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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

If you’re on TikTok, you probably have heard the beautiful song “Scott Street” by Phoebe Bridgers. The song appears in her 2017 album, Stranger in the Alps. When I first heard this song, over a year ago, I was immediately, emotionally moved. I didn’t know a year later, I would rediscover the song from a couple of seconds-long videos. I started to listen to the song more and more as I underwent changes in my life, and I found such a strong connection to the meaning of the song.

Off the bat, this song addresses the theme of loneliness. I decided to listen to Bridgers’ explanation of her song, which was co-written with her drummer Marshall Vore. They made the second verse into a dialogue of a conversation with someone intimately involved in your past:

I asked you: How is your sister?
I heard she got her degree
And I said: That makes me feel old
He said: What does that make me?
I asked you: How is playing drums?
You said: It’s too much shit to carry
And what about the band?
You said: They’re all getting married

The entire song makes me think of many memories I have with people. Vore said, “This person did love me, but they were also working against me. So, I wonder if they’re ashamed of that kind of thing, and if they’ve grown up,” about a past relationship. I completely understand this. It’s about reflecting on a past relationship after casually running into an old flame. The lyrics along with the background music, perfectly summarize the isolation you feel when reconnecting with someone you were once so close with. It’s like you can feel the memories rush back. The person you once loved is in front of you, yet, when you look in his/her eyes, that person isn’t there anymore. Then, you realize how much you and the other person have changed when making small talk about topics you used to know so well. You used to share your lives together and now you two have become complete strangers.

This part sticks out to me too:

Do you feel ashamed
When you hear my name?

This reminds me of an all-consuming relationship, and then suddenly there is estrangement. There’s a sting when you hear someone’s name that you used to love and/or someone you used to know for years. You wonder what they feel when he/she hears your name. From my viewpoint, this person should feel ashamed, and I think Bridgers captured such a complex idea so simply.

When I listen to this song I either think of a specific person who used to be in my daily life, or I think of my childhood. I think of how my family dynamic has changed as I grew up, the old photographs as a child, my old friends, my parents and brother getting older and my childhood bedroom. But, I can’t tell if those are happy or sad thoughts. Every time I listen to this song, I don’t know which topic will cloud my mind. “Scott Street” doesn’t tell you what you’re supposed to feel. During the instrumental harmonization part of the song, some kind of bell rings. It reminds me of a bell on a bike, like the kind that is on little kids’ bikes. A bell that was once on my bike growing up. The simple bell in this song creates so much emotion because it’s a universal feeling of growing up. Like when you no longer need the training wheels anymore.

At the end, she repeats, “Anyway, don’t be a stranger.”

This ties back to the beginning of the song. It reinforces the feeling that has been evaluated and almost pushed out in the whole song. “Scott Street” is like the word for the feeling of strangeness when running into someone who used to be a huge part of your life. It’s almost like humans can’t help becoming strangers.

Listen to this delicate yet freeing song, and I promise you will feel it in your heart.


Hi, my name is Marnique, and I'm a senior journalism major at St. Bonaventure University. I love to read and write!