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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The Mourning Love of a Pumpkin Queen | “Sally’s Song” by Catherine O’Hara

The+Mourning+Love+of+a+Pumpkin+Queen+%7C+%E2%80%9CSally%E2%80%99s+Song%E2%80%9D+by+Catherine+O%E2%80%99Hara

Nightmare before Christmas is a nostalgic holiday movie for many that can be watched during either the comfy winter holidays or the spooky Halloween season. And its soundtrack is perfect to match the vibes during both times of the year. 

The 1993 movie centers the enthusiastic character Jack Skellington, otherwise known as the Pumpkin King, and his attempt at Christmas domination. In Halloweentown, Jack attempts to convince the townsfolk to help him steal Christmas after an eye-opening trip to Christmastown. Jack conjures up a plan to kidnap Santa and take his place. Soon after, Jack learns that no matter how grand of a plan you’ve made, there’s still room for it to all fall apart. 

The one who foresees Jack’s inevitable demise is Sally, Jack’s ragdoll love interest who longs for independence from her overprotective father, Doctor Finklestein. In one notable scene, Sally discovers Jack’s plan to take over Christmas. She sings a sorrowful lament of unrequited love in hopes that Jack will be safe as he carries out his masterful plan. 

Sally confesses how she would love to be by his side, but she can’t stand by his actions because she knows it will take a turn for the worse.

“I sense there’s something in the wind /

That feels like tragedy’s at hand /

And though I’d like to stand by him /

Can’t shake this feeling that I have /

The worst is just around the bend.”

Towards the end of the song Sally comes to the conclusion that she and Jack are not meant to be. The last line is the most heartbreaking; rather than singing about how they are just not compatible, she throws the blame at herself:

“And will we ever end up together /

No, I think not /

it’s never to become/

For I am not the one.” 

At first listen, it seems that Sally is yearning for her love with Jack to blossom anew, but she is truly singing about mourning Jack’s love. Deep down she still loves him, but she understands that the feeling isn’t mutual. Sally can see that Jack’s new love is power — stealing Christmas and expanding his empire. Sally can see her love’s demise before it happens yet is pushed away before warning him, which compounds her loss. This song is not about yearning but about mourning the person she once loved and moving on with her life. Instead of making him push her away, she will let go herself. 

Back when I first saw this movie on VHS in my childhood home, I thought Sally was just a blow-off character. Now looking back on it as an adult, I realize she had to let go in order to protect herself. Sally’s song will forever be on my personal rotation. 

If you haven’t watched The Nightmare Before Christmas in a while, Halloween is definitely the day to do so!  

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About the Contributor
Sydney Sims
Sydney Sims, Music Director
Sydney Sims (she/they) is the Music Director at Impact! They are Majoring in Creative Advertising with a minor in Photography. They have been apart of the Impact for a year, and their favorite teams to be apart of were Music Review, Graphics, Audio, and Street. She loves listening to and finding new music, and her favorite artists right now is Frank Ocean.  She still holds her middle school emo days close to her heart, and they have influenced her music taste til this day. They're really excited to write a "we watch it for the music" for E-team! "Stay groovy🎶" "It takes more than pressure to change a rock to diamond , now all you got is sand slipping through your fingers" - Precious ( Esperanza Spalding)

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