The Shuffle Button and Music Identity

By Meredith McDevitt on February 20, 2017

1. The Denial Twist – The White Stripes

2. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day

3. Feeling Good – Nina Simone

4. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Ms. Lauryn Hill

5. Finest Hour – Gavin DeGraw

6. It Wasn’t Me – Shaggy

7. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

8. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder

9. Angels – Chance The Rapper ft. Saba

10. 21 Questions – 50 Cent

Here’s a list of the top 10 songs that played on my shuffle — each song and artist telling a different story to listeners, representing struggles or wins, and allowing anyone to imagine anything as they dive into the artist’s lyrics.

What do these songs mean to you? What is the message from the artist portraying to listeners? How often do you listen to these songs on shuffle?

No one really appreciates the shuffle button or feature when listening to his or her favorite playlist. There’s no need to shuffle your playlist because all of your most recent jams are at the top of your playlist.

Whether you’re running on the treadmill and you’re determining the next mile of your run depending on the next song, singing in the car with your friends to the beach, or picking the best new song to show your 80-year-old grandma, the importance of shuffle is crucial.

Shuffling songs relates to shuffling through life with remembering old memories, new experiences, and the people within all of these life events. Humans also have specific songs that remind them of a certain life event, a memory of a friend or family member, or a time in their life that this specific song played and was relevant. It may have been a breakup song that brings up a few laughs from your innocent days or an old dance routine from your hip-hop playground dancing days; however, these memories are with you forever. Additionally, that specific song is a forever reminder of that fond or not so fond memory.

Having music individualism and identity are lost features in today’s society. However, shuffling songs and learning from other random playlists, artists, and albums, can allow one to really find their true self within music.

I encourage you to shuffle your playlists more often, see what comes up, and see if you can relearn or find the deeper meaning of the lyrics, and identify these songs with yourself, and remind yourself why they’re on your playlist in general.

Meredith G. McDevitt Clemson University 2019 Women's Leadership, B.A. College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities

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