I was lucky enough to experience the total solar eclipse this past week in Vermont and thought it would be cool to put together and share a little solar eclipse related playlist based on my experience!

Key moments from my trip:

  • camping in my car because hotels were in the thousands for a single night
  • watching thousands of other people exploring burlington, vt just like me
  • so many people that there was absolutely no cell service all day
  • watching the eclipse on the waterfront
  • seeing it go from day to night almost instantly and it getting as dark as night
  • the weather getting icy cold even though it had been hot out all day
  • the eclipse itself being so beautiful that i cried
  • hearing other people crying too
  • a nearby mom helping her kid and saying “it’s okay, take your glasses off now”
  • traffic home taking 10 hours when it’s usually a 4 hour drive

This playlist is a mix of upbeat and softer songs. I arranged them as if you were listening to them chronologically – before, during, and after the total solar eclipse.

The first two tracks are meant to be the “before” part of the experience. They depict the anticipation of the day. Mr. Blue Sky notes the beautiful blue sky, the prelude to the darkness to come and even aptly notes, “today is the day we’ve waited for.” What a Time to Be Alive is the pure excitement of the day with lyrics like “we’re out here and we’re ready,” “the view’s so pretty,” and, of course, “what a time to be alive!”

The biggest chunk of the playlist is the “during” songs, which are meant to evoke the eclipse itself.

When the Day Met the Night describes the relationship between the sun and the moon and how they have a complicated relationship that mirrors our own human experiences of love. Then, when the sun and moon come together during the solar eclipse, everything is as it should be: “all was golden when the day met the night.”

In No Sunlight we get a combination of relevant lyrics about the sun disappearing and also a catchy tempo that mirrors the excitement of watching the moon completely cover the sun. That moment right when the sun becomes completely eclipsed by the sun and our own heartbeat at an elevated tempo.

The next two songs on the playlists are possibly added to every eclipse playlist, ‘but with perfect reason, they are the prefect eclipse songs. Not only do they both evoke the surrealist feeling of an eclipse but also both mention aspects of what it is like to experiene an eclipse. Pink Floyd’s Eclipse is written specifically about an eclipse and with simple lyrics that evoke the unity of everything under an eclipse. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden doesn’t exactly mention an eclipse, but rather, what a solar eclipse looks like.

To finish off the “during” I added Dancing in the Moonlight as the part of totality where everyone is just glad to be there together laughing, crying, and dancing.

And, finally the “after” section of the playlist. This section is less about the eclipse and more about the effects of witnessing an eclipse. I personally felt very small and very human after witnessing a celestial event. But, at the same time, it made life feel a little more worth living. These songs hopefully, evoke those same feelings: humanity and hope.

I like that Tonight, Tonight mentions “indescribable moments” and “the impossible is possible tonight” – very eclipse coded. Human is a whole song about what it’s like to feel human and how that can make us feel small but also hopeful. And I added The Middle because it’s how I felt after the eclipse and it’s also kind of like what the eclipse would be saying to us humans: everything, everything’ll be just fine. everything everything’ll be alright.

B-side, Fly Me to the Moon: I added this in afterward as just a little treat. Not quite part of the playlist but very fun and also moon related!

Total Solar Eclipse, The Playlist

Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
What a Time to Be Alive – Fall Out Boy
When the Day Met the Night – Panic! At The Disco
No Sunlight – Death Cab For Cutie
Eclipse – Pink Floyd
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
Tonight, Tonight – The Smashing Pumpkins
Human – The Killers
The Midde – Jimmy Eat World

B-side track:
Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra