Songs that would save readers from the Upside Down in ‘Stranger Things’


Readers Say

Taylor Swift and Tom Petty were among your picks.

Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown in the Netflix series Stranger Things (Season 3). Courtesy of Netflix

The characters from the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” know the power of music. Whenever the group of friends are caught in a sinister alternate dimension called the Upside Down, they have a way to potentially escape and return to the real world. Listening to certain songs can help them find the strength to run away, like when Max listens to the 1980s classic “Running Up That Hill,” by Kate Bush.

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Season 4 Volume 1 dropped May 27, and Variety reported that it’s been Netflix’s most popular season of an English-language television series ever. Before the season’s final two episodes come out on July 1, fans have been chatting about the songs that could save them from the Upside Down.

We asked for the tunes that would save readers, and you sent us your favorites. Readers mentioned a range of songs including “The Top Gun theme song” and “any Taylor Swift song.” Here’s a list of the songs you shared—just in case you’re ever trapped in a parallel universe.

Songs that could help you escape from the Upside Down

  • “All Too Well” (10-minute version) by Taylor Swift: “If you play any other version I won’t be responding.” Nadia, Boston
  • “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “If this classic Tom Petty song doesn’t get your attention, what would? From the beginning guitar notes to Tom’s ‘uh huh huh’ at the end, this song always makes me happy.” Patty N., Dover, N.H.
  • “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent: “Good song, gets the point across.” Jack N., Norfolk
  • “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” by Bruce Cockburn: “It is a song about the underdog getting angry and fighting back. Also, the lyrics read like poem from a great writer.” Robert J., Newton
  • “Like a Prayer” by Madonna: “Come on, the song title alone speaks for itself. Perfect!” Chris H., Boston
  • “Let It Be” by The Beatles: “The Beatles are and forever will be without equal. And there [have been] several times ‘In My Life’ (another stellar tune from the Fab Four) when ‘I found myself in times of trouble,’ and McCartney speaking/singing his ‘words of wisdom’ helped me get through it like nothing else. I am always reminded of that beam of light the song embedded deep down in my soul during dark days whenever I hear it. So there ya go, Upside Down. Do your best.” Mark G., West Roxbury
  • “Message in a Bottle” by The Police: “The notion that interaction with others can lead to personal salvation has always been a comfort. No one should feel alone.” RCC, Stoneham
  • “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran: “The song explains it all.” SMJ, Wrentham
  • “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush: “It fit every aspect of the show. Max was in an uphill battle.” Mary, Milton
  • “Save a Prayer” by Duran Duran: “Best song ever.” Anonymous
  • “Scarlet Begonias” by Grateful Dead: “Because it is a classic, it’s upbeat and celebratory with a bit of funk guitar, and it makes you want to dance (your way right out of the Upside Down). My friends and family know it’s my favorite song, so if I heard it in another dimension, I’d know I was being called home.” Beth L., North Andover
  • “Season of the Witch” by Donovan: “Opening lyrics to the song: ‘When I look out my window, [many sights to] see’” Stan, Londonderry, N.H.
  • “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire: “Me, my boyfriend, and my Dad’s birthdays are all in September, so it has been played at many birthday parties. I have very powerful positive associations with that song—I also think it could be made into a very dramatic running song if remixed and slowed down slightly!” -Lucy, Wrentham
  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin: “Isn’t it obvious? It would be an ‘aural stairway’ out of the Upside Down.” -Ari, Brookline
  • “Top Gun Anthem” by Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens: “It’s a hopeful and epic anthem that makes me want to shoot down enemy aircraft and play beach volleyball, while trying to impress my female instructor.” -Maverick
  • “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles: “Sets a mood I can feel.” -Suzanne G., Newmarket, N.H.
  • “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes: “It is my anthem.” -Chantelle, Grafton
  • “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles: “It’s a strange song.” -Oxbowmann, Wayland
  • “Zombie” by The Cranberries: “Dolores’ voice, with this message, is the ultimate song to pick.” -Ana





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