Mixtape: Study Songs


Yes, it’s week 12, and yes, you’re sick of study, so Ciarán Ó Braonáin puts together a playlist to soothe and distract

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
A little bit predictable, granted, and yes it’s appeared in several mixtapes to date, but this epitomical morale booster is an essential. If a small town girl and a city boy can make it in this lonely world, then anything is possible. Don’t stop believing, UCD.


I Want to Break Free & Under Pressure* – Queen (* feat. David Bowie)
Last of the obvious ones, I swear. It seems Queen had a special penchant for exam-related titles and if these all-time classics don’t sooth your rattled nerves, you’re beyond saving.

I Can – Nas
A last request from his mother’s deathbed saw New York rapper/poet Nas compose this upbeat ballad for the city’s underprivileged children. “I know I can, be what I wanna be. If I work hard at it, I’ll be where I wanna’ be.” Inspirational or what?

Optimistic – Radiohead
An uncharacteristically positive number from Thom Yorke and the boys. Not only are the lyrics encouraging but the melody even verges on cheerful. A genuine find. Although, unless you’re an Arts student, I ask you don’t take the lyrics literally: “If you try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.”

This Place is a Prison – Postal Service
This tortured downbeat piece is a must as it captures, more so than any other song, the unique ambiance of our own James Joyce Library: “This place is a prison, these people aren’t your friends… What does it take to get a drink in this place?”

School’s Out – Alice Cooper
The words we all want to hear: an anthem for all who sit in front of a pile of books for hours on end, watching the clock, and mentally counting down the days, hours and minutes ‘til freedom.

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
At the end of the day, you’re probably not as woefully underprepared as you will inevitably convince yourself and, more likely than not, you’re not definitely going to fail. So as the big man said, “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘coz every little thing is going to be alright.”

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle
And sure, even if Bob’s wrong and things do go a bit pear shaped, things could always be worse. So, in the immortal words of Monty Python’s Eric Idle: “Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best… And… always look on the bright side of life…”