So instead of working on my law exams (and to be fair, I have been revising today for six hours, procrastination was not only inevitable but necessary), I have decided to share my top ten revision songs that help to spur me along. Now sadly for me, music with lyrics serve only to distract me (you try reading academic commentary on the correspondence principle without starting to inwardly sing Mumford and Son’s!). As a result I will be including my integral ‘break’ songs along with my ‘study like a boss’ instrumentals.
1. Study Like A Boss: ‘In the House, In a Heartbeat’ by John Murphy
Have you heard the really cool music from the Strongbow pear cider advert? Well, this is the music that I put alongside my ‘if you don’t revise now, you are going to fail and have to live in a box rifling through bins whilst occasionally shouting at the cheese in Tesco’ thoughts that prompt actual work. It has a very interesting build up of the same riff over, and over, and over again, getting louder and more dramatic as time goes on. For me it is synonymous with the importance of the exams, and it helps to increase my will to actually want to revise for them. At the end of the song it suddenly goes quiet, which to me mirrors how soon it will all be over and calm again (and that therefore I needn’t run around like a headless chicken anymore screaming that I simply cannot find my post-it-notes).
2. Break: ‘This Is The Life’ by Amy McDonald
It’s happy. It makes me want to jig. It merrily sings about hangovers, nights out and uncertainty. It’s the exact scenario I miss when I’m revising- the freedom to do more or less anything (within monetary/legal/hopefully moral boundaries of course). It reminds me that there is actually a life outside of my degree, and that pretty soon I’ll be out of a book and into some horrendous bar with incapacitated friends about to stay on someone’s dingy and decidedly uncomfortable couch. Plus it’s a good song to have a little jump around to (as long as you don’t forget you’re holding a boiling cup of tea that you then throw down yourself… my bad).
3. Study Like A Boss: Pachelbels’ Canon in D…on electric guitar!
It’s so amazing. I used to air guitar to this when I was about fourteen, and it hasn’t lost its effect yet! I play the guitar and absolutely love impressive adaptions for it. This song always give me a sense of hope I suppose- it’s great to work to because it keeps the spirit up when your motivation is starting to lack and there’s an interesting fight about nothing going on on Facebook and you really just want to add fuel to the fire… . Plus again, how cool is this! I know it’s not just the one guy doing all of it (he’s playing the solo and none of the backing obviously) but just look at his fingers! Look at them go!
4. Break: ‘Smile Like You Mean It’ by the Killers
Because smiling. Because meaning it. Because revision makes me want to cry.
5. Study Like A Boss: ‘Skyrim’ by Lindsey Stirling & Peter Hollens
I know this is technically including words, but how beautiful is it! I adore the violin pieces, and whilst it’s bordering distracting it’s repetitive enough that it encourages me to work rather than dance around. Also it’s incredible that this is all only Stirling and Hollens. It also has the added bonus of reminding me of Skyrim without actually letting me play it too. I’d have no hope in hell at passing law if I was allowed access to games of any kind, so this is a nice nicotine-esque patch to tide me over!
6. Break: ‘Bad Girlfriend’ by Theory Of A Dead Man
It’s a little misogynistic. It’s a little crude. It’s not something I would run home to play to my mother. But it’s quirky with a solid rhythm and a really pleasant solo and I can’t help but sing along! It’s give me a good two minutes of forgetting my degree and allows me to just listen to music for a short time. It’s also not one of those songs that lets your mind wander too far- there’s no room for it in the lyrics, they’re all very specific and sudden, so there’s no chance of drifting off, seeing the date on the computer screen and having a small yet very real mental breakdown because the exams are in a few weeks and you don’t even know what the title of an entire topic means, let alone the content. (Ahem, sorry).
7. Study Like A Boss: ‘Mars (The Planets)’ by Gustav Holst
By far my favourite of ‘The Planets,’ Mars is inspirational, terrifying and interesting (as well as being long enough that I don’t need to put down my book and scramble all over YouTube for another useful piece of music). It’s very story like, and it can help me understand particularly difficult topics believe it or not! I think it’s because although it’s a very diverse compilation, it’s also quite slow moving, (and that certainly accompanies my memorization ability well).
8. Break: ‘Down With The Sickness’ by Disturbed
Because by this point in the day I’ve been revising for about six hours, my head is starting to hurt and I’m beginning to get a little bit irritable (you might say it ‘wakes up the demon in me,’ hehe). I like to put some metal here as it appeals to my core music taste; heavy, intelligently written and easy to mosh/dance/nod awkwardly to. And the lyrics are easy to both understand and repeat back, certainly not an underrated feat in heavy music! It’s easy listening for the alternative and the tired (well, if you don’t mind being slightly disturbed by the interlude about abuse in the middle…) and it’s a nice jolt to the system to keep me awake when my books are getting dull.
9. Study Like A Boss: Music I don’t know the name of, but I type ‘Sad Violin’ into YouTube… Fail, I know
Points to anyone who can tell me what this is actually called. I’ve been using it as my ‘lower the adrenaline’ aid for post heavy metal sessions for as long as I can remember, but for the life of me I cannot work out who wrote this! I found it when having a casual YouTube stalk a long time ago (probably to avoid revision if I know myself well), and it’s both pretty and entertaining without being too ‘in your face.’ At the moment I’m finding it gets me through the very last little push to remember one more case, read one more opinion or look up one more sinfully boring statute. Even if this kind of music isn’t your thing, it’s undeniably beautiful!
10. Break: ‘Scream and Shout,’ by Will.I.Am and Britney Spears
The day is done, the revision is finished, and it’s time for me to relax and internally review what I’ve been doing all day. Dance music is very useful for this I find- it requires absolutely no attention to nod along to, and it is therefore an instant mood booster for the mentally weary. I often play it when I’ve eventually gotten around to make dinner to make sure I actually do bother to eat. Plus there’s no harm in giving me a gentle reminder of what’s going to be played when I’m drunk, relieved and dancing poorly in some horrendous club the night after the exams.
So there you have it, my top ten study and break tunes. As always thank you for reading and feel free to comment below! ^^.