2020 is coming to an end. Between COVID-19, the election and the loss of many celebrities, including Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Alex Trebek, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and many more, it has been a chaotic year.
As a tribute to 2020, this playlist moves through the many complex emotions that we, as a society, have moved through this year. The playlist is broken down into three different sections.
The first section encompasses songs that delve deep into all of the feelings we have regarding this past year. The second section intends to uplift spirits after a tough and unprecedented year. The final section is full of pumped up songs that will hopefully give us the energy to jump into 2021 feeling renewed and stronger because of the events that have transpired in 2020.
Emotions of 2020
This playlist is meant to be used as an outlet for the rollercoaster of emotions we all experience in 2020.
For those affected by COVID-19, either personally or a loved one contracting COVID-19, Taylor Swift’s “Epiphany” describes watching a loved one in a hospital room. The song likens suffering in the current pandemic to soldiers fighting on the front lines in World War II and pays tribute to the men and women who work in healthcare and risk their lives every day to take care of those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
In honor of those who were lost to COVID-19, Ariana Grande’s “Raindrops” taps into the emotions of deep sadness and loss. The song was written as a tribute for those who passed after the bombing of her 2017 concert in Manchester, and it reflects the sentiment of losing people when it feels like their time came to an end far too soon.
For the anger felt towards being in quarantine for most of the year due to the COVID-19, the song “F2020” by Avenue Beat embraces the fact that 2020 wasn’t the year we expected and puts emphasis on looking forward to 2021.
Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” reflects the times where 2020 “beat us down and built us up.” For as many lows as there were this year with all the negativity spiraling around the world, there were some silver linings and high points that led us to believe the pain of this year wasn’t for nothing. These moments of positivity allow us to move forward and keep believing.
“Centuries” by Fall Out Boy emphasizes the impact that this year has made on each and every one of us. The line, “You will remember me for centuries,” reflects that no matter how hard we try, it’s going to be hard to forget this year.
“Thks Fr Th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy closes off this playlist because the line “thanks for the memories, even though they weren’t so great,” allows us to be thankful for even the negative things that have happened this year. Everything in this year happened for one dynamic reason or another, and this song highlights that fact.
Uplifting Spirits from 2020
The second section of the playlist is meant to raise your spirits and remind you just because 2020 was rough to not let that beat you down.
The song “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne highlights the fact that, as the song says repeatedly, “we are going to make it though.”This year has been difficult, but we’ve handled the punches life has thrown at us thus far and will continue to do so. Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” is similar in a thematic sense. The song encourages us to keep our heads up even when it’s hard because there are “only rainbows after rain.”
Frozen’s “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel is a reminder that in order to have the best 2021, we need to let go of any negative feelings we’re harboring toward this past year. We can’t let everything that went on in 2020 get us down and affect 2021. Instead, we have to express our feelings, rather than bottling them up, and then let them go. In a similar way, Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” is a reminder to “say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out.”
Arianna Grande’s “Get Well Soon” is a reminder that we have to take care of ourselves. We need to heal emotionally from this past year. No matter how hard it may seem, we will, in fact, “Get Well Soon.”
From the Trolls soundtrack, “Get Back Up Again” by Anna Kendrick is a reminder that even though 2020 has knocked us down many times, we need to get back up again. The line “There’s nothing getting in my way and if you knock, knock me over I will get back up again” pinpoints that fact.
From the Zootopia soundtrack, “Try Everything” by Shakira serves as a reminder even though 2020 was filled with many setbacks, we still have to hold onto the attitude “I wanna try everything even though I could fall,” because “nobody learns without getting it wrong.”
“Diamonds” by Rhinanna reminds us that “You and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky.” Even though this was harsh, we need to remember to “shine bright like a diamond.”
“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles ends this section of the playlist, using the line “here comes the sun” as a metaphor. The sun is 2021, and it is just around the corner.
Upbeat for 2021
This playlist is to get listeners pumped and ready to start the new year. The new year is a new leaf, and we will start off 2021 on a better note than 2020 if we allow ourselves to.
We have the upbeat stylings of “Everytime we Touch” by Cascada, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, “Shut Up and Dance” by WALK THE MOON, “Victorious” by Panic! At the Disco, “Rain on me” by Arianna Grande and Lady Gaga, “Just Like Fire” by P!nk, “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco and “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae to pump up spirits and get listeners ready and excited for the new year to come.
The song “Raise your Glass” by P!nk to celebrates the fact that we made it through this tough time. Reflecting the sentiment of “Believer,” even when times are difficult, we will keep moving forward and celebrate the small victories. Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” also holds true to this idea.because 2020 wasn’t able to hold us back and even though we had to push through some hard times we were able to make it through.
“Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift because the bad vibes of 2020 need to be shaken off as we enter 2021, and the song “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green is to represent the fact that 2020 is a year to forget and move on from.
Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t stop the feeling” is on this playlist to represent the fact that we can’t stop feeling excited for 2021 and the good things that come along with a new year beginning. This song embraces that we “can’t stop the feeling, so just dance, dance, dance.”
Demi Lovato’s “Confident” reminds us that “there’s nothing wrong with being confident” as we head into 2021 confidently.
To conclude the playlist, “You Need to Calm Down” by Taylor Swift works as an encouragement to tell us to call down after 2020. This was a rough year, but entering 2021 with a calm, fresh mindset will allow it to manifest as a better year.