Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekly Geek 2009-29: Literary Soundtracks

This week we have a guest post by Ashley of Complete and Unabridged.

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).

Rock n' Roll!!

First off, I'd like to thank the Weekly Geeks Admin for using my suggestion. I'd also like to go ahead and thank all of the other weekly geeks who participate this week. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing what you guys come up with. Here are three of my matches.

Can't Stop Loving You by Phil Collins-North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

So you're leaving
In the morning
On the early train
But I could say everything's alright
And I could pretend and say goodbye

Got your ticket
Got your suitcase
Got your leaving smile
Oh, I could say that's the way it goes
And I could pretend and you won't know
That I was lying

Because I can't stop loving you
No, I can't stop loving you
No, I won't stop loving you
Why should I

The relationship between North and South's main characters, John Thornton and Margaret Hale, has a lot of ups and downs. After Margaret's initial rejection, John must decide whether to keep on loving her or to simply move on and become indifferent to her. In the end, he continues to love her, because it is the only thing he can do. He really can't stop loving her, so he doesn't even try. Everything about this song reminds me of Gaskell's wonderful story.


You Belong With Me
by Taylor Swift-Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

But she wears short skirts
I wear T-shirts
She’s cheer captain
And I’m in the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up
And find what you’re looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can’t you see,
You belong with me, you belong with me

Country music and Jane Austen. What a combo! But in this case it works. In Mansfield Park, Edmund Bertram is given the choice of two women: the stylish and witty Mary Crawford and the shy yet understanding Fanny Price. Though he is blinded by Mary's superficial charms, it is Fanny who really understands him, his hopes, and his desires. And Fanny is all too happy to wait for Edmund to wake up.


An Innocent Man by Billy Joel-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

...But I'm not above making up all the love
You've been denying you can ever feel...

...You know you'll only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you'd rather be a martyr tonight...

...I'm not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am an innocent man

You knew that I had to get a Jane Eyre reference in here somewhere. This one is probably a bit more of a stretch than the other two, but this song (these lyrics in particular) reminds me of the scene in the novel after Jane has learned the truth about Mr. Rochester and Thornfield Hall and he is trying to convince her to remain with him. Despite the waywardness of his life, Mr. Rochester sees himself as an innocent man, blaming all of it on the trickery of his father and brother. Jane, of course, sees through this and her leaving reveals to him that he is not as innocent as he had thought.

4 comments:

Trisha said...

Awesome connections! You should really have this as a weekly meme.

Kristen said...

Good work with this!

Maree said...

Good work! I agree - it's a good idea for a meme :)

justareadingfool said...

First of all, loved the idea. Second, loved your choice. Third, it wasn't as easy for me, though. As I do with most memes in which I participate, I cheated a bit, but it was one of the more fun Weekly Geeks in a while, including, sadly, ones I have done. :)