Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Weekly Geeks - Music Match

Well, I thought this was my first Weekly Geeks but it turns out I'm wrong. Way back when I was still trying to figure out what to use this blog for, I did a Weekly Geeks about Guilty Pleasures. This week's is about music:

Music is a pretty amazing thing. It can take us back to the past, make us want to dance, put us in a romantic mood, or simply lift our spirits. But sometimes, music does something a little different for me: it reminds me of a book.

Yes, there is nothing more geeky than to be riding down the road listening to the radio and suddenly thinking "That song matches [book title] perfectly!". But that is exactly what happens to me sometimes. For example, whenever I hear Phil Collins' song 'Can't Stop Loving You,' I immediately think of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South. To me, it is exactly the kind of song that describes the two main characters' relationship.

So, my fellow Weekly Geeks, your challenge this week is to come up with at least one song-book match. It could remind you of a theme from the book, a specific part of the plot, or even one of the characters (a sort of theme song, if you will). Be sure to include samples of the lyrics and the reason why that song reminds you of that book. If you can provide a link to a recording of the song so that other geeks can hear it that would be great as well. (One good place to look for links is
last.fm, there are others, too).

This was a lot harder than I thought. I ended up with two good answers and three pretty lame ones. We'll start with the good connections.

1) Gothic Lolita by Emilie Autumn = Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice/Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

How old are you?
I'm older than you'll ever be
I've been dead a thousand years
And lived only two or three
I don't mind telling you
My life was ended by your hand
The kind of murder where nobody dies
But I don't suppose you'd understand
Call off the search
We've found her

If I am Lolita
Then you are a criminal
And you should be killed
By an army of little girls
The law won't arrest you
The world won't detest you
You never did anything
Any man wouldn't do
I'm Gothic Lolita
And you are a criminal
I'm not even legal
I'm just a dead little girl
But ruffles and laces
And candy sweet faces
Directed your furtive hand
I perfectly understand

There's something so eerie about the idea of a little girl who has lived for a thousand years. The words stick out and remind me of Claudia from Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, a tragic character who grows into a woman locked underneath the face of a child. Claudia is dressed in ruffles and laces and made to look like a doll with a candy sweet face but she is very much an old soul.

Eli from Let the Right One In and her relationship with Hakan seem to fit these lyrics properly. Like Claudia, she's been alive for hundreds of years but is locked in a child's body. Her 'partner in crime' is Hakan, a convicted paedophile who provides her with blood in exchange for 'being' with her. How old are you? I'm older than you'll ever be? ... I'm Gothic Lolita And you are a criminal I'm not even legal I'm just a dead little girl ... These lyrics couldn't be more true to describe their twisted relationship.


2) King's Crossing by Elliott Smith = The Beatniks/The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

This one I'm going to give you to listen to. As well as the lyrics, it's the all-round mood of the song.

There's something very tragic about the way some of the Beatniks wrote; The idea that they never truly belonged anywhere, always alone on the road, looking for that something new to express their creativity. While it's a lifestyle I'd love to try out at some point, it must have gotten awful lonely. This is why I also applied it to The Virgin Suicides. The girls who were trying to live their lives as normal teenagers were shut up in isolation with nothing to occupy their thoughts but suicide (a big element of the song).


3) Narcissist by The Libertines = The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This is kind of an obvious choice, especially as the song features the lyrics:

They're just narcissists
Well wouldn't it be nice to be Dorian Gray?
Just for a day

The song's pretty self explanatory. I'll let you listen for yourself. It's about beauty and the narcissism that consumes us in the modern world.


4) Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush = Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A lame and obvious choice but any excuse to see Kate dance crazily to this song. Hearing it always makes me want to pick up the book.


5) Supermassive Black Hole by Muse = Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Yeah, I did *not* like the book and thought the film was okay but that baseball scene in the film stuck in my head because of this track. As a result, Meyer's Twilight saga will always be slightly 'cool' because of Catherine Hardwicke's decision to put this in the film.



Anonymous said...

Very nicely done with all of them. Second time, I've seen Muse used with Twilight though. Faux paus? ;)

And all such happy songs too. ;) But really, loved the mood and how it fit with all of the books you described.

I had heard of Elliott Smith previously ,but never heard his music. I like it. Thanks for sharing.

Ceri said...

justa - Yeah, I debated putting the Muse song on there haha. And, yeah, when I put the post up I definitely thought, 'God, what are going to people think of me when they see what I listen to? haha!'

I love that Elliott Smith song. My boyfriend sent it to me with a piece of his writing to play in the background as I read it. It's been one of my favourites since. :-)

Daniel Grosvenor said...


Ceri said...

Dan - :-P ;-)