No Green Day! and other year-end music suggestions

At the school where I work, I’m responsible for putting together the year-end slide show, usually a PowerPoint of photos and music. Ours is shown on the final night of the school year. If people cry, I’ve done my job.

I’m working on my tenth presentation, which means I’ve had to select a lot of accompanying music over the years. I try to be original and non-cliche. Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has never made the cut, nor will it. We’re trying to get people to cry their eyes, not roll their eyes.

So no Green Day, no Vitamin C, no “I Will Remember You” (sorry, Sarah).

Here, then, is a list of alternate songs you might consider for your year-end/graduation/milestone slide show, some sappy, some with more of a more upbeat year-in-the-life groove.

Picture weeping teens as you listen.

This is for Everyone – Klee

You Are a Shining Light – Ash

Human – The Killers

Dancing on a Friday Night – The Darkness

How the Day Sounds – Greg Laswell

The Call – Regina Spektor

God Only Knows – Beach Boys

Have a Little Faith in Me – John Hiatt

Watch the Sunrise – Big Star

Where We Gonna Go from Here – Matt Kearney

You’ve Got the Love – Florence + The Machine

This is the Day – The The

Carry On – Fun

Time of My Life – Macy Gray

These Days are Mine – I Am Kloot

The Perfect Life – Moby

Days – Kirsty MacColl

I Got You – Meadowlark

One Day Like This – Elbow

The Weepies – Can’t Go Back Now

September – Earth, Wind and Fire

Move on Up – Curtis Mayfield

This Year Will be Our Year (mono version) – The Zombies

Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

And I’m pretty certain this will be used extensively this year to jerk some tears:

Any other suggestions?


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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48 Responses to No Green Day! and other year-end music suggestions

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    In some ways, I’m glad I don’t see “What a Wonderful World” on here by Louis Armstrong.They played that for our kids’ like pre-K graduation one time and yes, a real tear-jerker. What about “White Lines” or “Whip It?” Well, they’ve probably discovered both huffables/snortables and self-love by this point anyway.

  2. First name basis with Ms. McLachlan. Nice.

  3. Elyse says:

    Eve of Destruction? 😉

  4. Karen says:

    My vote is “We Made It” by Drake (and I’m mostly serious with that pick, but it will probably get you fired).

    Speaking of Green Day, if you want to feel old(er), they just got inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I don’t feel old, just sad. Never been a fan of the faux-punk. Because I’m old enough to remember real punk.
      And, yes, I would be fired. Although I hear worse in the gym during bball warmup.

  5. Anything involving Kirsty gets my thumbs up. I miss her.

  6. Dina Honour says:

    I was supposed to do this for my son’s 5th grade graduation this year (yes, 5th grade) and I was going to use a few Bruno Mars songs (You Can Count on Me and You’re Amazing) and that song from Fun from a few years ago (We are Young). I like the Don’t Stop til you get Enough. I guess the trick is to make the music accessible to the kids as well as the parents. Hmmm…..

  7. franhunne4u says:

    Shouldn’t the kids get a say which music is used, with singers like Taylor Swift, or (the Lord forbid) Justin Bieber …

  8. Lynn says:

    You crack me up Ross! “shouldn’t the kids have some input? No. Next question.”

    First of all, I love John Hyatt’s, Have a Little Faith in Me.

    Here are a couple of other suggestions:

    Jason Mraz – 93 Million Miles
    Sara Bareilles – Brave
    Rod Stewart – Forever Young
    Pharrell Williams – Happy

    Gaaa….if I sat here long enough, I could come up with many others……

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Rod Stewart is on my no-fly list, but that’s just me.
      I forgot that I included The Pretenders’ version of Dylan’s “Forever Young” one year. It works well.

  9. Lynn says:

    K, so I did keep thinking:

    Andrew Gold – Thank you for being a friend
    Beatles – In My Life (or new version by Ed Sheeran)
    Rascal Flatts – My Wish
    Vitamin C – Graduation Song
    Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten

    k…I’m done!

  10. Amy Reese says:

    That’s a big responsibility to pick the music. Good luck! And may the tears flow.

  11. List of X says:

    Here’s an old and sappy song which I think is perfect for year-end PowerPoint presentations: (Johnny Nash – I can See Clearly Now)

  12. List of X says:

    By the way, I got your book, and your check is in the mail.

  13. ksbeth says:

    what?! no “eye of the tiger?!”

  14. markbialczak says:

    I’ll toss in Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” Ross, for a spot of classic soul for both you and the kids, Ross. Nice mix, my friend.

  15. Bulls on Parade- Rage Against the Machine…that should wake everybody up. What? That’s not the goal. Hanson- MmmBop?

  16. We just went through this – oi! If I hear Journey one more time, my brain will start leaking from its drip pan … or something.

    Great post. 🙂

  17. I love Kirsty MacColl. So tragic.

    I like that you specify the mono version of This Year Will be Our Year. Yes, that does matter.

    What, no Rush? Don’t you think they’d shed a tear to The Fountain of Lammeth off Caress of Steel? That song takes up the entire side of an album. You might have to leave out the Earth Wind & Fire ditty.

  18. calahan says:

    What? No “My Ding-A-Ling”?

  19. mergie says:

    Just tripped across this list and I have to give major props for coming up with an alternative list to the same old, same old.

    Maybe it’s different two years later, but I think the ABSOLUTELY NOT list is important. These songs have, through overuse, lost any good quality they might have had and now make me want to rip out my hair and run screaming from the room.
    So in addition to banning Green Day and Vitamin C, I would like to add the following to the “Enough, already!” list:

    No Bruno Mars “Count on you.”
    No Lumineers “Hey Ho.”
    No Natasha Bedingfield “Unwritten.” (At this point, it’s definitely been written.)
    No song that ever has been in an Apple commercial.
    Pretty much no Bruno Mars.
    Ditto Jason Mraz.
    There are many others that I have lobotomized out of my head and will only remember when I hear the next montage soundtrack …

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