St. Vincent DeJamz


(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

When I took over writing DeJamz my junior year, I severely underestimated how difficult it would be to come up with both a new theme each week and maintain variety within my song selection. Despite my best efforts, I admit that I failed at the latter; as Arts & Life Editor Nate Burleyson pointed out just last week, I have included a Phoebe Bridgers song in the playlist for the last seven-odd new lists.

For this week, however, the theme is simple, if not totally obvious: graduation! As I prepare to say goodbye to my time at DePaul, and more importantly The DePaulia, I’ve been feeling very sentimental, listening to songs about growth and moving on and all that sappy stuff.

For my final DeJamz, here are some of my favorite songs about saying goodbye and starting anew. And for those of you who have stuck with me and read my lists each week (although I’m doubtful that any of you exist), thank you.

All I Want- Joni Mitchell

When I was a senior in high school, I played all of “Blue” by Joni Mitchell to death and it remains my favorite album to this day. The opening track off the album, “All I Want,” is ostensibly about an uncertain romance, but still captures the feelings of post-graduate unpredictability. Mitchell’s voice — which I know is not for everyone — sounds gorgeous on this track, freely moving over the steady guitar melody.

Closer to Fine- Indigo Girls 

This is something of a cliche graduation song, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. The instrumentation, lyrics and melody of this song are something to behold. It perfectly captures the turbulence of being young and unsure of yourself, while also allowing some romanization of such feelings. I may not know what my next step is, but I hope it is as good as this song makes uncertainty sound.

Fifteen (Taylor’s version) – Taylor Swift

As I live and breathe! A Taylor Swift song on DeJamz? As mentioned, I’m not always the best at picking a super diverse collection of songs, but it’s my list, damn it. While I have long since stopped caring about high school (as you all should), the sincerity behind this song gets me every time. When I think of myself at the beginning of college compared to the end, I feel similar to Swift narrating her freshman year in high school, and I think 18-year-old me just really needs a hug. If you’re feeling nostalgic or just in the mood for a great country ballad, this is the song for you.

Doctor My Eyes- Jackson Browne 

While previous songs on this list have made uncertainty sound beautiful and fancy-free, it’s not all that fun! This is still an uptempo, pleasant track, but the lyrics capture the confusion that comes with not knowing what’s next. This song has been one of my favorites since early high school and I’m going to continue to play it to death.

Golden Days- Whitney 

I’m not above admitting that I’m a little sad about graduating. While I know it’s the right time to go, I can’t help but be nostalgic for my time at DePaul — specifically my pre-Covid experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I started at DePaul, but I never could have imagined the fun I would have and the amazing people I would meet. This song is all about remembering the best times of your life, and I know DePaul was one of mine.