As the giant cogs of University College Dublin resume their inexorable course, Stephen Connolly offers inspiration by way of song to help you to avoid being ground into underachieving sludge
‘Street Hassle’ – Lou Reed
There comes a time in every undergraduate’s life when they question exactly how worthwhile their degree actually is. Be still, worry not. Why? Lou Reed limped out of Syracuse University in 1964 clutching a degree in both journalism and creative writing and now look at the man: twenty solo albums of muttering and clanging and all the cheap aftershave a man could ever hope to drink.
‘The Great Beyond’ – REM
Should your engagement with your chosen field of study wane, remember that outside of the artificial constructs of the education system, someone of your slender grasp of reality is of almost zero worth; save from the precious few joules of energy to be obtained from burning your corpse.
‘Concentrate’ – XZIBIT
Mr. Xzibit’s sincerity is undermined in this particular piece by the overall dearth of coherence to be found in this informative composition, not to mention the peculiar inclusion of couplets such as “congregate, associate/don’t fuck yo’self, procrastinate.” What is commendable however, is how he gracefully declines to (or possibly neglects to) rhyme with the words “fellate” and “masturbate”.
‘Oh Father’ – Madonna
Keep your head down, and maybe, if the old man has had enough to drink at your graduation party, he might look you in the eye.
‘A Little Less Conversation’ – Elvis Presley vs. JXL
Wafting through a haze of dated techno comes encouragement in the form of a ghostly bollocking from beyond the grave. Perhaps avoid following his direct example, as tripping balls on painkillers has been reported to hinder acquisition.
‘Heaven’ – Talking Heads What
Better impetus to give the intricacies of Employment Law the benefit of your attention than to listen to David Byrne’s howling realisation that after your frustrating life and inevitably embarrassing death, heaven promises inconceivable mundanity. At least you might get some work done there, provided there are available sockets.
‘Don’t Stop’ – Fleetwood Mac
If the batshit Californian-British five-headed monster Fleetwood Mac managed to haul their beaded necks from their dunes of cocaine long enough to harmonise over this chorale of coercion, you can surely at least give the German Plusquamperfekt half an hour of your precious time.
‘You keep it all in’ – The Beautiful South
You wish. Your learning process has all the reward and gratification of trying to paint a watersnake. Buy a highlighter.
‘Funtime’ – Iggy Pop
One must let the hair down from time to time, as it were. Schedule periods of recreation, the odd whopper session perhaps to punctuate your 36 minute marathons of study. Iggy Pop and David Bowie apparently “get stoned and run around,” for example. Bless them.
‘The Fear’ – Pulp
If any real sense of duty to yourself or indeed your parents fails to take root, fear is your final hope. As it becomes clear that your efforts this semester shall once again amount to nought, that sensation is your very own disenchanted intestines seeking to flee from the sinking ship that is your academic endeavour.