Proper "millennials" had “Friends”the TV show to watch and connect to. While “How I Met Your Mother” (HIMYM) might be at least half a decade too early for Generation Z'ers, there's no denying that it is still our generation's Friends.”It follows Ted Mosby, a Wesleyan graduate, in New York with his best friends Lily, Marshall, Barney and Robin.
In 2030, Ted Mosby sits his son and daughter down to tell them the story of how he met their mother. The premise seems like the story could be told in a sentence (as Ted's father tells him, "I met your mother at a bar") but the show lasted 9 seasons and even then, fans wanted the series to continue (although let's be honest, by season 9, the producers had really just given up).
For me and some of my best friends (bird of the same feather, you could say), everything said in HIMYM is gospel -- it's a guidebook to life except, less dramatic. I hold the record in my group, having watched the entire series at least 20 times (except season 9 which I watched 4 times) and I remember every line from every episode. So when I looked at all the articles I'd written for The Odyssey, I was shocked to find that there was none on HIMYM. I could have written a few theories I have come up with, or publish the short script I've written with HIMYM-esque characters. But neither of those could work as well to transmit my love of the show, to you, dear reader. It doesn't matter if you have watched the show or not.
So I have decided to make a top 10 list of my favorite songs from/in the show. This is an opinion piece, so you may disagree on some of them, but I consider myself the authority on HIMYM, so might as well be factual. For this list, I have picked out songs that are not just beautiful to hear but those which go with the story very well. That's one of the reasons whyThe Solids' "Hey Beautiful" the theme song didn't make the cut.
10. "The Funeral" - Band of Horses
The Funeral by Band of Horses (2006) is a poignant melody that has found its way to the hearts of every listener. It was ranked one of the best songs of by 2000s, was the song for the trailer of 127 Hour and appeared in some other great shows like Numb3rs. It would have ranked higher in the list had it not been for its placement in the show. The Funeral appears in the first episode of the 8th season (Farhampton). Klaus is telling Ted about Lebenslangerschicksalsschatz (this word also appears in https://www.theodysseyonline.com/some-beautiful-obscure-words my list of obscure words) and he asks if Ted has ever felt that way about someone. Ted thinks so. A few ways down the road, in the same train platform where Klaus and Ted talked, Ted meets Tracy for the first time (Tracy's the mother, spoiler alert! -- always put the spoiler alert afterward). The poignancy of the song can't quite capture the immense feelings of Leben-- for Ted (and for Tracy!).
9. "Stones" - Barbarossa
For Barney Stinson, the "stones" make him question if he is ever going to be saved. There are a few times in the series when Barney thinks he has found someone who can do that. It only works out once (but, it does only take one). One of those other times is with Nora, a beautiful girl with a British accent who -- to give hope to the rest of us who fear we may be too far gone -- says, "it's never too late". This song plays in the background as Barney decides to walk out on Nora. To some, it is one of the most depressing times of the entire series. It breaks my heart plenty, too.
8. "If the Hudson Overflows" - Goldspot
This song was written to help raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief (which gives a literal sense to the title). It is a melody, another poignant one, on the impermanence and immediacy of life. So it suits perfectly to end episode 11 of season 8. Ted, Lily, Barney and Marshall visit Wesleyan so Ted can show his architecture professor that he became successful in the trade despite the professor's constant dismissal of Ted's talent. His professor still doesn't agree that Ted has any talent in architecture -- this drives Ted nuts. Meanwhile, Robin is struggling with jealousy over Barney and Patrice's "friendship(?)" and Barney takes a jinx too seriously and doesn't speak until the end of the episode. The episode is about doing away with grudges and meaningless hate ("to let you out of the pit"), Ted to his professor, Marshall and Lily to an old friend and Robin to Patrice. Goldspot also appears the second episode of season 5 with "Rewind."
7. "You Were Born" - Cloud Cult
Marvin Wait-for-it Eriksen is the first baby for the group -- being born to Marshall and Lily. From the get-go, it is clear that they are going to be great parents. So this song suits the situation in episode 23 of season 7 as Marvin is born. From the same episode, also make sure to check out Yusuf Islam's The Wind.
6. "La Vie En Rose (Ukelele Cover)" - Cristin Milioti (Tracy McConnell)
La Vie En Rose means "Life in Pink" and both originals, the French version of Edith Piaf and the English one of Louis Armstrong are cheerful and expectant of great things from love. But this Ukelele cover by Cristin Milioti (who plays the mother) is a real tear jerker. Before meeting Ted, she had shut herself out from "love" after her fiance died. Right before she sings this, she rejects her boyfriend's proposal and cries to her late fiance. The song's reduced tempo almost makes you wonder if for her, "Life in Pink" is in the past tense.
5. "500 Miles" - The Proclaimers
When Marshal's brothers gave him his Fiero when he turned 16, a tape with The Proclaimers' 500 miles was stuck in the player. So, through most of their college adventures, the background song was that. It is perfect for any bromance -- and as a feel good exercise.
4. "Prophets" - A.C. Newman
This song both opens and ends season 4. Just for that it has been ranked at 4. It is also very amazing. But I think, to truly understand why this song even makes the list, you should watch the episodes.
3. "Heaven" - The Walkmen
Most fans were too upset with the ending of the series to truly enjoy this song or to listen to it, even. Since much of Ted's focuses only on 2005-15, the final episode focused a lot on the years between 2015 and 2030 (when Ted is telling this story). A lot of things go wrong for our favorite characters but it is still a good show. And while the writers pretend like they know what is best for the characters, for so long we have loved them like family, that we have our own ideas of how things should have turned out. But that aside, this song in its lyrics and rhythm, perfectly summarizes the entire series -- "Our children will always hear romantic tales of desperate years.... Stick with me; o' you're my best friend...:
2. "Shake It Out" - Florence + The Machine
Season 7 is especially dark for Ted -- for this series, that's saying a lot. In episode 17, Ted tells Robin he still loves her. A few things later, she says she doesn't love him back -- this is complicated because they live together. Marshall tells Robin she should move out and she does. The apartment is suddenly very empty for Ted. But, as he tells his kids, in his own crazy way, he was happy because as he says, "for the first time years, there was no little part of me clinging to the dream of being with Robin." As he walks out of McClaren's, the street is full of yellow umbrellas -- any of which could have been Tracy.
1. "Simple Song" - The Shins
Firstly, I'll admit that this entry is highly biased. I have many memories with this song that makes it very dear. But why won't I? Why won't anyone? With lyrical quotes like "When I was 9 years old, I swear I dreamt your face on a football field." That is as Ted Mosby as one can get. The song appears in the final episode of season 8 as we are introduced to Tracy for the first time -- as Barney and Robin leave for their wedding -- as Marshall and Lily prepare to leave for Italy and as Ted readies to move to Chicago. At that point, the song was as good as an anthem to the end of the gang's era. Everyone had something better than drinking at McClaren's, somewhere better than McClaren's to be at and people more important than the gang to be with. It completely breaks my heart and makes me smile at the same time. And if I am honest, it is the song that I hear every time I think of the best year of my life so far, with someone for whom HIMYM was as important as it was for me.
This will be my last article for the Odyssey. I hope it was a better finale than HIMYM's but, just like the show, you enjoyed my time here. I'd like to thank the team at Ohio Wesleyan and in New York. But more importantly, I'd like to thank my readers: I don't write because I always have something important to say -- I have written enough terrible articles here to prove that -- I write because I like creating communities and serving for them. So that, in the 8 months I have spent with The Odyssey and all the range of topics I have covered, I hope I have created something for as many people as possible. Obviously, this is only a temporary goodbye. It won't be long before I am overcome with ideas for newer communities and when that happens, I will write. I have a http://www.phubard.wordpress.com personal blog-- if I don't post there, I just hope you've enjoyed my writing till this point. (Gosh! HIMYM makes me emotional!)