Every graduation season, I find myself humming the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance”. I have great admiration for the one who composed the official graduation march song. Even if it has no lyrics, the sound thundering from the musical instruments is like announcing something grand—something that is worth all the ten months of hardships and sleepless nights schooling brings upon students. In fact, I immediately get goosebumps the moment I hear the intro. But what I found most interesting in this occasion was actually the choice of songs our school admins had carefully picked for our “parting time” OST.
You see, graduations won’t be complete without the batch singing a song in chorus. A tune to remember each other by. So without further ado, I’m going to share four songs I sang along with my fellow graduates on three stages of graduation rites: elementary, high school and college.
I Will Be Here
I don’t know what got into my Grade Six teacher’s mind when he suggested we sing Gary V’s rendition of the popular couple anthem. Everyone else in class thought it’s something to be sung by lovers, not friends. It’s the line “to you and to the one who gave you to me” that really raised the eyebrows of my folks back home when they heard me singing it.
Anyway, I trembled as I sang the lyrics “I will be here…when you feel like being quiet…when you need to speak your mind, I will listen…” during the actual event. That was the time when I realized that the song isn’t all about being there for someone special. It’s more than that. It’s like saying “You know who to call when you’re down”. I also realized that I’m going to miss those familiar faces in elementary, no matter how disturbing it seemed due to ceaseless bullying from, well, bullies. I still have some friends in this period who I get in touch through Facebook. Few of them barely recognized me when I added them up, thinking I’d be the same nerd they paid no attention to before. Despite of that, this song will always be remembered as my first promise to keep once I got on my own in high school.
Lead Me Lord
Another Gary V classic. I cried copious tears and couldn’t even sing straight because the song really touched me. Prior to my enrollment to a private Christian high school, I didn’t have any knowledge about Jesus except that He’s the Son of Mary. Throughout my four-year journey as a high school student, I came to know Him more and developed a deep relationship with Him.
I was having anxiety attacks during my senior year because I hadn’t decided yet where I would spend the next four years of schooling after graduation. I doubted my choices, even skipping entrance exams from prestigious schools because I was still undecided. What I wanted was far from what my parents have planned out for me. Eventually, as I remembered this song, I grew confident that the Lord would see me through.
Remember Me This Way
This is the OST from the animated film “Casper”. I don’t know who picked this song because obviously its association with a movie about a friendly ghost makes one dubious of the Christian doctrines my alma mater preaches. Anyway, it clicked with us seniors except that we usually ended up laughing every time the part where Mariah Carey hits the high notes comes on.
Time of My Life
It was the height of David Cook’s popularity when we started practicing for the commencement exercises in my senior year in college. It’s very timely and well-chosen because the song promotes success after so many hardships. However, I had mixed emotions when we were singing it at graduation. Again, I was having doubts that I’d be able to land a job right away and repay the costs of my schooling. There were so many things in my mind that night, but I knew my heart was crying because it’s the first I felt so unsure about life. After the song, I calmed down and realized that I’ve got a lifetime to prove that I can be what I wanted to be.
I’m sure all of you have different stories to share about your graduation songs. Did they make you laugh, cry or thoughtful? No matter how they made you feel, parting ways with your friends and giving thanks to God for the achievements should be treated with especially curated songs to remind you of the good ol’ times.