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9 Perfect Book-Song Pairings

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Always books. Never boring.

In my first book-song pairing post, I explained my methodology a little bit, but to recap: sometimes it’s book first, sometimes song; the connection almost always works like word association or is glaringly obvious. I was inspired to do another post like this when I had to start using my iPod in the car again (since changing vehicles and giving up satellite radio) and found a cache of long-neglected music on there. Many of the songs (the Madonna, the Loreena McKennitt, the Annie Lennox) immediately reminded me of the books I’ve paired them with. I’ve done my best to share the most relevant-seeming lyrics this time, to help clarify the connections my brain (which is basically a giant game of associations) made.

These are obviously choices from my own music collection and list of books I’ve read and in no way meant to be definitive. Enjoy, and share your own favorites if you’ve got ’em in the comments.

“Frozen,” Madonna / Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson

You’re frozen when your heart’s not open…

“Datura,” Tori Amos / Madapple, Christina Meldrum
Is there room in my heart for you to follow your heart…

“The Old Ways,” Loreena McKennitt / Hild, Nicola Griffith

“The old ways are lost,” you sang as you flew, and I wondered why…

“Bitter Rivals,” Sleigh Bells / Dare Me, Megan Abbott
You are my bitter rival, but I need you for survival…

“Sweet Lorraine,” Patty Griffin / Girlchild, Tupelo Hassman

…came from a long line of drinkers and dreamers

“A Thousand Beautiful Things,” by Annie Lennox / Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
Every day I write the list of reasons why I still believe they do exist…a thousand beautiful things

“Floating City,” Tori Amos (as Y Kant Tori Read) / Perfect Ruin, Lauren DeStefano
So assured that we’re advanced with what we know that our spirit never had time to grow…

“Strange Little Girl,” Stranglers / The Girl in the Road, Monica Byrne (May 2014, Crown)
Strange little girl, where are you going?

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” Chvrches (Bauhaus cover) / The Moth Diaries, Rachel Klein
Undead, undead, undead…


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