Songs to take you back home

by Hanruo Shan

Hailing from Australia to Russia, UCLA is home to a diverse group of international students representing around 90 countries. Traveling thousands of miles away from home, it is inevitable that students will be homesick and experience nostalgia. What better way is there to cure these feelings than to put on a pair of headphones and let the music take you back home?

I compiled a list of six songs that remind students of home, each for the most represented country within each of the six habitable continents in UCLA’s student population. Whether you are leaving or returning home, come sit down, celebrate where you come from and enjoy the music.

1) China: “Chengdu” by Zhao Lei

Being one of the largest international populations at UCLA, many Chinese students listen to “Chengdu,” a country-pop song by Zhao Lei, and reminisce about the end of Yulin Road. Although Chengdu is one of the most bustling cities in China, the tranquil tune still brings the listener a great sense of peace and nostalgia.

2) Canada: “Home” by Michael Bublé

“Maybe surrounded by / A million people I / Still feel all alone / Just wanna go home” is probably one of the most relatable lyrics for many Bruins, especially the freshmen. Canadian artist Michael Bublé’s “Home” is a classic song about the difficulty of being away from home and the gratefulness of having the privilege to travel abroad. No matter your age, I believe that “Home” will always be a relatable song, for everyone has a longing to return somewhere.

3) Australia: “It’s A Long Way to the Top” by AC/DC

Just like home means different things to different people, nostalgic songs can be more than just mellow music. When you think of Australian rock bands, it is impossible to not think of AC/DC. “It’s A Long Way to the Top” is a song that you can blast and that can help you find the motivation to work towards new beginnings.

4) Brazil: “Garota De Ipanema” by Antônio Carlos Jobim

Many Brazilians would say that this bossa nova song embodies Brazil, as it is one of the most recorded songs in history. Hopefully, when you listen to this song, you can picture the café of Veloso in Ipanema.

5) Egypt: “Bel Wara’a Wel Alam” by Reham Abdel Hakim

The song describes a middle-aged Egyptian-American returning to Egypt and expressing his longing for his nation after living in the U.S. for decades. The song is famously featured in a film called “Assal Eswed” and tells a story about identity that many in the Egyptian community in America can relate to.

6) United Kingdom: “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran

Unlike Michael Bublé’s song about leaving home, this autobiographical song by Ed Sheeran covers the theme of youth, nostalgia and personal growth as he returns home to the U.K. This song’s lyrics take the audience on a journey from childhood to adolescence and finally adulthood, where the listener can reconnect with the pleasure of returning home.

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