Musical Inspirations

Following the last few posts about bards, music, and storytelling, I thought it would only be appropriate to share a few songs from my Runaways playlist! Instead of going through every one of these, I’m going to pick out some favorites, share the lyrics, and explain why I think it suits the book so well! The link below is the full playlist if you’re interested, and maybe in the future, I’ll do this with my other stories as well! I hope this is an interesting look into the thought process behind my soundtrack! Music can be such a personal thing, and I always find it fascinating to see how different people approach finding the right Vibe for a story.

To start, most of the songs on this playlist feature acoustic strings. I didn’t pick this consciously, but I suspect I have a kind of sound-color synthesisasia. Each of my WIPs has a certain color scheme and sound that I associate with the themes and the characters. For Runaways, that’s dark forest greens and browns, bleeding into red and grey as autumn wears onward. The other most important factor in picking music is the lyrics. I love when they tell a story that melds well with the one I have in mind. I often imagine animated music videos and animatics to go with these, and it is my greatest grief that I do not have the skill to make these daydreams reality. So this will have to settle!

“Home to Me” by Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

How dare you love me like you’ve never known fear
When you’ve got more troubles than minutes in the year
And a voice like your father’s tells you nothing good’s for free
Well that may be, but you’re walking home to me

I imagine this chorus as a conversation between Hannah and her sister, who’s caused her a lot of grief and terror through the course of the story. Despite Hannah’s bitterness, and her sisters’ guilt, they dearly care for each other and go the extra mile to make sure that the other comes home safely. Hannah is the heart and home of the story, and so I also associate this as her theme. The cello that opens the song has the same determined anticipatory energy that she has, setting out into the wilderness, in search of her missing family.

“Runaway” by AURORA

I had a dream I was seven
Climbin’ my way in a tree
I saw a piece of heaven
Waitin’ in patience for me

And I was runnin’ far away
Would I run off the world someday?

But no, take me home
Take me home where I belong
I got no other place to go
No, take me home
Take me home where I belong

This is the song that gave the story its name! I’ve shared the original version here because it’s the first one I heard, but there are also some lovely acoustic guitar and piano arrangements for it, and I love how Aurora’s voice sounds ethereal and desperate during the chorus. The lyrics capture the feeling of a pull and an anchor that serves as an undercurrent of theme throughout the book. It fits the hero’s journey, being drawn away from the familiar world by the promise of discovering answers, then yearning to go back to comforting familiarity. The verse fits the Seelie realm, which the girls reach by travelling through a living hollow tree, growing out of season, despite the blast mark of lightning in the trunk. They reach a patch of paradise, but must leave to continue their journey home again. Before hearing the song, I had the plot points in place already, and so finding this was an epiphany of a different sort. Not a reaction of “AHA, I’ve figured it out!” but “Aah, I’ve found what I was missing all along, without realizing it.”

Follow sweet children
I’ll show thee the way
Through all the pain and the sorrows
Weep not poor children
For life is this way
Murdering beauty and passions

And now one for the villain! The Piper steals children away from their families and leaves his changelings as spies and bringers of mayhem. He leads the humans he takes back to the valley of shadows in the lands of Unseelie, where he trains them to be good little soldiers, to fight the fae’s battle for them. But he speaks with honeyed words and lovely music that’s a disarming as a lullaby. I’d kill to find a good flute cover for this song, just to finish the connection. I can imagine him playing this haunting tune to warn his wards to stay in their beds, or else.

And then one day
A lucky day he passed my way
Then we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
Then he said to me:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return”

When Hannah arrives in the Seelie court, she’s able to receive advice and training from a number of odd individuals who all found their way there through cunning or chance. While this song references a certain boy, it really fits any of the side characters who help her along her journey – Brigid, Marco, Matteo, and Jack. The last piece of advice in this song captures what Hannah needs to learn in that moment, to repair her relationship with her sister and survive the next task at hand. The cello and minor key perfectly capture the tone of the story, and if you’ll forgive my fangirling, you really can’t go wrong with another Aurora song.

I look into the water
And see a face I don’t understand
We’re both unwanted daughters
But there’s more than water in these autumn hands
I look into the water and see a face I don’t recognise
Who’s this /Who are you
What changed I ask
So strange, she replies

Shoulder the sky
Open those eyes

This song parallels Cecelia and the Taken! The lyrics truly do fit perfectly, and the feral rage and triumph that Madeline Hyland brings to this track is some of my favorite in all The Amazing Devil’s work, which is saying something because they’re my favorite band. I can’t share more details about the story I’m afraid, because of spoilers, but this was the soundtrack for the climactic facedown between them and the Piper, and it might be my most favorite out of all the scenes I’ve written.

That’s all I have for today, but I hope you enjoyed it! I plan to do this with my other WIPs in the future, though some playlists are already linked on the Storge page if you’re interested in checking them out sooner rather than later. Please let me know what you think of this selection, and to leave your own playlists and recommendations! I’m always looking for new artists to add to the roster.

Next week I’ll be back with an excerpt, but I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Check out my Summer Celebration for some cool giveaways! Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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