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On Repeat: Sweet songs for basking in the Charlottesville sun

The perfect soundtrack for the changing of the season

<p>Springtime and music go hand-in-hand with their unique ability to bring people together, and this sweet playlist will do just that.</p>

Springtime and music go hand-in-hand with their unique ability to bring people together, and this sweet playlist will do just that.

As the weather warms up and the cloudless sky becomes a more permanent fixture over the Rotunda, it is safe to assume that students will be spending more time outside. Whether doing work in a garden, laying out on the Lawn with friends or — perhaps most pertinent to the theme of this playlist — spending their Sundays at the farmers’ market, these songs provide the perfect soundtrack to underscore the sweetness of endless days in the warm spring sun.

“Raspberry Beret” by Prince

A groovy start to this eclectic list, “Raspberry Beret” by Prince is an oldie that feels like driving down the street with all the car windows down. Off of his hit 1985 album “Around the World in a Day,” “Raspberry Beret” was a resounding success for the superstar and has remained a timeless classic since its release.

Singing about a girl that he has quite the crush on — possibly a very relatable feeling for many students here at the University — Prince conveys his feelings by focusing on the uniqueness of her beret. The line “Raspberry beret / I think I love her,” shows just how head-over-heels he is for this girl, as he hangs on the word “love” and holds it out, further emphasizing his intense feelings. 

Combined with the admittedly risque lyrics, the drum beat of this song makes it particularly enjoyable to listen to as the seasons change, providing listeners with the hope that they, too, might find someone as special as this mysterious girl in a raspberry beret.

“Cherry” by Rina Sawayama

A song about finding identity and joy in self-expression, “Cherry” by pop star Rina Sawayama is a heartwarming and exuberant track that references her identity as a pansexual woman and the euphoria that comes with self-love and self-expression, no matter how difficult it may be. Released early on in her career, just following her first and self-titled album “RINA,” “Cherry” marks a period of evolution not only in Sawayama’s life but in her music.

There are few things truer than the ever-sweet sentiment expressed by Sawayama in the bridge as she sings, “Now I wanna love myself / ‘Cause nothing else is guaranteed / ‘Cause inside I’m still the same me.” In raw and radiant form, Sawayama recognizes the importance of self-love, a positive message that — though it may have taken her some time to realize —  may be just what listeners need as the weather warms up and the chirping birds conjure up contemplation of the transience of time. 

“Lemon Tree” by Mt. Joy

A song about finding the happier things in life and believing that all people have connected energies, “Lemon Tree” by Mt. Joy has an overwhelmingly positive feeling that connects listeners not only to the song, but to each other. The band’s lyrics work seamlessly in combination with the powerful guitar and drum lines that add a psychedelic quality to the song. 

As lead singer and guitarist Matt Quinn sings out “I just found a lemon tree / It’s a bad day for my enemies,” listeners are left feeling hopeful about things to come, the “lemon tree” serving as a physical representation of the bliss that life can bring if people will simply allow it to do so. Lyrics like this one are what makes this song perfect for spring, a season often distinctly marked by changes as the flowers bloom around Grounds and beyond. 

“Clementine” by Elliott Smith

Though not the most uplifting track on this list, “Clementine” by Elliott Smith rounds it out as a conclusion to the full range of emotions outlined. A beautiful, mellow acoustic track with incredibly descriptive imagery, “Clementine” — while not necessarily sweet in its lyrics — recognizes the importance of feelings other than joy as the season begins to change. As Smith sings about a strained relationship with a girl who is important to him, one cannot help but reflect on their own relationships and the importance of treating people with the kindness that they deserve.

Smith shows growth throughout the song as he croons out “Oh my darling, Clementine / Dreadfully sorry, Clementine.” While he is referencing the folk song “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” he is also showing remorse for what he has said and done in the past. As the strums of the guitar come to an end, one can not help but wonder about his relationship with the girl he sings so passionately about, making it the perfect song to which to daydream while walking through the downtown mall or across Mad Bowl.

Springtime and music go hand-in-hand with their unique ability to bring people together, and this sweet playlist will do just that — whether it is played from bluetooth speakers on the Lawn or from a car’s radio on a lazy Sunday drive to visit the treasures of the Downtown Mall. 


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