The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

13 Beats: From Popsicles to Pumpkins


There’s no denying the bittersweet emotions that come with watching the warm, sunny days of summer fade away in the rearview. Rather than reminisce on carefree days spent on the beach, focus your attention ahead toward crisp leaves, comfy sweaters and warm apple pies. These are thirteen tunes to gently guide any reader through this transition and, by the end, embrace all the warmth and optimism it has to offer.

1. “Wildflowers” — Tom Petty (1994)

Wildflowers by Tom Petty reminds me of the fleeting sweetness of summer. When I hear the first notes of this song, I think of delicate flowers bending in the breeze and of insects perched on their stems, softly humming along. It’s a perfect July day and a soothing summer love encapsulated in three minutes and ten seconds. 

2. “My Sweet Midwest” — Fruit Bats (2016)

Northwest of Chicago, across the state border, is a town called Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It takes about two hours to drive there from the city, and my family heads up there nearly every weekend in the summer to lay out on piers and go boating with my cousins. On the drive to Lake Geneva, outside your window are stretches of cornfields, dairy cows snacking in the sunshine and glistening lakes dotting the horizon. This song perfectly emulates the scenery.

3. “august” — Taylor Swift (2020)

August, for many, is a month defined by transitions. Swift’s brutally honest lyrics describe a fleeting summer love that is escaping out of her fingers like sand. We’ve all had to say that sort of goodbye — this nostalgic tune validates all of the feelings that come with it.

4. “The Boys of Summer” — Don Henley (1984)

In “The Boys of Summer,” Don Henley finds himself trying to save what remains of his summer. He reflects upon the empty beaches and lakes that he used to frequent, the sunshine and warmth of the season and his romance with a beautiful girl. Henley captures a common heartbreak experienced toward the end of summer when heavy responsibilities begin to settle in and carefree attitudes simmer out.

5. “Drive” — The Cars (1984)

The inevitable moment has come: you just had your heart snapped in half by a summer fling. The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer and things are looking bleak.

Blaring out of a car radio, The Cars sing, “Who’s going to drive you home tonight?”

Maybe you’re asking yourself the same question, but pick your head up — a refreshing change is right around the corner. 

6. “Feelium” — The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

There’s nothing like noise to help cope with the mourning of summer break. Angst-filled guitar and pounding drums in “Feelium” will drown out even the most brutal post-summer sorrows. Feel all the feelings, but don’t smash too many pumpkins or the good ones will be gone by October.

7. “There She Goes” — The La’s (1990)

“There She Goes” is the ideal song for a morning walk on a gorgeous fall day. Perhaps you’ll take a detour into the trails, where the sun peeks through the trees and the leaves crunch under your feet. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a few deer resting in the vegetation or a chipmunk eating acorns. Let the lighthearted tone of this song influence a refreshing, peaceful outlook and intention for your day.

8. “Unwritten” — Natasha Bedingfield (2004)

The start of a new academic year is, for many people, a fresh start — especially if the semester before was a particularly rough one. This fall, Natasha Bedingfield encourages us to turn a blank page and give ourselves some grace as we move onwards into the semester. “Unwritten” reminds us of the importance of taking risks, putting ourselves first and taking each day at a time, especially in the midst of our chaotic college lives.

9. “Don’t Delete the Kisses” — Wolf Alice (2017)

Wolf Alice is telling us to be bold and brave in “Don’t Delete the Kisses.” Imagining a scenario where she has the courage to act on all of her wishes, Alice lives out her vibrant dreams and encourages us all to have the strength to chase ours, too. Fall is the perfect season to embrace a new and bold start.  

10. “Fantasy” — Mariah Carey (1995)

“Fantasy” leans into that particular bubbly feeling that arises when a refreshing sense of optimism washes over you. Maybe the weather is perfect, your coffee tastes just right or you just received a good exam grade. Carey taps into this particular energy in her mood-boosting hit single — just the right melody for when all your fall fantasies become reality. 

11. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” — Kylie Minogue (2001)

Technopop is the perfect confidence boost. Are you doing something bold with your outfit? Do you have an impossible exam to ace or an important interview around the corner? The fast-paced rhythm of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” will get you pumped and out the door, ready to conquer midterms.

12. “Cupid de Locke” — The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

The delicate instrumentals of “Cupid De Locke,” including the soft strumming of harp and a tinker of piano keys, captures the fuzzy feeling of leaning into a new love while the leaves change. There’s plenty of things to do near Hamilton for a first date, like taking a leisurely walk through the farmer’s market, sharing coffees at Flour and Salt or picking pumpkins at Critz Farms in Cazenovia. Just set it to the tune of this Smashing Pumpkins hit.

13. “New Song” — Alice Phoebe Lou (2019)

Alice Phoebe Lou highlights the happiness, warmth and fresh outlook on life that come with embracing the unknown. Fall is the perfect time to push yourself and test new boundaries, whether it be social life, academics or career endeavors. 

“Grab life by her wrist […] I wanna live like I mean it,” Lou sings, encapsulating an infatuation with the little things — even better if they’re unfamiliar — that we experience on a daily basis. 

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