Five Songs to Accompany your D.C. Experience | The Washington Center

Five Songs to Accompany Your D.C. Experience

The other day, I was reading an article on LinkedIn (yeah, I know) called 5 Leadership lessons to learn from Khaleesi of "Game of Thrones." While I am a huge fan of Khaleesi, it also got me thinking about what else I might be able to learn from TV shows and movies.


It was at that point that I thought...MUSIC. There aren't many times or places where music isn't a plus. So, here are five songs from movies and TV shows that I have been listening to all over D.C. to make my time here even better.


1. "Go the Distance" from Hercules

Going on a run down the National Mall



Washington D.C. is a major hub for runners. Literally everyone is running. Whether it's to get healthy, train for a marathon, or just run from your responsibilities like me, everyone is always running. I have personally run while listening to this song and it ended up being my fastest mile of my whole run.

Even when I was back at my university just walking across campus, I walked with that much more of a pep in my step thanks to good ole Herc. Now, I'm no Greek hero, but I sure can be inspired by one. So, if you go on a run (if is the key word there), definitely take a listen to Phil's boy.


2. Theme Song from House of Cards

Walking literally ANYWHERE around the Capitol Building and grounds



If you're near the Capitol Building in D.C. and don't think of Frank Underwood looking at the camera and giving a horrifyingly sarcastic remark about power, are you really doing Washington right? No, you're not. The Capitol Building is a symbol of the American power of politics. No matter where you are in America, you will think of politics when you see that big white dome.


3. "See You Again" from Furious 7

Visiting war memorials, particularly Arlington National Cemetery



Arlington National Cemetery is a place of reverence and respect. I am not saying you should walk into Washington's most hallowed grounds blasting Wiz on a Sunday afternoon. Probably not the best idea, unless you want to get yelled at by an Army officer from the 3rd Infantry Regiment.

However, listening to it on your walk or train ride to it could do a fantastic job of getting you in a respectful mindset. This could apply for any war memorial in Washington. I know from personal experience the power of a few words etched in stone. My dad broke down crying when he saw "Battle of the Bulge" (the specific conflict his father fought in) at the WWII Memorial. Be careful and be respectful at these memorials, and use this song to get you in that reflective mindset.


4. "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" from The Great Gatsby

Starting the weekend



It's 4:53pm on Friday. You're ready to stop working aren't you? Well, my friend, you've got one more step to get yourself ready for the weekend: listen to a song that will get you amped.

It doesn't matter if you're meeting friends at your favorite local pub or going on a road trip with your family to Idaho. If you want to get in a party mood, listening to a song played during a movie scene displaying Jay Gatsby's expansive wealth would get a person pumped up to watch paint dry.

5. "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan

Studying/work time



Nothing gets you more prepared to sit down and type out a 1,000-word blog a few hours before midnight than listening to a song that starts out with "Let's get down to business!" I may not be trying to defeat the Huns, but I sure as heck would be ready to give it a try by the start of the third verse. I only wish I had Mulan's work ethic after the song is over.

Seriously, I typed this blog about 50% faster while I was listening to this song. Please, help defeat the Huns, or world hunger, or get through that last-minute brief you should've prepared last weekend but procrastinated until tonight. Cheers.

Bonus: "How Far I'll Go" from Moana




I know what you're thinking: "But Zach, you said only five songs on this list?" Well, guess what, Buttercup? You knew my obsession with Lin-Manuel Miranda would manifest itself somewhere on this list.

While Hamilton is a great soundtrack, I usually require a specific mood for it. When it comes to Moana, I could literally listen to that Polynesian Princess sing her heart out all day long while the world around me burns, and everything would be okay somehow. This song tugs at your heartstrings and encourages you to chase your dreams, no matter how ludicrous they may be. That's what I want to leave you with this week.

Yes, dreams may be dreams, but chasing them might lead to some new dream or opportunity that sitting on your butt would never have accomplished. Just look at Moana: she never would have met Maui or returned the heart of sea to Te Fiti. Find your own Te Fiti to help, and listen to the most famous animated song since "Let It Go" while you do it.

Stay classy Washington,


Read Zach's previous blog posts

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