Robbie Williams' 'Angels' is Pembroke’s song and it will never be anything else to meDrew de F Fawkes / Wikimedia Commons (Resized) /

Reminiscing on the past three years as my time at Cambridge comes to an end, I noticed that my most important memories are punctuated by music. Given my Spotify Wrapped said I listened to a ridiculous amount of music in 2023, I decided to take a look at the songs that have stuck with me throughout my Cambridge years, from the motivating to the slightly too relatable.

‘Can We Dance’ - The Vamps

I can’t recall exactly what song was playing when I fell down the stairs of 2 Selwyn Gardens and broke my foot last year. What I can say, however, is that no house party is complete without this song. I was recently asked what one song I would choose to please the post-formal crowd in Pembroke Bar. My answer? ‘Can We Dance’ by The Vamps. This song gets a party going, causing a mass migration to the dancefloor with just its opening line.

“This song gets a party going, causing a mass migration to the dancefloor”

‘In Motion’ - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

This song is first on my library playlist. Before there was Challengers, there was The Social Network. The techno beat makes me type faster, as I start to believe that I too am an (evil?) genius, creating something that will change the Internet forever. Alas, I last listened to this song while writing an essay titled “Who owns trust assets?” – not half as exciting as creating Facebook.

‘this is me trying’ - Taylor Swift

I could choose any Taylor song to write about. Her whole discography has been a constant source of comfort and inspiration – throughout my life but especially while at Cambridge. This song, however, hit a little too close to home on many occasions, especially during exam season. Whatever my results may be, at least I can say I tried…

‘Move On’ - Steven Sondheim (from Sunday in the Park with George)

Like many Cambridge students, I arrived with dreams of making the most of this place and leaving my own little mark on this famous institution. Like many, I am leaving after a whirlwind three years, asking myself, “What have I really done?” Of course, I’ll leave with a degree, incredible friends and memories to last a lifetime. But, as someone full of ambition and creativity, I can’t help feeling I have more to give. The finale of Sunday in the Park with George, a musical chronicling the “artist’s struggle”, gave me some hope. George sings a line that resonates with me more than any other: “I want to make things that count, things that will be new. What am I to do?” The reply: “Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new.”

“As someone who will feel slightly lost upon graduation, these words provide some comfort”

As someone who will feel slightly lost upon graduation, these words provide some comfort, encouraging me to make the most of everything I do, safe in the knowledge that it will be important in some way. I hope these words can offer some wisdom to others who feel the same.

‘Angels’ - Robbie Williams

Time to lighten the mood and talk about bops: the year-six discos of Cambridge; the parties you might have to pretend not to enjoy when your home friends visit. At my first bop, when I realised everyone was willing to try hard and have fun without caring about being “cool”, I discovered that I maybe did belong at Cambridge. By the end of the night, when everyone joined arms, formed a big circle and belted the lyrics to Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’, it was confirmed: I was going to enjoy this place.


Mountain View

A soundtrack for the perfect summer

’Angelsis Pembroke’s song and it will never be anything else to me. It feels wrong to sing anything but “I’m loving Pembroke instead”. It symbolises what I love about Pembroke: the people; the willingness to go from serious to silly in seconds; the work hard, play hard (er?) atmosphere. What I will miss most about Cambridge is the ability to walk into college and be greeted by people who will, like me, always be stressed about a deadline, safe in the knowledge that the previous Saturday night they too were belting their heart out to Robbie Williams’ 1997 hit. If Pembroke is a storm of exams, work, hangovers, committee drama and sports joy, then, for me, singing ‘Angels’ is the eye of the storm – a few minutes of happiness and silliness amid our crazy, stressful lives.