Friday, June 8, 2012

100 Songs: Descendents - "Cheer"

Artist: Descendents
Title: Cheer
Album: Enjoy!

I’ve been aware of this song’s existence for as long as I’ve been listening to the Descendents but it was something that I never really paid close attention to until my final semester of school. I was always (and still am) one of those Descendents fans that prefers Milo Goes to College or I Don’t Want to Grow Up, and coupled with the fact that half the tracks on Enjoy! are fart tracks or bogus metal songs, I just never listened to the album that it comes from very much.

Then came my last month of school. I was feeling pretty depressed. I had spent the last four years living with the same friends and it was coming to an end. Not just our living together, but the actual room was being destroyed, too. In fact, the entire Residence Hall that had been my home for the majority of college was being torn down and rebuilt into something “better” (I’ve gone back to visit- it’s impressive but it’s just not the same). I had also just broken up with my girlfriend, my jobs had all come to an end (no more giving tours, hosting radio shows, or signing in late night visitors), and I had no direction on what to do post-college (apathetic white boy problems… I’m aware of this. Don’t worry though [spoiler alert], my degree has come in handy and I’m doing quite well as a minimum wage dishwasher). I knew it wasn’t the end of my life or anything, but I had grown accustomed to living in New Paltz and the idea of moving back to Brooklyn didn’t sit well with me at all.

Anywho, while I was busy drowning in my own self pity, and a bottle of Evan Williams, I had listened every single track off of Expect the Worst by the Dopamines at least forty times. It was around my forty-first play that I decided it was time to look for something a little different- a song to cheer me up.

As you may have guessed, “Cheer” was that song. I put it on solely based on the title. The song itself is still a pretty sad song, but I still hear it as an optimistic song in the long run. The way I hear it, the protagonist is upset about the dissolution of one relationship but he hasn’t completely given up on life- he just needs someone to help cheer him up and get him out of his funk. That’s all he needed. That’s all I needed.

And I found it. In this song, yes, but also in the people around me. I guess the song just helped me to open my eyes and realized I didn’t have to mope around all the time. I had my friends (particularly one friend who was also leaving New Paltz so her schedule was just as clear as mine), and I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I’d see the town. It resonated with me so much that even a few months after leaving school I was still listening to the song so much that I named not one, but two blogs after the lyrics (and its since grown to a facebook page, usernames on several other sites and even re-naming my twitter). I don’t know if it’s my favorite song of all time, but it’s certainly one of the most meaningful songs in my entire music library.


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