I can’t imagine a life without music. Songs are the key to my memory. It is truly amazing what I remember when I hear a specific song, sometimes to the point that I get goosebumps or even start to cry because I’m catapulted into a specific moment of the past. Music is memories and emotions, the past, the present, an alternate reality, challenges and triumphs, happiness and sadness, friends, landscapes and journeys, love and hate, films, series, and of course, books.
In the following, I will present a couple of songs that are irrevocably connected to certain books or storylines.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta & Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey
I read the novel last summer and its atmosphere is just breathtaking. Shortly after I’d finished, I listened to some of my current favourites and Summertime Sadness came up and it was like a slap in the face. It perfectly captures the melancholic atmosphere of the novel! Until then the song reminded me of leaving Galway at the end of my semester abroad, which is kind of ironic since I left one day before Christmas, but oh, that’s what I listened to on the bus and that’s what stuck in my head. Now it’s both: a reminder of leaving my beautiful Galway and the theme song to Jellicoe Road. I always get goosebumps listening to the song. So many emotions!
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan & This Is the Life by Amy MacDonald
I neither remember when I read the novel nor when This Is the Life became its theme song. It’s like they’ve always belonged together in my mind.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern & Love Is Blindness by Jack White
The Night Circus is a strange novel. It is confusing and sometimes even a little tedious. Nevertheless, I’m slightly obsessed with it. The world of the circus is just enchanting. God, it’s wonderful and perfect! A friend and I even made an animated book trailer for one of our classes at NUI Galway (and it turned out really great considering that this was our first flash animation). Unfortunately, I cannot show it to you right now for various reasons so I give you this equally confusing and crazy fan video trailer thingy, which only makes sense if you have read the novel and even then most of it is too chaotic to understand what’s going on, so I don’t think that it will spoil anything for you. Love Is Blindness is the predominant song and I love it very much and it fits the novel.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier & Faster by Sofi de la Torre
Most people dislike the Ruby Red film but I’m one of the few who actually like it. Of course, it’s far from perfect: there are changes to the storyline, the actors are not perfect, and the special effects are not great. But hey, it’s a German film with a small budget, not a Hollywood production which can afford to throw money around! And have you actually watched what Hollywood is doing with its YA adaptations? There’s not a single one in recent years that’s not been messed up! So stop complaining! Faster is the film’s title song and I adore it.
Der Spiegel von Feuer und Eis by Lynn Raven & Winter in my Heart by VAST [LT: The Mirror of Fire and Ice]
I really adore this high fantasy novel that has elements of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Snow Queen. Cassim, a girl who can mend gems, is abducted by the Ice Queen to put the Mirror of Ice and Fire back together to the queen’s liking which would result in eternal winter. However, she escapes with the shady faun Jornas and the mysterious Morgwen and embarks on a journey through the wintry country to find the missing mirror splinters and mend the mirror to balance the seasons. Naturally, there are a couple of adventures on the way and her companions have hidden agendas of their own.
At first, I didn’t have any song in mind but then I watched this fan video for the film Bright Star and was shocked how perfectly the song fitted the novel I had read a couple of months earlier. Since the vid contains spoiler for the film, I give you a normal version but in case you have seen it already or don’t mind, you should definitely check it out.
Arcadia Trilogy by Kai Meyer & Scott Walker, Fever Ray, Tina Turner
Besides the ‘official’ songs My Death by Scott Walker and Keep the Streets Empty for Me by Fever Ray, I also cannot get Goldeneye by Tina Turner out of my head. I don’t know why or when I made this into a theme song of the series. It just happened. All of them perfectly express the atmosphere of the novels. Listening to them, I always feel like I’m in a dream, driving through Sicily in a convertible, seeing yachts and helis and gunfights and shapeshifters and all the mysteries and secrets and … it’s just overwhelming.
A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
So technically, there are a million songs that fit part of the series. After all, there’s more than enough drama and more characters than one can remember. I, however, have two songs I want to share with you. The first one is an ‘official’ song, which I chose for obvious reasons. The Rains of Castamere always gives me goosebumps! I prefer the instrumental version, but you can check out the other version here. Second is Bones by MS MR. It’s the song of the season 3 trailer and as much as I love the other ones, this is just my personal ultimate A Song of Ice and Fire song. It’s perfect, the atmosphere is just great and the lyrics fit beautifully!
Darken Rahl (from: Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind) & Darkwing Duck Intro
Ok, this is incredibly silly and an in-joke between me and my friends. A couple of years ago, there was this fantasy TV series Legend of the Seeker, which is based on the Sword of Truth series. In retrospect, it’s really bad but we loved it since there was no comparable high fantasy show and HBO’s Game of Thrones hadn’t yet shown the world how one properly adapts such a series. So I bought the novel and took it with me when the three of us spend two weeks in Dublin. There, my friends ‘forced’ me to read it to them and that’s what I did for hours and hours. At some point, we began joking about Darken Rahl’s quirk. He is always licking two of his fingers and then smoothing down his eyebrow. I have really no idea whatsoever how this came to be, but in the German intro of Darkwing Duck, there’s a point when he says “Zwo, eins, Risiko!” (LT: “Two, one, jeopardy!” – in the original, it’s “Let’s get dangerous!”). We just fitted the licking and smoothing to the text and voilà, Darken Rahl had his own theme song.
A couple from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling & Everlasting Tie by Carpark North
[wpspoiler name=”Harry Potter 7 Spoiler!” ]
Lily and Snape
This. THIS! I mean … seriously! There are no words to describe how spot on this song describes their relationship and everything that happens. It has to have been written for them! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I first came across this wonderful song in this Jack & Aliena (The Pillars of the Earth) video.
Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi & Moondance by Nightwish
I haven’t even read the mangas and this is about the anime, but I just wanted to share it with you since I love this video very much although the quality isn’t great. When I was younger, I always wanted to watch Sailor Moon but I wasn’t allowed to sit in front of the TV in the afternoons. I was supposed to go out and play – and that’s what I did and that’s how I was able to watch at least a couple of episodes at my friends’ back then. When I was about 19, shortly before my A-levels, I suddenly felt the urge to start watching it (oh wonderful procrastination) and more or less marathoned through the first two seasons on youtube but never continued. I really want to change that now that Viva is showing the series again.