Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I Want To Hold Your Hand Part 2

This is part 2 of a post so if you haven't seen part 1 yet then I recommend you click here

Now that we're all presumably on the same page and have cried over the same books, I'll start my explaining my music associations to you all! If you would like to listen to the playlist that I've made, you can do so here. Advanced warning: this post will not be spoiler free so read at your own risk.

1. Just Like Heaven - The Cure

I listened to a lot of The Cure when reading Lucy In Love and the sequel, so the two have ended up rather woven together in my mind. I listen to the lyrics and sometimes it makes me think of Lucy thinking of Blaine and then other times it makes me think of Blaine thinking of Lucy but mostly it makes me think of how they both got swept up in each other and how I ended up being taken along with it.

2. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

I mean this song pretty much just is Eleanor and Park. It's the song that Eleanor listens to and says "I just want to break that song into pieces and love them to death" and it kind of just sums up the book completely. 

3. I'm Not Okay (I Promise) - My Chemical Romance

I can't remember if it's this song, or another MCR one that is mentioned in Lucy In Love but it now always makes me think of Blaine and Lucy. It actually played when I was in Sheffield at a club with my friends and I hadn't finished the book yet and I just had a little fangirl moment internally on the dancefloor! It also really makes me think of the sequel, when they're both so broken and are trying so hard to function living in the same house as each other but it's just really hard.

4. Cough Syrup - Young the Giant

This is another Lucy In Love one and it actually runs throughout the book and gets quoted by the characters. The lines "if I could find a way to see this straight / I'd run away / to some fortune that I, I should have found my now" make me a wee bit emotional if I'm honest. About this time last year I not only realised I wasn't straight but managed to coincide that with a massive existential crisis about pretty much every aspect of my life. I was starting my final year of uni and I just felt like everyone had their shit together apart from me and I had this weird mix of feeling like my future had been decided without any input from me and also feeling like I had no idea what on earth I was going to do with my life, so that line in particular really makes me remember what it was like to feel like that. It's really not that long ago that I was figuring out how to come out to my parents so I really connected with Lucy as she tried to work that out as well. (I feel like I should add an aside here - I have since sorted my shit out and whilst I still have no idea what I'm doing with my life, I'm very much okay with that!)

5. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

I spend so much time trying to find a version of this on soundcloud that doesn't sound awful! It's a struggle, it really is. Unlike the last track, there is not a deep emotional story behind this song. It had just come out when I was reading these books. I love it and listen to it all the time and generally dance around the place like a moron and now it's all tied up in these books as well.

6. Don't Save Me - HAIM

This one makes me think of Eleanor and Park for a couple of different reasons. It really makes me think of after Park has held Eleanor's hand for the first time and he's freaking out a bit because he doesn't know whether Eleanor feels the same way, and then she reaches across on the bus and grabs his hand into her own and it's like they've both declared their intentions. They've committed to this feeling, whatever it is, and there's no going back now. It also reminds me of the end of the book, when Park is writing postcards to Eleanor and gradually loses hope of getting one back. Listening to this song makes me wonder whether he ever wished he could go back to before he knew her or if that would be unthinkable, and I picture all the time he must have spent thinking back over the times they had together. It just makes me think lots of things!

7. Rainbow - Oh Land

This song applies to all of the books apart from Harley's Angels I think. Something about it makes me think of the way some of these characters sort of surrender themselves to their feelings a bit. It's almost like intoxication with another person: "you are all over my rainbow", "only you are on my rainbow / no one else here / nothing gets near / you".

8. Closer - Tegan and Sara

First of all, I love this song so very much. It's one of my favourites. Aeons ago, I reviewed the album on here and I think I said at the time how it makes me think of that early stage of liking someone, when you get butterflies just from being around them, and you really want to get closer but you're also mildly terrified of doing so: "here comes the breath before we get a little bit closer / here comes the rush before we touch, come a little closer". I think it's pretty self explanatory as to how this applies to these books. It's the end of Aristotle and Dante when he finally accepts himself and kisses Dante, it's the hand holding scene in Eleanor and Park which kills me every time, it's Lucy having her first kiss with Blaine and realising that yep, definitely gay. It's all of that and so much more and I love it a lot!

9. Still Into You - Paramore

I'm not 100% sure why this song makes me think of these books seeing as it's about still liking someone after being together for ages, whereas all of these books are exploring the start of something, but it just does. I suppose it makes me think a bit of the sequel to Lucy In Love, especially "even on our worst nights, I'm into you". 

10. Friday I'm In Love - The Cure

As mentioned on track one, The Cure are inherently tied up in all of these books. This one is more of an Eleanor and Park track. It just makes me think of that anticipation they both have for their bus journey. At one point Eleanor tells Park "I don't think I even breathe when when we're not together" and this track just really makes me think of how elated they must be when they get on the bus after a weekend of being apart.

11. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths

This is another very Eleanor and Park book and the characters talk about it. But it also reminds me of Aristotle and Dante, and how Aristotle feels when he gets his truck and can just drive out to the desert and look at the stars and lose himself for a moment, then how he and Dante go out there and get high together, and at the end how Aristotle finally accepts how he feels about Dante. I just feel like it sums up the relationship between Aristotle and the desert, which is a weird sentence to type out.

12. Brutal Hearts - Bedouin Soundclash feat. Coeur de Pirate

This song kind of reminds me a bit of Dante. It's pretty obvious how he feels about Aristotle and just the lines "I don't mind that you only call me when you want / and I'm just glad you want me at all" which is way harsher than their relationship is in the book but still makes me think of him. He doesn't shy away from how he feels about Aristotle but he tries to find someone else to be with whilst still being friends with Ari and it must be super difficult but he does it anyway. And then it makes me think of the ending in the desert again and I get all emosh all over again. Plus when the guy sings "I don't like the man that I am" I think of Aristotle struggling with himself. The song is a duet and in a way I almost feel like it encapsulates the struggle that both characters face throughout the book.

13. Not Out - Greg Laswell

I listened to Greg Laswell's album Three Flights From Alto Nido on repeat when finishing Aristotle and Dante so it pretty much serves as a soundtrack to the way that the book destroyed me entirely. 

14. I Want To Hold Your Hand - Jennifer Arab

Obviously this song is Eleanor and Park and the hand holding scene. OBVIOUSLY. But it's also kind of Lucy In Love as well. The Beatles run through that book (I'll level with you guys, I really don't know The Beatles that well. Neither of my parents were into them so I never really listened to them growing up and I've just never got round to it yet. Sometime soon I will change this!) but it's this version not The Beatles' that I included. It's just delicate and pretty and almost whistful and I think of how Blaine starts off as this girl who doesn't do relationships, and how as the book progresses she starts to let Lucy in more. It makes me feel emotions you guys!

15. I Remember - Damien Rice

This song starts with Lisa Hannigan singing "I remember it well / the first time that I saw / your head round the door / because mine stopped working" and then I think back over all of the first meetings between the characters in these books and I glow a little inside. Then when she repeats "your mouth, your mouth, your mouth" I think back over all of the first kisses in these books and I glow even more and turn into a human firefly and it's all very strange and this metaphor has really got away with me. Then Damien Rice comes in half way through and the song flips. It has such emotion and almost a bitter rawness and I think of Aristotle trying to deal with his anger and confusion by drinking and smoking and driving and I get overwhelmed with a whole other form of emotion.

16. Feathered Pocket - Wallis Bird

This song really echoes how the beginning of I Remember makes me feel. "And the clouds ain't so high anymore / since my head and my heels left the floor". I always think of how Park makes Eleanor feel, like he opens this door inside of her where all of these emotions are that sort of float and burn inside her.

17. Tangerine - Led Zeppelin

"Thinking how it used to be, does she still remember times like these? / To think of us again? And I do". It's not Park's cup of tea at all but I still can't help but imagine him lying on his bed missing Eleanor and listening to this on his headphones.

18. I'm On Fire - Bruce Springsteen

This sounds mildly ridiculous when I write it down but the way this song builds really reminds me of hot summer days when the heat builds so much that it becomes stifling and you just have sweat trickling down your back and you just want to do something to break the stuffy atmosphere that's built up. Now imagine that in relationship terms. And then look at the relationship between Aristotle and Dante through that filter. And that's why this song is here.

19. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers

This just is the sequel to Lucy In Love. "It's better to feel pain than nothing at all / the opposite of love's indifference". I mean really I could quote this entire song at you because it just is that book and their relationship. All the messy broken bits and all the lovely healing bits, the parts where they both desperately want to make it work, and all the parts where it seems like it never will, all wrapped up into one song.

20. The One I Love - Greg Laswell

Just like the last song sums up Lucy In Love, this one is just completely Aristotle and Dante. Just listen to the chorus: "I should probably say that I'm unsure why I'm running, running away from / the only thing I want / and I should probably say I'm unsure why I'm running away from the one I love". OH HELLO THERE ARI. THIS SONG IS YOU. YOU ARE THIS SONG. 

21. Sway - Bic Runga

Here we are back in the land of "I'm crushing on this person so hard and there is literally nothing I can do about this, oh god I am doomed". "Say you'll stay / don't come and go like you do / sway my way / yeah I need to know all about you". You know where I'm going with this now. I love reading about people falling for other people. I live for that shit.

22. Last Hope - Paramore

This song means a lot to me in general. There's all that stuff that I talked about with Cough Syrup just contained within the first two lines: "I don't even know myself at all / I thought I would be happy by now". The chorus kind of kills me a little, but in a really good way: "it's just a spark / but it's enough / to keep me going". Sometimes things are shit and you just have to push on through to get back to being okay again. I just can't help but listen to this song and feel okay about everything. For the life of me I don't know why it makes me think of these books. Maybe it's just because I listen to this song all the time so it's sneaked it's way into this web. Or maybe it's because I like the overlying optimism contained within it that is also mirrored in these books. Or maybe it sums up the emotional journey you go through when you read them. Or maybe I just wanted to end the playlist on this note. Listen to this version just because it's wonderful.

Honourable mentions: 

8tracks have a 'maximum of two songs by the same artist' policy which means that I wasn't able to include Lullaby by The Cure even though it is so very Harley's Angels to me. It's kind of dark and a little ominously creepy and I always think of Danny's dreams, as well as the group journeying further into Glastonbury Tor and not being entirely sure what awaits them. Also Lovesong makes me think of Harley/Danny ("whenever I'm alone with you / you make me feel like I am home again") and where Harley stands at the end of the book ("however far away / I will always love you") and then I get all emotional again. I mean really we could just include the entirety of The Cure's entire Greatest Hits in this section. 

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