Literary Music Buddies~In Which I Make Cunning Associations Between Books And Songs

Greetings, my bloggerly chums!

When I read I book, I can sometimes get on a one-track mind. Literally EVERYTHING will make me think of the book.

Me: [sees a black notebook] TOM RIDDLE’S DIARY


Me: [sees a hill] A HOBBIT MUST LIVE THERE

Me: [hears a horse whinny] BREEHY-HINNY-BRINNY-HOOHY-HAH

This is an ongoing phenomenon and I do it with basically everything.

So I figured, in my cunning way, why not put my overly obsessive mind to good use and get a blog post out of it?

Thus, the following is a list of songs that I have mentally attached to favorite books of mine. If you have read the books you may find that my song associations are quite insightful, and if you have not, then, well, just read the books already because they are all quite amazing (in my totally unbiased opinion).

“Oblivion” by Bastille for A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Okay, so I kind of subconsciously inserted a massive Bastille flavor into the fictional band Twice Burgundy that August shares with Beck in the book.

This song is ambiguous and could be taken in a romantic way, but whenever I hear it I think of Beck and his little sister Joey. In my mind I see Beck’s protectiveness of his sister and his hope for her that she won’t grow up to be as scared and broken as he is, and it is so beautiful.

In spite of Joey’s toughness and propensity to want to stab things, she still has a life and an innocence that Beck has lost. Beck wants to save her from all the badness in their lives and take it all on himself so that she can be safe. He is basically the big brother we all need.

Here is a snippet of the lyrics:

Are you going to age with grace?
Are you going to age without mistakes?
Are you going to age with grace?
Oh only to wake and hide your face,
When oblivion
Is calling out your name
You always take it further,
than I ever can.
-“Oblivion,” Bastille

Is your heart melting right now, because mine definitely is.

“Brother” by Needtobreathe for The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Obviously there are SO MANY songs that I could associate with The Lord of the Rings, and Needtobreathe might seem like an odd choice. But the fierce bonds  between members of the fellowship are really the heart of this story.

From Legolas and Gimli to Merry and Pippin, these characters form attachments that are affectionate and loyal and protective and all the things brother relationships ought to be. Of course Sam and Frodo are the epitome of awesomeness when it comes to that. “Brother” is basically their creed.

Lyrics snippet:

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
-“Brother,” Needtobreathe

“Paralyzed” by NF for Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

This song can literally be for anyone who doesn’t know how to face their issues though. It’s a little bit too relatable sometimes.

Orual shuts down emotionally. She buries herself. She is a fierce and formidable queen but she is dying on the inside. She has so much hurt and bitterness that she doesn’t know how to deal with so she convinces herself it doesn’t exist. She numbs herself to everything. SO HEALTHY, I KNOW, I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS.

Hence, NF level angst is in order.

Lyrics snippet:

I’m paralyzed
I’m scared to live but I’m scared to die
And if life is pain then I buried mine a long time ago
But it’s still alive
And it’s taking over me- where am I?
I wanna feel something, I’m numb inside
But I feel nothing, I wonder why
And in the race of life time passes by

-“Paralyzed,” NF

“Thrive” by Switchfoot for The Giver by Lois Lowry

Talk about suppressing your feelings.

Jonas lives in a community where people don’t have feelings. Not really. The world has learned to trade passion for stability. But when Jonas becomes the Receiver, that starts to change for him. The perfect, safe life he has isn’t enough anymore. And that’s troubling.

“Thrive” is about having a need for more. Life isn’t just about surviving, it’s about living.

Lyrics snippet:

I’m always close, but I’m never enough
I’m always alive, but I’m never in love
I get so down, but I won’t give up
Been fighting things that I can’t see
Like voices coming from the inside of me, yeah
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

-“Thrive,” Switchfoot

“Things we Lost in the Fire” by Bastille for A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The title kind of speaks for itself, eh?

I picture Lemony Snicket singing this song, after he’s lost everything. He’s on the run, the woman that he loves is gone, the world has gone up in smoke. He has done things he is not proud of. His organization is splintered. Maybe nothing will ever be whole again.

Perfect time for an angsty Bastille song.

Lyrics snippet:

I was the match and you were the rock
Maybe we started this fire
We sat apart and watched
All we had burned on the pyre

(Was it absolutely necessary to steal that sugar bowl from Esmé Squalor???)

Do you understand that we will never be the same again
The future’s in our hands and we will never be the same again
-“The Things we Lost in the Fire,” Bastille

Tragic man filled with regret right here.

“Soldier” by Fleurie for Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender is a soldier. He’s a commander, actually. He has a brilliant tactical mind and fighting battles is his life. He’s also eleven years old.

Ender wins because it’s all he knows how to do. He was bred for this. It’s the only thing that matters.

But deep down he’s just a broken little kid and he wants to go home. He just doesn’t know where that is. I don’t have emotions about this AT ALL.

“Soldier” is angsty enough to make me think of him.

Lyrics snippet:

But it gets hard to stand
Soldier keep on marchin’ on
Head down til the work is done
Waiting on that morning sun
Soldier keep on marchin’ on
Quiet now, you’re gonna wake the beast
Hide your soul out of his reach
Shiver to that broken beat

-“Soldier,” Fleurie

“Always Gold” by Radical Face and “Hold Her” by For King and Country for Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

I know, this one gets two songs. It’s special.

Joseph and Jack are foster brothers, and they have very different backgrounds. They don’t fully understand each other. But they form a bond that is fierce and loyal.

For me, “Always Gold” is a perfect depiction of their relationship. Some of the details are sightly off, but the essence is the same. And it breaks me.

Lyrics snippet:

All my life
I’ve never known where you’ve been
There were holes in you
The kind that I could not mend
And I heard you say
Right when you left that day
Does everything go away?
Yeah, everything goes away.
But I’m going to be here ’til forever
So just call when you’re around.
-“Always Gold,” Radical Face


Seriously though, just listen to the whole song. It might give you feelings, especially if you have read Orbiting Jupiter.

“Hold Her” is for Joseph and Jupiter. Or Joseph and Madeleine. Or both. It will break your heart either way. It just will.

Lyrics snippet:
She was holdin’ on so tight
But why did we still have to say goodbye?
She’s all alone tonight
There’s nothin’ I could do to make it right
-“Hold Her,” For King and Country

ThERe ARE ToO MAnY EmOtiONS. I am going to cry.

“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” and “This is Home” by Switchfoot and “Hold Me Now” by Red for The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

I JUST read this book, so basically all the songs make me think of it right now. All the angsty ones, anyway.

Sam and Avery are brothers, and they are lost. They don’t have anywhere to go. THEY NEED MY HELP.

I mean- They need help. But they are ALONE and DESPERATE and it feels like the world is crashing in around them. There is no way out.

“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” is a song about finding hope in the darkest of places. It’s about holding on, even when you don’t know what to hold onto.

Lyrics snippet:

Crooked souls trying to stay up straight
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways
Hold fast to the break of day light where
The shadow proves the sunshine

-“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine,” Switchfoot


I know that “This is Home” is kind of a Prince Caspian song or something, but it is SO PERFECT for Sam. It basically sums up how he feels about the De Laineys. Emotions are inevitable.

Lyrics snippet:

I’ve got my memories
Always inside of me
But I can’t go back
Back to how it was
I believe you now
I’ve come too far
No I can’t go back
Back to how it was
Created for a place I’ve never known
This is home
-“This is Home,” Switchfoot

“Hold Me Now” is a song about panicking, essentially. It could be for Avery. It could be for Sam. It could be for both of them.

It’s probably for both of them.

They are just two desperate, scared boys who need each other and don’t know how to deal with their emotions, because honestly, who does?

Lyrics snippet:

Hope is slipping through my hands
Gravity is taking hold
I said I’m not afraid that I am brave enough
I will not give up until I see the sun
Hold me now ’til the fear is leaving
I am barely breathing
Crying out
These tired wings are falling
I need you to catch me
-“Hold Me Now,” Red



So, yes, this is what I do with my time: obsess over fictional characters and relate them to everything else I am doing.

Clearly this is the only way to listen to music.

What do you think? Have you ever attached random songs to your favorite book characters? If you have read any of these books, do you agree with my song choices? What are some of the songs you have associated with books?

23 thoughts on “Literary Music Buddies~In Which I Make Cunning Associations Between Books And Songs

  1. THIS WAS AN AWESOME POST. I LOVED IT. I actually haven’t listened to very many of these songs; but I really want to listen to Brother now. :-O It sounds really good. Ooh; I’ve been wanting to read Till We Have Faces! 😀 I do randomly pick songs for fictional characters sometimes. ;-D
    (When I read the first part of your post; I was like sO i’M Not THe OnLy OnE whO DOES thIS. HILLs ArE Hobbit HOleS. ThAt’s JUSt what THEy are. XD)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, I’ve been thinking about Ender’s Game since I listened to the movie soundtrack whilst doing chores and thought of how the book first taught me what genocide meant and how it relates to my remembering the Armenian genocide (since I live in Armenia)… I’ll listen to that song! Have you heard Peace Sword, the song at the credits of the film? I think it captures Ender well too!
    And yesss, I love the Bastille-ASOUE one haha!! Gonna listen to the song in a new light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Ender’s Game is such a good book. No, I haven’t heard “Peace Sword” before! I mean, I must have actually because I watched the movie, but I didn’t pay attention to the credits song. I will have to listen to it now!


      1. Yeah, it’s one of my favourites too! I first read it when I was 13 and initially I regretted buying it bc of the swear words, but the themes and characters and all the intellectual activity it led me to made me read the book several times! Haha!
        You’ll love it! Peace Sword comes a little after the black and white credits start rolling. I accidentally found it when I watched the movie by myself 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I had to read it for school and I am really glad that I did because otherwise I do not think I would have read it. The swearing and stuff would have scared me away.
        “Peace Sword” DOES fit Ender- which I guess it better since it was for the movie and everything. 😉 Thanks for recommending it!


  3. Ohhh! Olivia (Purely Olivia) and I were literally just talking about the other week how the song Shut Up and Dance makes her think of Annabelle and Percy Jackson dancing.
    Wait. Ender was eleven years old? Are you serious? Oh. I did not remember that detail.
    Oh my goodness, Hold Her. I’m listening to it right now as I’m writing this comment. Yes, I completely agree with that song/book combination. I also listened to Always Gold.
    Thanks for the all the song recommendations-even though that wasn’t strictly the purpose of this post :)) I really like Paralyzed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, that’s great. 🙂
      Actually in the beginning of the book he is six. He gets to be eleven by pretty much the end. Craziness, eh?
      I KNOW. It’s so wonderful. And tragic. “Hold Her”/Orbiting Jupiter is one of my favorite song/book combinations.
      You are quite welcome! I am glad that you like “Paralyzed”! It is one of my favorite NF songs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Feels like there’s not a song out there I can listen to without associating it with some character or another of mine — either because it’s /so them/, or because it comes on the radio and they’re like “THAT’S MY JAM! TURN IT UP!”

    “Hold My Breath” (Elle Goulding) gives a pair of my Merry Men ~feelings~…
    (/You are the risk I’ll always take… the only branch I’ll never break…/)

    “Believer” (Imagine Dragons) gets one of my Camelot knights all kinds of fired up…
    (/Hoping my feelings, they would drown… But they never did, ever lived, ebbing and flowing, inhibited, limited, til they broke up and it rained down… It rained down like… PAIN/)

    “Never Be Enough” (‘The Greatest Showman’) feels like the soul of my Sheriff of Nottingham the Second…
    (/Darling, without you… Towers of gold are still too little… These hands could hold the world, but it’ll never be enough…/)

    “Havana” (Camila Cabello) gets some medieval huntsman who may never appear on the page dancing seductively, while “Where the Lost Things Go” (‘Mary Poppins Returns’) turns him teary-eyed…

    And I have no idea why I so strongly associate some small-town superhuman boy-next-door from the scribblings of my youth with the hits of Barry Manilow… but I do. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is awesome! Yeah, I have SO MANY songs associated with my own characters. It’s kind of impossible not to do that when you think about them ALL THE TIME. Sometimes the associations seem perfectly reasonable, and at other times I have no idea what I was thinking, but the association is cemented in my mind.
      You know, my sisters and I made up a spoof on “Never Be Enough” for our cat for some reason: “All the food in a thousand dishes/All the treats and all the fishes will never be enough/Never be enough…” He’s a little bit obsessed with food.

      Liked by 1 person

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