Skip to main content

Pros and Cons of setting your favorite song as your alarm


On Monday, February 9, 2015 I woke up in a panic. Why? Because a man was screaming from my nightstand about “standing on the edge of an overpass screaming at myself, ‘Hey, I wanna get better.’”Trust me- it’s one of the worst ways to wake up, because at least for me, I immediately internalize the scene and open my eyes as imagined cars, concrete overpasses, and falling to my death flashes through my mind. However, in reality it’s only 6:30 a.m.I was worried about setting my favorite song, “I Wanna Get Better,” by Bleachers as my alarm clock tone because I didn’t want my deep-seeded hatred of waking up in the morning to imprint on the tune. As I found out on the first morning of the new alarm, I was at more risk of never waking up again. Instead I opened my eyes, shaking in bed, refusing to take a step out of it because death, and death is too big to face first thing in the morning. I never heard the Bleachers hit as anything but inspiring, perhaps with some strange lyrics or images mixed into the song, but overall just a class-act pump up jam. “I Wanna Get Better” is my favorite song because of its inspirational message. Unlike the Kanye’s of the day with self-centered, money-hording lyrics filled with diamonds, women and booze, the lyrics in “I Wanna Get Better” talk of progression. It talks about a man who “didn’t know [he] was broken until [he] wanted to change,” and the woman “trying to show [him] how a life can move from the darkness.” The bright, punchy beat and inspiring chorus of “I wanna get better,” repetitive though the song it may be, are a perfect combination for any good alarm, in theory. In practice, I awoke with a jolt of adrenaline and fear, shaking in an early-morning mini panic attack that rendered me twitchy, angry, and then snoozey. The problem was not the lyrics, but the 30 second sound bite iTunes chose to use for the song. Really, iTunes? Really Apple? You call your employees geniuses but who can you think of that really wants to wake up thinking about the edge of an overpass? There was an overpass near my high school and my geology classes often walked over to it observe basalt erosion. That was boring. The overpass in “I Wanna Get Better” is terrifying.With this in mind, I woke every morning prepared to snooze. On Tuesday I woke up before my alarm because of screeching chickens. As I sat on my bed cursing the fowl outside the window I heard my alarm start and smacked it snoozed. Monday had not been a good day. I blamed it on Bleachers.Wednesday I did the same thing, waking up and smacking my phone quiet, but was surprised when I jumped in the shower, not because I was actually showering, but because I couldn’t help humming the song. Could the strength of my love for this song conquer my bad morning vibes, could love conquer fear and death?I got my answer on Friday morning. Instead of overpasses, interstates, screaming, “hearses and caskets,” I woke up to mental confetti. My brain had a party as happy vibes, hope, and the promise of a new day gave me the feeling of boundless potential. Throwing off my covers I yelled, “Hey, I wanna get better!” Instead of letting the ringtone run, I turned on the full song off iTunes and began to dance. If given enough time, love of a song, a pure, inspired, hopeful love, can win over the hatred of morning, chickens, and the fear of death.Uploaded March 2, 2015
Writer: Alyssa Walhood