, laughing about children and geese, taking in our last moments together. The most peaceful calm before the storm.
Good Vibrations — The Beach Boys
Getting to experience the wonder that is Big Sub while hearing this song play from a huge speaker on Futter Field. Patiently waiting for it to be time while holding a huge Tupperware container and hanging with my pal.
Time Warp — Richard O’Brien (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Being high off my ass during a women’s basketball game and experiencing CUMB playing this while I fully ascended into another dimension.
ok boomer — Peter Kuli, Jed Will
Put this on a playlist for the first DWB I ever went to (the Impeachment one) where I first started finding my own in Bwog and making new, close friends that I cherish with all my heart.
Tiny Dancer — Elton John
The first song I listened to the day I moved off to college and was sitting in my brand new dorm on my brand new bed, finally feeling like I belonged somewhere.
All My Friends — The Revivalists
I listened to this walking around campus in the last two weeks before we were sent home. It’s a little angsty and a little self-congratulatory, which is kind of what I needed to hear in the shitstorm that was the last two weeks of school
Good as Hell — Lizzo
They stay playing this song in Hewitt. It reminds me of green smoothies and scrambled eggs for breakfast every day.
Mr. Brightside — The Killers
Sweaty and screaming in the Beta basement, five jungle juices deep, having the time of my life
American Boy — Kanye West ft. Estelle
Two Bwog memories: going out after Bwogsgiving and getting stupid, then blasting this song as I sprinted to Dunkin to pick up our coffee during exam week.
Ten Cents A Dance — Ella Fitzgerald and Buddy Bregman
Waiting for the M60 bus outside of the Columbia gates on an early morning in October. Just standing there appreciating the rays of sun.
Cabin Essence — The Beach Boys
Packing up my dorm many months too soon, feeling so sad but so thankful for everything that was my first seven months of college.
Baroque Social — Broken Social Scene
Sitting in Lehman Library amazed by the rare occurrence of getting a lot of work done in a short period of time.
July Flame — Laura Veirs
Helping a friend sober up and sitting on her bed very conscious of not touching the posters/paintings behind me while eating rainbow goldfish.
Cruel Summer — Taylor Swift
Reminds me of the lonely, crowded insanity of NSOP, when it’s really warm outside on the lawns and my Furnald AC left me literally shivering in bed at night. Taylor’s kind of right, it WAS a cruel summer.
Supermoon — Charly Bliss
Gives me the-pit-of-autumn vibes when you’re just studying and working the whole time but it’s not necessarily bad. The sudden confusing disappointment and sadness which defined the whole figuring-things-out period of the first semester for me.
People Will Say We’re in Love — Oklahoma! (Revival 2019)
My friend ended up getting cheap tickets for a performance of this during reading week and the experience of going downtown to see it with your friends, coming back late at night when the subway rats are out, and then remembering you have finals like the day later was absolutely insane and beautiful. This revival made me lose my mind and this song still gets to me.
night swimming — Soccer Mommy
The week everything went to shit. That Sunday, I went on a walk down by the Hudson and let my ears go numb listening to this album and it felt like a real crystallization of the shock and sadness of suddenly having to leave due to something way bigger than any of us.
The Abduction — Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812
Once my friends and I heard the news about class being canceled that week before our intended break, we all met up in our empty floor lounge and just ended up singing through the second act of “The Great Comet” because what else were we going to do? And not to be cheesy but “Friends of my youth, when shall we meet again? I’m going abroad” made me so so sentimental.
Party in the USA — Miley Cyrus
Screaming this song with Bwog during the board turnover DWB my sophomore year. I’d never really had fun at a DWB before that and it also led to the creation of one of my all-time favorite posts (Sober Person’s Ethnography Of A College Party).
Everything Changes — Waitress Original Broadway Cast
I’ve been a huge theater kid but I never really got the chance to see live theater before. I won tickets to this show during NSOP and realized what I’d been missing out on for years. I saw 5-ish shows during my freshman year because I was obsessed.
thank, u next — Ariana Grande
Screaming this at a party while dancing right next to my ex. I blacked out shortly after and blacked back in while we were puking into the same trashcan.
Sandstorm — Darude
A staple of my first college party (and pretty much every party since). Every time I hear those opening strains I am filled with the urge to do debaucherous things.
Carry on Wayward Son — Kansas
Whipping out my trombone in the middle of butler 209 in Fall 2017, heart beating so fast I thought I was going to have a panic attack. Climbing up on a table as weeks of work had come to fruition and a huge crowd had gathered in the library for Orgo Night. As this song started playing, one of our seniors walked in with a huge crowd of cheering people who were finally let into the library. It’s the most connected I’ve ever felt and it was only the end of my freshman fall.
June — Florence + the Machine
Crying over getting dumped by the first girl I had ever kissed (every weekend for the rest of the semester…).
Empire State of Mind — Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
Walking toward Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge with my first-year roommate as she blasted this song.
Breaking Up — Charlie XCX
Lying on the rug of my friend’s Carlton double, trying to get my homework done or talking about poetry or simply ~ vibing ~ after smoking in the park/out her window.
Fireball — Pitbull ft. John Ryan
Dancing in the rain on Low Steps while getting glares from people walking to Butler.
Goodie Bag — Still Woozy
Sitting on the top floor of Avery attempting to study for finals with friends but not getting any studying done.
U remind me — Usher
The only song I would listen too while walking around campus. May have… may have not… definitively have been caught mouthing the words on several occasions.
A pink sunset at Broadway via Julia Tolda