Why Ribs by Lorde is the Best Senior Year Song Ever

From Lorde's Youtube Channel


Margaret Szpakowski, Editor in Chief

Ribs by Lorde, released in 2013, is a song about growing up. The singer repeats that getting old “drives you crazy” and “feels so scary,” and expresses regret about losing the carefree thoughts of childhood. These are feelings that seniors can relate to. We’re on the edge of moving into a completely new world, whether that world is college, a career, or the military. That means leaving a lot of people behind—we’ve “never felt more alone.” 

These feelings of fear and loneliness are increased by going through this process in a pandemic. We’re seeing our friends and teachers less or not at all, in the case of Cohort D students. Hugs and high fives in the hallways are a distant memory. Lorde’s song is ahead of its time because some of its lines express this feeling. The line that “my mom and dad let me stay home” is repeated three times in the first four sections of the song, in the same way that this idea of being allowed to stay home is bouncing around my head every day I Zoom into another class. It’s the best and worst thing. I can “talk it so good” if I say that I get breaks between classes for the in-person kids to clean their desks, that I have extra time in the mornings since I don’t have to travel, that no one can tell if I’m wearing the dress code. But it’s really not—no matter what the administration, teachers, and parents do, this senior year “will never be enough” to live up to what our expectations were.

In some cases, that was always true. I’m sure going to prom wouldn’t have magically made me know how to dance or do my makeup. But also, I wanted to try. I wanted to laugh through the night at Ultimate Party until our titular Ribs got tough and we couldn’t breathe. I wanted to watch my best friends walk across the stage at Symphony Hall, clapping with my fingers crossed that they would pronounce my name right when it was my turn. (It’s Spa-cow-ski.) And maybe we’ll still get to do some of that, but the further we get into this semester, the less likely it seems. We might not be able to share songs at prom, or graduation, or Ultimate Party. So let’s share a song a bit early.

Class of 2021, dig out your old CDs, your cassettes, your records—2013 was at least three decades ago, right? Find Lorde’s first album, and play track 4. Or just click play on the video above. Even Lorde couldn’t predict a pandemic, but she was right about one thing: “it feels so scary, getting old.”