I don’t believe in liking a song ‘ironically.’ If you like it for a weird reason, even to make fun of it, you just like it. While I didn’t love all of these songs, they saved me in my teens, whether it be because they provided a soundtrack for my bus ride or because I legitimately loved the band. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
1. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World: Yes, I know, they’re terribly unoriginal. But when I was in 11th grade and I broke up with my boyfriend and all of our friends sided with him and constantly tried to ruin my life, this helped me keep my chin up. Because those people sucked. And never made it out of Brooksville.
2. Float On – Modest Mouse: This belongs on a playlist with the previous song. While I didn’t lean on it the way I did “The Middle,” it still carries with it a lot of memories. The first day one of my friends was able to drive, this came on the radio in his car. Milestone of teenhood.
3. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley: Who hasn’t had a love affair with this song at some point in their life? How many people don’t discover it in their teens?
4. Don’t Blame Your Daughters – The Cartigans: This reminded me of my summers in England, sitting in a garden in Oxford, having the time of my life. When things got bad, I remembered how good they could be.
5. Walls – Emery: Really, every Emery song was great. Angsty, but not overly so. Not melodramatic…usually. Really solid stuff.
6. Umbrella – Rhianna: Somehow this became the adopted song of my relationship with Jon Oliver. It started ironically, but there are some great, cute covers of it.
7. Satellite – Dave Matthews Band: Enough said.
8. Back in the USSR – The Beatles: Once I got dragged to watch my guy friends do a WWII reenactment. I was SUPER bored and then the Russians recruited me (history lesson: Russians allowed women in the army). They got drunk on vodka in the woods and attacked using spoons while playing this song. Best day ever.
9. Dance Magic Dance – David Bowie: We went through a Bowie stage. Let’s not talk about it.
10. The Nothing That Kills – As Cities Burn: MY FAVORITE SONG OF MY TEENS. Hands down.