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5,543 Liked Songs: A Glimpse into My Memory-Embedded Tracks

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

So I’m a sentimental girl. What’s new! I thought it might be fun to put all of my 5,543 liked songs on shuffle to see what kinds of memories I could excavate from the crevices of my five-year-old Spotify account. 

The catch? 

I decided to only detail the first five songs that had memories attached to them. That way, I hoped to explore a wider range of genres and emotions, particularly ones that I might not be inclined to bring attention to otherwise (oh hey, Weezer). I called upon my younger sister, Natalie, to hold me accountable. When I pitched my idea to her, she was irritably examining the haircut she had given herself in my full-length bedroom mirror, pressing me to see if I thought it looked even. It didn’t. 

All in all, she agreed to serve as my witness. I also offered to trim her lopsided locks, but that’s probably unrelated. Anyways, here are the first five memory-embedded songs that came on my shuffle. 

“Payphone” by Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa

I first heard this song at a friend’s sixth-grade sleepover, and after I heard Wiz’s verse, I was hooked. I brought up the lyric video on YouTube as soon as I got home: clean version, iPod touch. I played his part over and over until I mastered it because I figured that that would make me the coolest girl at the next sleepover. It didn’t, but now I’ve got the whole song on lock.

“Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary

My dad used to play this song off of a CD when I was in a booster seat in the backseat of his old Toyota Camry. I asked Natalie if she remembered him playing it, and she asked if this song was in Dragon Tales. It definitely wasn’t, but talk about a throwback.

“STREAMING SERVICES” by Taylor Bennet ft. Zxxk and Melo Makes Music

The summer before college, there were two significant things that happened: (1) Taylor Bennet released his album, THE AMERICAN REJECT, and (2) I listened to this album every day after 6 p.m. when I completed my YMCA camp counselor duties. “STREAMING SERVICES” was a personal favorite. To me, this song sounds like being the only car on the road and driving a little too fast on the way home, propelled by the anticipation of hanging out with friends later that night. 

“Without Me” by Rayland Baxter

This song is soft and warm: a blue velvet couch, a lit Yankee Candle, my best friend making chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen. It reminds me of my junior year of college and living with (you guessed it) one of my best friends. This is one of the songs she’d play when she connected her Spotify account to the television in our old apartment. 

“Love Game” by Tyga 

I actually discovered this song on Pandora. I was around 13 at the time, and I had put some rap radio station on as I cleaned my room. I remember being so awestruck by the ease of the storytelling that I stopped mid-chore to check my iPod touch and give the song a like. The lyrics were so casually emotive, the chorus I could scream. I still love this criminally underrated song, all seven minutes and 34 seconds of it. It was one of my most-played tracks in 2022.

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There are so many other songs that could’ve made this list, and the thought of more songs having this power over me in the future is difficult to process. Here’s to more growth: for both my music taste and my sister’s hair.

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Sophia Apteker

U Mass Amherst '23

Sophia is the former editor-in-chief of the UMass Amherst chapter double majoring in journalism and integrated marketing communication. She is an avid Wordle player, a top 2% Drake listener, and a basketball enthusiast.