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Your Corona-virus Song of the Day.  Twenty.
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Your Corona-virus Song of the Day. Twenty.

Saw a lot of tweets today referencing the author’s (tweeter’s?) Spotify “Wrapped” selections. For the uninformed, Wrapped is a feature of Spotify that details the subscriber’s listening habits over the previous year. And if you have read more than a couple of my posts, you won’t be surprised to find that my most-listened-to artist in 2020 was R.E.M. In fact, I have an entire post dedicated to describing R.E.M. as my comfort music.

But this post is not about letting you know what I listened to all year. This post is about helping you cope – through music – with the the stress of 2020. High on my 2020 play-count list is just such a song. From the R.E.M. album Life’s Rich Pageant – and how’s this for appropriate – “These Days”.

It’s a good song for lifting the spirits: fast-paced and full of energy, with lyrics that range from the ridiculous:

March into the ocean, march into the sea, had a hat
I put it down and it sunk, reached down
Yanked it up, slapped it on my head

to the clever:

We have many things in common, name three

A good song makes the listener feel something. In the case of “These Days”, what the listener feels is energized. Lyrics? Who cares – let’s just dance to it.

A great song has something extra – a near-subliminal, listen-closely-or-you’ll-miss-it component: a well-crafted counter-melody, a poetic line, or a meaningful phrase that catches the ear and sticks in the brain. What makes “These Days” great, in my estimation, are two simple lines.


We are young despite the years

And though this line becomes more meaningful the older I get, it is the second line that gets our attention and resets our resolve for this nightmare of a year.

We are hope despite the times

In the same way we must, as the years pass, struggle to maintain a young, fresh outlook, we must also struggle to maintain hope when the journey is harder than ever, the outlook is dim, and the road seems endless.

I am young despite the years.

I am concern.

I am hope despite the times.


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