All-College Writing Contest


2015 All College Writing Contest Winner

Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 2015

Author Comments

I wrote "I'm Happy Just to Dance to the Best Song Ever" as a music history independent study project. I am a very enthusiastic fan of both One Direction and The Beatles, and I have always seen many similarities between the two groups. In the spring of 2015, I was expressing my frustration to a friend of mine that many people dismiss this comparison. I posed a theory that the fervent insistence that the two bands are dissimilar is probably a result of a a retrospective bias that people are likely to have because The Beatles are now seen as such a significant part of music history. From this one conversation, my independent study was born. Over the course of the fall 2015 semester, the precise focus of the project evolved as I explored several compelling avenues of research that all intertwine to influence people's perceptions of the two bands in question; many of these concepts appear in this final draft, but many of them do not. As a result of this project, I have developed the ability to approach music through a critical lens, and have learned a great deal about how pop music has changed in the past 50 years. Furthermore, I found that my research was so fruitful that I will be using this paper as a jumping off point for my senior thesis in the coming year.

Faculty Advisor

Don Meyer

Included in

Music Commons



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