Contrary to popular opinion, I do sometimes listen to music that isn’t One Direction (y’know, annually), and sometimes the songs I listen to remind me of books I’ve read. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been written on the same subject, sometimes the similarity is in the way they make me feel, and sometimes it’s just a general vibe and mood thing.
Today, I thought I’d share with you a list of 10 songs which remind me of some of my favourite books. I’d love to see if you agree, and find out which songs remind you of these books, or of other books you love…
1. Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea reminds me of… Going Home by Harriet Evans
The most Christmassy feeling in the world to me is the anticipation of getting home on Christmas Eve to a cosy, warm house filled with family, and this song IS that feeling. It also reminds me of Going Home, a family drama (plus romance, obvs) which begins with a woman named Lizzy travelling back to her family home – Keeper House – for Christmas. I re-read this book every December – it’s the perfect Christmassy comfort read (to be consumed alongside Christmassy comfort food!)
2. There is a Light that Never Goes Out by The Smiths reminds me of… The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This song is about the person you love being the only thing keeping you going, and when I listen to it, I’m always reminded of Gatsby staring out at the green light across the bay, dreaming of Daisy. Also, this line – Driving in your car/ Oh please don’t drop me home / Because it’s not my home, it’s their home/ And I’m welcome no more – makes me think of the way Gatsby’s house was always filled with people he didn’t know, partying away in a place that’s supposed to be his home, but never truly feels that way without Daisy there with him. I’m convinced this song was written ABOUT The Great Gatsby.
3. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift reminds me of Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
So, TSwizzle wasn’t around in Bridget Jones’s heyday, but if she had been, I’m pretty sure this song would have been Bridget’s anthem in the triumphant moment she finally gives Daniel Cleaver the heave-ho.
Image via Buzzfeed
4. Animals by Maroon 5 reminds me of… You by Caroline Kepnes
I love this song, but I’m not the biggest fan of its hella creepy video depicting a man who is stalkerishly infatuated with a woman, ‘hunting’ her down because he’s unable to let go of their relationship. It reminds me so much of the novel You, in which seemingly normal bookseller Joe becomes obsessed with Beck, a woman who walks into his shop one day. He proceeds to stalk and manipulate her into a relationship by becoming the ‘perfect’ guy for her (spying on her through her phone and social media accounts to work out exactly what she’s looking for in a partner). When Beck decides to end things with Joe, he’s unwilling to accept that it’s over, and the consequences are deadly. This book (like the video for this song) is suffocatingly creepy; it’s told in the 2nd person, and the entire book is addressed directly to Beck.
Word of warning about the video: If, like I once did, you’re sat there thinking you couldn’t possibly imagine a scenario in which you would cease to find Adam Levine sexy, this video may well change your mind… I’d also really advise you not to watch it if you’re squeamish about blood or a vegetarian.
5. Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap reminds me of… Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
This song reminds me of the way Wintergirls is written – it has a disjointed, strange quality to it, and is full of odd, yet powerful, imagery. A lot of people think this song is about being cheated on, but I believe it’s about grief, and it’s the soundtrack I imagine for Wintergirls, which is the story of a girl named Lia, whose friend Cassie is found dead in a motel room. Lia is anorexic, and as she comes to terms with her friend’s death, she’s also struggling with the same illness which took her friend’s life. This was a difficult book to read because of the sensitive issues it explores, but it’s stunningly written, and I’d highly recommend it.
6. The Gift by Angels and Airwaves reminds me of… Annie and Finnick’s wedding scene in Mockingjay
The lyrics of this song are so beautiful! I interpret it as being about a moment of hope and love and joy so strong it overrides all of the bad things happening outside of it. To me, it’s a song for Annie and Finnick’s wedding in Mockingjay, the purest of moments which, despite taking place in the middle of the horrific war against the Capitol, cannot be taken away from them.
Image via Giphy
7. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush reminds me of… Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (duh…)
I couldn’t resist dropping this one into my list. Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite novels of all time, and Kate Bush is just crazy awesome… what other song could I possibly have picked?!
8. Accidentally in Love by Counting Crows reminds me of … I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelsson
This is the happiest, sunniest song I can think of, and the lyrics are full of colour, and metaphor after metaphor about love. If I’ll Give You the Sun were a song, it would be this one.
9. Give Me Strength by Snow Patrol reminds me of… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Whenever I listen to this song, I always think of it as a rousing speech after an epic battle has been won, in which the speaker is thanking the friends who’ve kept him going through the hardest of times. I’m always reminded of Deathly Hallows, because for me, these sentiments sum up the book – true friendship is at the very heart of the Harry Potter series, and it’s love that wins the final battle.
10. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by Coldplay reminds me of… the tunnel song in The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I imagine everyone has their own special song in mind when they read this scene, and I like the fact that ‘the tunnel song’ is never explicitly named in the book, because it allows you to hear whichever song makes you feel ‘infinite’. In the film adaptation, it’s Heroes by David Bowie, but for me, the epic song I hear as I imagine myself whizzing through that tunnel, wind in my hair, radio up full volume, is undoubtedly this one.
Image via Giphy
Fun fact, I actually made a whole iTunes playlist of songs that make me feel infinite, called ‘Perks’, because I’m a massive nerd like that…
So, that’s the end of my list! Which songs would you have chosen? And which songs remind you of your favourite books, or scene from a book?
And finally, if you’ve read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, what would your tunnel song have been?