Music in the story

I like music. You probably do too. I actually knew a guy in high school who told me he didn’t like music — any music — and I was baffled. However, he went on to play the part of Mr. Brownlow in our high school production of Oliver! so I guess he came around (and he had a decent voice).

In all of my listening to pop music (and I do like pop/rock, I can’t help it), two songs made me literally stop what I was doing so that I would make sure to find out who the artist was. The first was in 1985, when I worked at a hotel. I was cleaning the room and listening to the radio and “Kayleigh,” by a group from the UK called Marillion, was played. I was almost done, which was handy, and I just stayed there by the radio. Another was some years later when I was in grad school. I was walking home and listening to my Walkman (I think) and heard “Satisfaction Guaranteed” by The Firm. I have since become a big fan of Paul Rodgers, and all these years later, despite a new lead singer, still collect my Marillion albums.

After I started writing, I found that some songs provided a good basis or inspiration for a song. I’m generally not concerned about following the lyrics exactly, just with the impressions and ideas that I get. The first one was “Silver, Blue & Gold,” inspired by the Bad Company song of the same name. Bad Co.’s “Love Me, Somebody” led to me writing “Facing the Past.” In 2010, I wrote “Horses in the City” and “Who Cares What I Wear?” which were based on songs by Nina Gordon. The last one I did was “The Collection,” inspired by a Marillion song.

My latest story, Rhythm and the Blue Line took a different route, and instead of using a song as basis, the heroine is a musician. I’m tossing in all kinds of song references, which is amusing to me because with as fragmented as the music scene has become, I’m not even sure who’s current or popular these days. I tend to go by articles I read, or the Grammy awards if I happen to catch them. Also, as my beta reader pointed out, I’m the author, so I can reference just about whoever I damn well please. I decided to track the music I’ve mentioned so far, if you’d like a little soundtrack.

Bad Company — One of my favorites, mostly for Paul Rodgers’ vocals. (This video is amusing if only for the 70s aspect)

Sara Bareilles — I actually haven’t heard much of her; from the little I have heard, I don’t think she’s quite my music.

John Coltrane — Ah, some jazz. Recommended by my beta reader and well worth listening to.

Modern English “Melt with You” — The song from which Ryan’s band takes their name. And the video is so, so 80s.

Jimmy Page — Zeppelin, of course.

Jimi Hendrix — If you haven’t heard him, you should, just ’cause.

The Crow — Not music, per se, but a great movie with a great soundtrack.

Muse — Another group I’ve more heard of than heard, although I do like what I’ve heard. Their performance at the Grammy’s last year amused me. Seriously, a song called “Uprising,” complete with a re-enactment of a riot, on that most corporate of music shows?

Arcade Fire — An acquired taste from Canada, but again, well worth a listen.

Radiohead — Heard of more than heard, but hey, they seem popular.

Happy listening!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lady Falcon on December 16, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I love music too! I don’t stick with any particular genre although, I do go through phases of listening to one particular genre or even one particular band. I used to be a DJ as second job and had a blast doing it. Really how can a person complain when she works at a club and people buy her drinks in hopes she will play their request. hmm, I can’t see a problem with the job. lol It was a great way to spend my Fri and Sat nights in S. Korea and it kept me out of trouble….mostly. 😉

    I also love it when an author puts music in a story. Sherrilyn Kenyon does it with her Dark Hunter series. I even re-read all the books I had to date just to make a list of all the songs and then burned a CD in order of book publishing. Changed the genres on all the songs so I could make an easy playlist on my mp3 player. Slightly, neurotic? Probably.

    So, thank you for the list and the references for what inspired the stories. Now I am going to have to listen to the songs and then re-read the stories. lol 🙂

    Keep up the fantastic work, please.


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