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OPINION

Songs to get you through Election Day . . . and night

An offering to voters of all (stars and) stripes, because they could probably use the diversion, a soundtrack for — well, for now, let’s just call it Tuesday.

An Election Day playlist includes “Happy Days Are Here Again” by Barbra Streisand to help get you through.
An Election Day playlist includes “Happy Days Are Here Again” by Barbra Streisand to help get you through.Evan Agostini

It’s upon us at last: Election Day 2020, and an end to all our teeth-gnashing, promising a decisive result to light our pristine path ahead.

Just kidding. It will be nothing of the sort.

The coronavirus pandemic and the protocols it demands have turned the traditional act of voting into a furious, politicized puzzle that makes the hanging chad of the 2000 election aftermath seem like a smudge.

And then there’s the palpable sense that the future of our democracy hangs in the balance.

As Election Day turns to night, the best we can probably expect is the hint of a decision, followed by tense weeks of uncertainty. Many will be left muttering a long list of worst-case scenarios between hiccups of hope. Endless doomscrolling will feel like running in place, only with our fingertips.

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So what to do in the meantime?

Some people turn to the solace of a comforting beverage. Others meditate. I bury my head in music.

And so I’m offering voters of all (stars and) stripes, because they could probably use the diversion, a soundtrack for — well, for now, let’s just call it Tuesday.


For every bloc, there is a song

For the mail-in voter: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” Stevie Wonder

The Trump voter: “Stand By Your Man,” Tammy Wynette

The Biden voter: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,” Timbuk 3

The nonvoter (seriously?): “Battle of Who Could Care Less,” Ben Folds Five

The undecided voter (again, seriously?): “Sittin’ on a Fence,” The Rolling Stones

The third-party voter: “Nothing Is Good Enough,” Aimee Mann

Susan Collins campaign headquarters: “Both Sides Now,” Joni Mitchell

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign headquarters: “Green,” The Dandy Warhols

The evangelical voter (because there are no atheists at Fox News — er, in foxholes): “Down to the River to Pray,” Alison Krauss

Voters waiting in line (masks are not optional): “Don’t Stand so Close to Me,” The Police

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Voters itching for a fight: “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” War

The climate-concerned voter: “I Melt With You,” Modern English

The feuding family of voters: “We Can’t Live Together,” Joe Jackson

And for all of the above, a playlist to get through the day

“Morning Has Broken,” Cat Stevens

“Reason to Believe,” Rod Stewart

“The Waiting,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“Help Me Make It Through the Night,” Kris Kristofferson

“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” Frank Sinatra

“Here Comes That Sinking Feeling,” Eurythmics

“Everybody Hold Still,” Grace Jones

“It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over,” Lenny Kravitz

“I Sweat (Going Through the Motions),” Nona Hendryx

“Sitting in Limbo,” Jimmy Cliff

“Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles

“Hold Back the Dawn,” Robbie Robertson

“Fear the Future,” St. Vincent

“Happy Days Are Here Again,” Barbra Streisand

Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? It’s going to be more like . . .

Crawling from the Wreckage,” Dave Edmunds


Matthew Bernstein is the Globe’s letters editor. He can be reached at matthew.bernstein@globe.com and on Twitter at @GlobeBernstein.