The Book Soundtrack

Latimer: So I finished Mockingjay last Friday. The fire burned swift and fierce. I totally ate that book. I started reading at 8pm and finished by 1.30am (minus aimless wandering time and tea breaks, ‘can’t talk people, Katniss has a rebellion to finish, and I can only just spare enough time to make tea!’).

Orbie only started Mockingjay on Thursday this week; and she was hard pushed to even start. The fire died in her quickly; she was very, ‘neh’ about it after she had raced through Catching Fire. I thought about it as she asked, “Is it any good? Should I bother?”

Baffled I asked, “How can you not read it after you invested all the time? In fairness, don’t you want to know what happens in the relationship?”

She shrugged, “That’s probably all I care about now.” I nodded (it was pretty much all I cared about too).

Anyway, her reading it had me thinking back over it.

It was good, the series as a whole, of course I had enjoyed it. But wasn’t the ending very lacklustre? The relationship only really ended on, “we are both broken, let’s be broken together”. The big showdown never really happened. I feel like I wouldn’t be alone in thinking that as a reader I had been let down a bit.

There weren’t any significant relationship moments that left you clutching your chest, sobbing, “beautiful, perfect”.

The ending was very rushed in the sense that; they got together, in time they healed and then everything was as good as it could have been. But, did we not deserve more of an insight? It left me disappointed, not overly so but still, disappointed.

I wonder will the movies kindle more of a relationship-fire?

Moving from on from the books; I happened upon a soundtrack. Here enter-th my other great love, music (the stories with sounds!).

I just stumbled onto it (maybe you’ve heard it before) it’s called: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond. It’s the official companion soundtrack to the movie with songs, from various bands, relating to the Hunger Games. Now I’m not 100% sure if they wrote them especially for the movie (but some of them must have done, because they talk about ‘daddy working in the mines’ and specifically ‘mockingjay’).

The thing that caught me was I really liked the people that sung/wrote for it: The Low Anthem, Arcade Fire, Birdy and The Civil Wars! Wow, I thought, I must give this a go! Sting also did a song “Deep in the Meadow”; that’s Katniss’ song right? Sting… my god. (I don’t like it, but hey, Sting, I am impressed!)

It got me thinking about how often I ascribe a song to a specific character (book, movie TV show etc). You know when you are listening away and you start thinking, ah that’s such and such singing about this, that and the other.

Did anyone come up with any songs for the Hunger Games? I had a go (I was listening to Lana Del Rey’s album a lot; so that’s why it’s two of her songs!)-

(Katniss singing about the Games and Peeta; it works, born to die)

(Katniss after the Games- I like the ‘sweet like cinnamon part, cos it’s like a baker, Haha…)

Back to the ‘actual’ soundtrack; Taylor Swift sings a song with The Civil Wars (Safe and Sound), which is beautiful. I have never heard a Taylor Swift song before (I know nothing about her, except the following: she’s young (-er than me!), American, blonde-?, Kanye West badmouthed her at an awards do once- I think).

Her voice works so well with the country tones of The Civil Wars. I feel like they add a lot of maturity to the song because the song she sings on her own is awful (Eyes Open), very teeny; it’s so false, it hasn’t got any sense of being ‘real’ or from the heart. It’s so over-produced. It’s actually grating; it has no place with the rest of the songs.  

The Civil Wars by the way are amazing; they are just a girl and guy with a guitar (if you ever have a chance to see them live, seriously go, they are excellent). They are so in sic with each other it’s amazing; they should be together (this is how it always goes, trying to pair people off), but they are actually happily to other people *sigh*! It’s like they are unromantic, musical soul-mates; perfect harmony. This song is very sweet and lovely; it does reflect Katniss and the Games very well. Also, the song The Civil Wars sing on their own is very beautiful too (Kingdom Come).

Glen Hansard also has a song on the album; he is an Irish singer/songwriter. Who won an Academy Award for his co-written song ‘Falling Slowly’ on the film Once (it’s beautiful): and he used to be in the Irish band The Frames. He’s actually really good, but my god, his song… Take the Heartland, which people think describes Cato; is terrible, it’s just terrible! It’s a sound so unlike his usual self.

‘Come away to the water’ by Maroon 5 (which in my head I just called Macaroon 5!); is another great song. It just conjures up the images of the grim, brutal districts and the oppressive Capitol.

Arcade Fire’s song ‘Abraham’s Daughter’ has an undertone, rift in it that sounds like it was in the movie. The initial rift sounds like the Hunger Games to me (like the theme for Harry Potter is Hedwig’s theme).

But my absolute FAVOURITE song on this lovely soundtrack is ‘Lover Is Childlike’ by The Low Anthem. Oh, I love them. It’s a heart wrenching song. The tone, his voice… it’s perfect.

Sometimes I think songs are like books; you find a great one and you think you’ll never see the like again. But time passes and new ones come.

Susanne Collins is very lucky; these bands actually did songs about her world! It’s amazing; it’s a brilliant idea. The book soundtrack; brilliant! Let me know what you think of the songs! Give them a go; well worth musing over who/what they might be singing about!

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