Writers’ Beat: Songs We’re Thankful For

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Graphic by Nicole Bae

By WERS Writing Staff

For this month's Writers' Beat, and in honor of Thanksgiving, the WERS Writing Staff is talking all about the songs that we're the most thankful for. From the ballads that helped us through a tough time, to the fun anthems that make us feel free, these are the songs that have become integral parts of our lives.

Check out last month's Writers' Beat, where we talked about our favorite songs for a drive!

“All I Want” by Joni Mitchell

I moved to Boston as a scared 17-year-old boy, ill-prepared for what would be the biggest transition of my life. As I braced for the winter chill, I longed to bask in the summer sun of the suburbs of Los Angeles. I lost sight of who I was and who I could become. Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want” exemplifies what it means to reconnect to the present. Her raw and honest tone lets her listener identify the things they want and need most: To write love letters, to knit sweaters, to truly feel. I will be forever grateful for Joni and her ability to let me find the things I needed to live again. -Sam Goodman

"Radio Ga Ga" by Queen

I’m thankful for this jam by Queen because it’s a song that reminds me of such a happy time. I discovered it not too long ago, and it’s been my car jam ever since. Driving my grandma to the store, going to the beach for the first breakthrough of spring, taking a trip to Target with my sister, going to school in the earlier hours of the morning–it simply reminds me of home. I played it so much in the past year, and it’s new (for the time) disco sounding tune never fails to make me simply happy. Thank you, Queen, for such a lighthearted song, and a jam that never gets old. -Sophia Cloonan

"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

This was one of the first songs I remember hearing as a kid that my mom played, and it grew to become one of my favorite ballads. "Landslide" always had messages that I could relate to, especially now more than ever. I’m grateful for it becoming one of the songs that consistently remains in the background as I grow and encounter changes. -Minah Thomas

"Set You Free" by The Black Keys

Thickfreakness was one of the first CDs I bought with my own money around the age of 12 or 13. "Set You Free" was the third track on the album, and I couldn't seem to get enough of it. Simply put, this song was my anthem for my early teenage years. Dan Auerbach's rockin' blues guitar and Patrick Carney's simplistic drumming had me banging my head and feeling like a winner while I dealt with early teen angst. This song taught me that sometimes screaming the lyrics along to a song feels pretty darn good. -Ro Batcheller

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA

This song hits home because I listened to a lot of ABBA growing up, and I have lots of good memories from their music. “Dancing Queen” in particular is upbeat and positive, which I love a lot. It’s just a great song to raise your spirits or to goofily dance to without a care in the world. -Kiersten Tate

"R U Mine?" by Arctic Monkeys

If it wasn’t for the fuzzed-out killer riffs in this song, I would've never picked up a guitar. When I heard “R U Mine?," I didn’t want to just be a listener of music anymore–I felt like I had to figure out how to play it too. At first, I could only dream of being able to play the insane ‘70s rock-inspired solo (and now I can). So, every time I hear this tune, it reminds me of the very beginning of my journey into playing guitar and makes me fall in love with music all over again. -Megan Doherty

"So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings" by Caroline Polachek

I'm thankful for any song that can get stuck in my head from the first listen, and Caroline Polachek's "So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings" is exactly that. With 80's inspired production and one of 2019's best choruses, I'm thankful that Caroline Polachek delivered a bop for the ages this year. -Kenneth Cox

"Unison" by Björk

My Björk phase (which I can gladly now say is not a phase, she is still my one and only) came at a point in my life where I needed some kind of teen-angst-outlet. Björk was perfect; I spent the summer before sophomore year weaving through her discography, landing on my favorite album today, Vespertine. I listen to the album’s closer “Unison” probably three times a week. It’s achingly poignant and beautiful and so many things all at once. I’m thankful for its existence and its ability to amaze me with every listen. -Eva Fuller

Tune in for next month's Writers' Beat, when we recap our favorite songs from this past decade!

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