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Arts Playlist: Songs to Embrace Your Quarantine Loneliness

The opening scene of "Les Misérables."
The opening scene of "Les Misérables." By Courtesy of Festival de Cannes
By Jenna X. Bao, Crimson Staff Writer

With terms like “quarantine,” “self-isolation,” and “social distancing” becoming commonplace in our daily conversations, the spring of 2020 has prompted an unprecedented change in social dynamics. Following the great coronavirus-induced student diaspora, “grabbing a meal” has been replaced with scheduling FaceTime or Zoom calls. Blast these songs as you stay inside to linger in your newfound loneliness or reflect back on the good old days, when the furthest distance you had to traverse to see your friends was from the River the Quad.

“Waving Through a Window” from “Dear Evan Hansen”

This emotional ballad captures the sense of looking in at a world you cannot seem to access. The idea of tapping on the glass and watching people pass has never felt so literal as when you are actually stuck indoors with a stay-at-home order, waving at your friends through your webcam.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

There is nothing like an angsty early 2000s ballad that declares “My shadow's the only one that walks beside me” to sum up this anthropological moment.

“On My Own” from “Les Miserables”

If your crush is now three time zones away, channel your inner French peasant to lament their absence with the ultimate Broadway classic for lonely hearts.

“Dancing on My Own” by Calum Scott

Clear out a corner of your bedroom and have your own little dance party. We all deserve it.

“For the First Time in Forever” from “Frozen”

In a bit of a tonal shift, this hopeful song is about the possibility of social interaction after years of loneliness and the dizzying excitement of isolation coming to an end.

“22” by Taylor Swift

Finally, to end on a brighter note, this bubbly pop song captures what senior spring was supposed to be. This is for all the nostalgia of life pre-social distancing, and what you have to look forward to once it is over.

— Staff writer Jenna X. Bao can be reached at

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