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A playlist to make you feel like you went to Berkeley in the '60s

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NOVEMBER 09, 2022

The 1960s was a decade that put UC Berkeley on the map. From the Free Speech Movement starting in 1964 on the steps of Sproul, the free-loving hippies on Haight-Ashbury street in San Francisco and the Vietnam War Demonstrations in the late ’60s, there was a lot going on in Berkeley. If you’re anything like me, you may have longed to see Berkeley in this hayday of activism. Luckily for you, we have a playlist of ’60s songs that will make you feel like you were there during that iconic decade. 

“Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds

Written in 1964, this song is the perfect one to start this playlist with. For a song that focuses on how there is a specific season and time for everything, it’s definitely fitting. It will certainly help you and your ambition to witness UC Berkeley life in the ’60s. 

“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles

This playlist couldn’t be complete without The Beatles. A “Hard Day’s Night” is the perfect song to listen to during late night study sessions or when you’re thinking about that special someone that makes your days better. With a killer chorus such as this one you can’t help but get it stuck in your head all day long. You’re sure to be singing along to this song in no time. 

“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas

Who wouldn’t be dreaming about being here in California? Besides being a song that’s an ode to what it’s like being in this beautiful state tied to Berkeley, it’s one of the most iconic psychedelic pop songs that came from the ’60s. With its comforting sound, it’s sure to make you feel nostalgic for a time before you were even born. You could almost imagine walking down Sproul on a sunny day in the ’60s with this song. 

“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane

“White Rabbit” is a song that’s embedded into the ’60s counterculture and will have you feeling extra groovy. As one of the first songs that described using hallucinogens on the radio, it embraces the idea of following your curiosity and finding where it leads. It’s also based upon the classic novel “Alice in Wonderland,” which adds an extra trippy and fun touch to the song! 

“Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells 

This classic love song embraces the idea of love at first sight and is the perfect song to listen to while thinking about your recent crush. With the sweet lyrics and the soothing voice the song is sung in, you can’t help but feel the love for this person that the narrator just met. 

“For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield

Moving on to the Vietnam protests of the late ’60s, “For What It’s Worth” is one of the most iconic protest anthems. Since the protests of the ’60s paved the way for the Berkeley activist groups of today, it had to be included in this list. The song calls for peace during a period of civil unrest and calls out the injustices that were placed upon the young people protesting against the Vietnam War. 

“Space Oddity” by David Bowie 

Rounding out this list with another classic artist of the ’60s and ’70s David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is another song that embraces the experimental counter-culture pop present in the ’60s. It focuses on the idea of exploring another world through the lens of an astronaut named Major Tom. Throughout the ’60s, people were focused on trying to explore different worlds and ways of being which is an idea that is thoroughly adopted throughout the song. 

What are you waiting for? Give this playlist a listen and get swept away from these songs in the past. We hope you are truly able to feel like you were going to Berkeley in the ’60s!

Contact Samantha Herrera at 


NOVEMBER 09, 2022