Good Vibrations for Tedious Citations: Songs To Write To

Mood Music

When I was in college, I realized that when I would write a paper, it wasn't just about hearing the clicking of the keys in sync to the rhythms of my thoughts. No, I had to have something else to pull me through. Complete silence would work for some periods of time, but it wasn't long after that I realized I need something to help me plug through.

While I did love the wonders of YouTube, it only could do so much to click on a song/video, wait for it to load and have it play. I had an iPod and iTunes so I figured it would be easier to form a playlist of artists and sounds that would help me write.

Now granted, alot of people do work better in silence but sometimes I do listen to the words of a song to help me think of ways to put things. So in this hub I'd like to present a sample playlist of good songs to write to.

Sweet Sounds for Thinking Around

Some artists to me are great to listen to when you're happy, some are great when you're sad or pensive, some are even great when you want to tell someone how you really feel. But what about when you're brainstorming or drafting that term paper? There has to be music for that right? I think so and below here are some songs I like for thinking.

Viva La Vida -Coldplay

I recently heard Chris Martin describe this as a French Revolution breakup song. While that may be true, the introductory chords for some reason hit me with great music to manically start thinking with. Now, I know it may sound funny but to me I could imagine myself getting excited to write. It worked, so I guess it isn't that funny.

Rocket Man- Elton John

If I could probe the mind of any singer-songwriter, it would definitely be Elton John. I mean, how did he come up with something so inventive as a man living and working on Mars away from his family? He's definitely one of the more innovative artists that inspire me. It gets me going about how I think about things and how to break it down in such a way that's understandable.

Melt with You- Modern English

As romantic as this song is, at it's very core it is a wonderful love story. The protagonist is willing to do anything to be with his lover. I liked to get lost in this song while trying to organize my papers and if I didn't sing along, it was usually successful.

Something - The Beatles

This song is known for being the one megahit not written primarily by Paul McCartney and/or John Lennon. However, as quiet and shy as George Harrison was, in one of the few times he expressed himself it was beautiful, descriptive and just great for getting me in the mood to write.

The Write Stuff

When I would write, I would get into a very specific zone. I was focused but also aware of what was going on around me. I didn't completely tune out, so I would listen to music that helped me focus but also not too distracting to the process.

Take Me Home- Phil Collins

I really began to love listening to Phil Collins in college. I always knew who he was, but could never fully appreciate his artistry until I was older. One of my favorite songs by him is "Take Me Home." It wasn't his biggest hit, but it tells a very real story and the mellow downbeat kept me bouncing into long hours of writing.

Virtual Insanity- Jammorquai

Many people forgot about how awesome Jammorquai was in the 90s. I mean people literally became transfixed to that video and the song was pretty neat as well. This song helped to push me through when I start to feel sluggish in the middle of a paper. It's danceable but it's also very insightful which is another plus.

Human Nature- Michael Jackson

I have loved Michael Jackson as an artist since I was a kid. When I was younger, I was all about the fast paced beats of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Don't Stop to You Get Enough" but as I got older, I appreciated his ballads more. "Human Nature" is one of my favorite songs by him period and it's mellow enough to help me keep writing.

Finishing Touches

When you near the end of a paper, there's a feeling of excitement as well as anxiety. Anxiety mainly because you have to not only write a cool conclusion, you also have to wrap up lose ends and edit. So for me it was all about something bouncy to keep me going.

Atomic Dog - George Clinton

This song is great to groove to, but the idea of chasing always makes me think of pursuing a goal which is great when your trying to write the last sentence of the final paragraph. It has a great groove for you to nod to while finishing up the parts of the paper you're not too excited about.

We've Got It Goin' On - Backstreet Boys

Regardless of what you think of BSB, they do have some great jams. "We've Got It Goin' On" is a great confidence booster for those moments you aren't too sure about what you've written. And plus if your with friends who aren't down with BSB, you can mess with them by singing along (quietly that is).

Mama Said Knock You Out- LL Cool J

When you really want to drive a point home, you put this song on. Not only does it get you riled up, it also helps you think of that term paper as the mortal enemy it can sometimes be. But just remember, you're the one with the power to knock it out!

I hope this helps when you're writing the big one, but just remember it's all about attitude and confidence.

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Comments 16 comments

~Christina profile image

~Christina 5 years ago from Northern Virginia

I love this hub. I totally use music to help me get my writing juices flowing and you have some great song suggestions here.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Christina! I'm glad I gave you some good songs to possibly write to!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Wow it really looks like you mastered the playlist while writing in college...so do you still use the same music when you are writing hub page hubs? I am not sure it would work for me as I know I do lots of talking to myself in my head...and I the fact that I really like some of the music you suggested...but it is worth a try...particulary when I get stuck....voted up and awesome...thanks for the great suggestion.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hey Cogerson thanks again for stopping by! I don't really write to music as much as I did in college. It only really came about then because my friends wanted to work in silence because they were science majors and liked to study quietly and so I started that in lieu of talking. Now, since I'm home with no noise restrictions I usually have the television on, sometimes on Music Choice where there's some music going but I kind of write like a stream of consciousness. I just start typing and stuff comes in my head. I do talk to myself in my head and aloud sometimes but that gets iffy. I'm glad your considering it, sometimes it's really helpful :)!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Great hub. I use music to help the muses, too. I use jazz or classical. Words usually interfere because I start getting into the lyrics and off the writing. I'll take a listen to some of your choices, though, and see what happens.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Cyndi! I hope it helps you!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Great hub! I have Elton John and Phil Collins on my iPod playlist for writing and drawing. Smoooth!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

HI Sharkye,

That's cool I thought I was in the minority!


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 3 years ago from Ohio

I LOVE THIS!!! I am always too lazy and indecisive to make playlists of my own. You totally rock for puting these together. These song choices are great.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Great hub with some great choices - the only one I don't like is Phil Collins, never liked him. Loved the tempo and mood changes along the way.


Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Thanks for sharing!

I have all these songs memorized, except for the Coldplay one.


baja2013 profile image

baja2013 3 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

When I was a student Elton John help me a lot to prepare some of my exam, especially math and statistic subjects.

Today when I want to work on something and listen to the music, Vivaldi and Tchaikowsky are my best friends.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Dana,

I'm glad I could help you find a playlist! Enjoy :).


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jools,

I'm sorry you don't like Phil but I"m glad you enjoyed everything else!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jed,

Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi baja2013,

Thanks for sharing your insights!

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