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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, March 4, 2024

Soundtrack to the end of the world: A world post-pandemic, Part 2


For this last column, I asked my friends to share a bit of what they’re looking forward to as a post-pandemic world starts to come into focus. They sent me songs of rumination, rest and, most of all, celebration. This is part 2; part 1 is available at

As for me, I just celebrated my second (and hopefully last) pandemic birthday, this time with the people I missed so much last year. So I played "22" (2012) by Taylor Swift, of course, "What's Up?" (1993) by 4 Non Blondes and "Rainbow" (2019) by Kacey Musgraves. Songs for dreaming and singing and smiling really, really big. 

Chris Panella: “I Feel for You” by Prince and Chaka Khan (1979 and 1984)

As I finish my senior year and prepare to travel home and see family and friends, I think I’ll be most excited to play Prince and Chaka Khan’s respective versions of “I Feel for You” (1979 and 1984). Written originally by Prince, the song is a warm, funky and gorgeous love track. Khan’s version features a lively chromatic harmonica played by Stevie Wonder, while Prince keeps to a sultrier vibe on his version. Both feel like perfect songs for the transition from spring semester to summer break — I imagine myself making margaritas with my mom and my boyfriend under the hot sun. We’re probably celebrating graduation, and I’m wearing some absurd outfit with big sunglasses. Immaculate vibes all around!

Stephanie Hoechst: “Push Play” by Cheap Talk (2014)

My freshman fall friend Rebeca and I were party pals for a long time before the pandemic hit. We’d tie flannels around our waists and step out to parties to dance our faces off, taking breaks by hogging an open window and letting the cool air give us some reprieve from the sweaty dance floor. When we used to get ready together beforehand, I’d always put on my "’80s Jamz" playlist, and we’d dance to Prince, A-ha and Whitney Houston. I haven’t been able to stop listening to “Push Play” since I discovered it a week or two ago — it came out in 2014, but it's a Taylor-Dayne-esque or an “I Think We’re Alone Now”-sounding ‘80s-pop homage, over-the-top synth and all. It’s totally something I want to put on if Rebeca and I ever get the chance to go out together again, if only to remind us of all those nights going out way back when.

Tuna Margalit: “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn (1973)

In high school, I used to look back on my elementary and middle school days and miss the bliss of relative ignorance. Then, once college started, I looked back on my high school days in the same way. Now, I look back at my early college days in this way, too. The last trip I went on was with my family, right after my first year at Tufts. We embarked on a two-week coastal journey up Northern California and southern Oregon. Driving on the light-speckled roads on the bed of a redwood tree sea was where I first heard this song, having succumbed to my dad’s insistence on playing something other than Kanye and then even taking one of his song requests. This was the one I took, and now I can’t think about the last time I was exploring new places with the people I love without hearing the innocent and blissful instrumental that opens this old gem of a song.