The Soundtracks Of Our Lives

Mt. SAC students explain the tunes that summarize them and their lives

It’s hard to imagine the parting shot of “The Breakfast Club” without “Don’t You Forget About Me” playing behind John Bender’s iconic monologue, and later making its way into the mixtapes and hearts of teenagers across the country. At this point, the 1985 Simple Minds single and “The Breakfast Club” have become essentially synonymous. It’s become a fight-the-system anthem for teenagers across generations.

In the age where blasting music through your AirPods on the way to class is totally acceptable and not at all antisocial, curating the soundtrack to your life has become just as laborious as compiling an actual movie soundtrack.

Randall Poster, a music supervisor who has helped craft the soundtracks to movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Wes Anderson’s indie classic “The Royal Tenenbaums,” once said, “I would only condemn my enemies to watching movies without music!” He has the right idea – who would want to live life without their favorite songs to cheer them up, or perhaps further fuel their minor depressive episodes?

So we asked students what songs would be in the soundtracks to their lives. Among their answers: “Seven Nation Army” by Y2K rock and roll revivalists The White Stripes, “Pursuit of Happiness” by melodic rapper Kid Cudi, and the transition music from “Hannah Montana.”

Sure, listening to songs from our favorite movies can make us feel like our favorite characters – when “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” plays in “Pretty in Pink,” you feel as though you are Duckie – hopelessly in love with a girl who will always see you as a friend – the original emo kid.

What is absolutely god tier, however, is when our favorite songs make us feel like the lead role in the biopic that is our lives. And when I’m walking down Miracle Mile on my way to study in the library, I envision “Broken Clocks” by SZA playing as a wide-angle shot pans towards me.

Movie soundtracks are not just essential in establishing the atmosphere of a movie; the music is somewhat of its own character by adding comic relief, contributing to the setting of a scene, or sometimes even as a plot device advancing the story.

That’s true in our own lives, too – unless you’re telling me that I’m the only one that constructs life’s little moments into well-scored scenes cinematic in scope. When a song is that good, it seems sometimes like the melody and lyrics of a song are carefully crafted around that moment.

In a movie, the soundtrack exists to elevate each scene, but in doing so, becomes so much more. Soundtracks are not just accompaniments to films; they become a part of the film, masterfully combining two mediums to create one masterpiece. Maybe life is not as meticulous as a movie, but it’s a masterpiece in its own right.