Rediscovering Classics in Times of Tribulation

When the outside world seems to be folding in around us, falling back into our individual collections of music can offer relief.

During this stressful period, comfort might be found in music, specifically classics. Take a look at some old-reliables for your own listening pleasure. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

In times of tragedy, crisis, confusion and frustration, we turn to music for solace. With the global pandemic radically disrupting everyday life and blurring the future, there is no better time to seek comfort in classics from our music library. 

We create grooves in music, stuff we know, stuff we love. There’s a reliability to it. There are certain albums or artists or songs that continue to hold meaning for us in times of joy and in times like these. Sure, discovering new music and experimenting with your taste can be a wonderful feeling, but falling back on music you already know provides memories and sensations that can ultimately provide a porthole into past experiences, a safe space to fall back into during times of stress.

So take this as a cue to shut out everything for a while, put a record on and just comfort yourself with music. Rediscover old grooves and patterns, and use the music to revisit things you’ve forgotten to find consistency and understanding. Returning to the familiar allows us to escape from daily problems, take a mental break and realign our perspective. 

Here are some of my old-reliables for your listening pleasure, which oddly enough are taking on new meaning in these strange times:

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“Change Of The Guard” by Steely Dan

This song is particularly relevant because I’m pretty sure that this moment in time is the changing of the guard. The lyricism refers to the ever-shifting nature of the universe, but the airy instrumentals contribute an upbeat mood that lends itself to optimism. Things are drastically shifting and who knows how we will emerge. This song perfectly encapsulates that. 

“For No One” by The Beatles 

This reminds me of the separation between people right now. Although we’re all doing our best to stay in contact, something’s missing. 

“Bleecker Street” by Simon and Garfunkel 

Ah, Simon and Garfunkel. This one’s just a reminder of the city that’s so different right now. The city many of us had to move out of. The song retains an element of melancholia as the lyrics describe the shadows and cafes of New York. The city that once bloomed with life is now sodden with this pandemic.

“Ooh La La” by Faces 

This Faces song feels akin to the ways in which I think many of us are stuck at our childhood homes, feeling like we’re younger than we are. At least, that’s how I’m feeling.

“Laugh, I Nearly Died” by The Rolling Stones 

Here’s one for the study abroad students who had their experiences cut short.

“This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies 

Well, let’s just keep hoping for the day when this song will be relevant.

“(Sittin On) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding 

While you’re sitting at home waiting until this is all over, here’s some hanging out inspiration. When I listen to this, I try to remember there’s nothing I can do but sit still, stay inside and wait.

Email Izzy Salas at [email protected]

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