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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott
News Writer

I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

A toast to ‘Baba O’Riley’

My friends and I were walking adventurously through the woods in a place close to home when I first heard it. The night sky was mostly blocked by the tall trees overlooking our trail, but eventually we came across a field of tall straw grass with fireflies all around.

The stars had suddenly replaced the tall trees and in the background “Baba O’Riley” was playing the beginning lyrics, “Out here in the fields” on one of the original iPod touches.

It was in my adolescent years, around the age of 14 or 15, when I first discovered the beautiful tune created and played so wonderfully by The Who. For the millennials out there, The Who isn’t a question, it is a band that rocked the world for decades and in many ways still does today.

“Baba O’Riley” is that song for me when someone asks, “If you were stranded on an island and you could only have one album or one song to listen to, what would it be?”

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I think everyone has songs or bands like this in their lives; the nostalgic music reminding them to stay youthful. Not only are these songs remindful, they simply jam.

While half of The Who rest in the rock-and-roll heavens, their song will always be timeless. “Baba O’Riley” was released in October 1971, nearly 40 years before I  came across it. I will admit my musical taste is most likely an outlier for my generation, but the song is a classic that people of all ages enjoy.

The title of the song is based off of Pete Townshend’s most influential people, Meher Baba and Terry Riley. In a way, “Baba O’Riley” has been following me around as a spiritual mentor.

It is the first song I listened to when I went for a drive in my brand-new rusted-out 1997 Chevy car on my 16th birthday. When I first saw the Milky Way. When my heart was broken for the first time, second time and third time. When I had my first alcoholic beverage. When I drove up to Marquette for the first time. When I hitchhiked with my friends to see the northern lights for the first time. And when my beloved dog passed away two summers ago.

Beyond these milestones, it is there to remind me that things are always changing. I don’t have forever to do the things I want to do or spend time with the people I’m with now. The lyrics, “The happy ones are near. Let’s get together. Before we get much older” never seem to fail me when I get tired and don’t want to spend time hiking, bar hopping with friends or simply attempting to abolish the federal income tax.

While I may no longer be running aimlessly in my youth, I can still reflect and say, “Don’t cry, don’t raise your eye, It’s only teenage wasteland!” So here’s to you, “Baba O’Riley,” and I look forward to hearing you again.

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