February 9, 2009

The Hunger Games Soundtrack — Carly H. style!

Posted by at 6:09 am in Book to Big Screen, Music, Reads | Permalink

Hungergames_130When I first read Carly M.’s ideal song choices for a soundtrack for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up), I loved her list. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, I love The Hunger Games. And I love a lot of the bands on her list. But the more I thought about it, the more it’s one of those things where I love it but . . .

But they’re not the songs I would have chosen! So, I gave it some thought and came up with . . .

Carly H.’s (that’s me!) picks for The Hunger Games soundtrack:

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
I matched my song choices to scenes from the book, so if you haven’t read the book you might want to skip this entry.


The Hush Sound_61PBVVYXFHL._SS500_ “Lion’s Roar” by The Hush Sound
“The circus songs just carried on / Out of the crowd three men rush out / And scream and shout, ‘Everybody Stop!’”

Reaping Day. . .
I think this scene needs a song that is falsely cheerful, as though the capitol is pumping out the mood music, and “Lion’s Roar” by The Hush Sound is one of my favorite songs. The song, as the title implies is the story of a circus, and it has the upbeat melody of a traditional circus, carnival, or parade — blaring trumpets included. Then, like the first chapter of The Hunger Games ends with the ringing of Effie announcing “Primrose Everdeen,” the cheerful melody of the song cuts off abruptly, leaving the words “Everybody Stop!” echoing in violent silence.


August and Everything After_27707272 “Round Here” by Counting Crows
“Can’t you see my walls are crumbling? / Then she looks up at the building and says she’s thinking of jumping.”

On the roof in the Capitol the night before the Games start. . .
Even if you don’t know the Counting Crows, you probably know their songs. They are one of those bands whose songs define the movies they are in; their song “Accidentally In Love” in Shrek set the tone for Shrek and Fiona to fall in love. But ‘”Round Here” is different. It’s a melancholy song about a girl who’s trapped, which makes it the perfect song to define Katniss at this moment.


Matthew Good Band_41CRQJ1YSWL._SS500_ “Hello Time Bomb” by Matthew Good Band
“Life’s for the living / So check me tomorrow / We’ll see if I’m kidding”

The 60 seconds of waiting are over, and the Hunger Games begin.
The Matthew Good Band was one of Canada’s most successful alternative rock bands of the 90s, and after they broke up, Matthew Good went on to a successful solo career in Canada. It’s a shame his music never made a dent in the US, because it’s brilliant. This song has the hard, driving pulse of the clash at the Cornucopia and the pain-filled lyrics to go with it.


Empires_howl “I Want Blood” by Empires
“If it ain’t your love, I want blood from you.”

Katniss realizes Peeta has teamed up with the Careers.
The lyrics pretty much say it all. Katniss thought Peeta was in love with her and on her side — well, as much as anyone can be on anyone else’s side in a kill-or-be-killed environment — but then she sees that he has teamed up with her biggest threat.


Snow Patrol_61KQCTBCJ5L._SS500_ “Set Fire to the Third Bar” by Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright
“I’m miles from where you are / I lay down on the cold ground / I pray that something picks me up.”

Katniss finds Peeta injured and moves into the cave with him.
So, this song choice probably outs me as a Katniss/Gale shipper. But regardless of whom you want Katniss to end up with, this hauntingly beautiful song is the perfect one to go with the section of the book where Katniss and Peeta move into the cave. Gale is at home, watching the games on TV. Peeta is injured, feverish, and dying from blood poisoning. The Games are miles away from anywhere love can exist. And Katniss is alone, performing a show she doesn’t have the lines or cues for in the desperate hope that she gets it right — so what she needs falls to her from above.


The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me_516b9ZSKsZL._SS500_ “Archers” Brand New
“Meet me tonight on the turnpike, my darling / ‘Cause we believe in everything.”

Katniss sets off to get the medicine from the Cornucopia.
If “I Want Blood” is the song I picked solely for the lyrics, then “Archers” is the song I picked just for the music. And while the title is coincidentally perfect, I didn’t know the title or the lyrics until I looked them up for this entry. But you could make a case for any of the songs on Brand New’s latest album to be on The Hunger Games soundtrack (or for the whole album being the soundtrack) because the music is the perfect discordant mix of quiet desperation and raw, angry rock.


I know there’s a few major moments from the book that I’m missing (Rue, the ending), but try as I might, I can’t find any songs on my iPod that feel right. What about you? Do you have a good “Rue song” or a good ending song?

What about my other choices — agree? disagree? Let me know. And don’t miss Jack’s picks for the perfect Hunger Games movie cast.

— Carly H., STACKS Staffer

Add a Comment

For your safety, comments will not appear until the moderator has approved them.
Comments may be edited for appropriateness and personal information.

  1. Ally

    Okay, i read your list last week and i loved it and i have been thinking about a song for the death of rue scene. Anyway i am a big Paramore fan and it just clicked the other day on the bus to school. ‘Misguided ghosts’ by Paramore would be absoloutley perfect. I can just imagine Katniss placing flowers around Rue and in her hair to the song and holding her in her lap.
    Here’s the lyrics:
    I am going away for a while
    But I’ll be back, don’t try and follow me
    ‘Cause I’ll return as soon as possible
    See I’m trying to find my place
    But it might not be here where I feel safe
    We all learn to make mistakes
    (Chorus)
    And run
    From them, from them
    With no direction
    We’ll run from them, from them
    With no conviction
    ‘Cause I’m just one of those ghosts
    Traveling endlessly
    Don’t need no roads
    In fact they follow me
    And we just go in circles
    Well Now I’m told that this is life
    And pain is just a simple compromise
    So we can get what we want out of it
    Would someone care to classify,
    Of broken hearts and twisted minds
    So I can find someone to rely on
    And run
    To them, to them
    Full speed ahead
    Oh you are not, Useless
    We are just
    Misguided ghosts
    Traveling endlessly
    The ones we trusted the most
    Pushed us far away
    And there’s no one road
    We should not be the same
    But I’m just a ghost
    And still they echo me
    They echo me in circles
    It is an beautiful song and i think that it is about someone who needs to take a break from something. Maybe someone who is going away to find them selves. Someone who needs to get away because they feel that where they are is not where they should be but they are sacred to leave their comfort zone. They need to leave so they could grow up. i am not exactly sure but the melody is gorgeous and a sad type of song. It is perfect!

    Reply
  2. Molly

    Walk Through ____- Say Anything
    I Just Laugh- nevershoutnever!
    Last of the Wilds- Nightwish.
    hahaha i forgot to add these in my last comment

    Reply
  3. Izy

    This soundtrack sounds (for the most part) perfect. Especially the first one by The Hush Sound. They’re so little known, it’s a shame. I had to search everywhere for a studio version of the song.

    Reply
  4. K

    the song Iris by Goo Goo dolls reminds me of peeta :) The song percussion gun by the white rabbits for the parts when Katniss is operating alone

    Reply
  5. Abby

    I think you should use “Hello”, another one by Evanescence for when Rue dies.
    Mostly just because of this:
    “Has no one told you she’s not breathing?
    Hello, I’m your mind giving you someone to talk to.
    Hello…”

    Reply
  6. Sister

    When is the third book coming out I just finished the second and now I don’t know when the third book is out, I hope not in a year. That is to long. I think a sequal should be at least every 3 months. I can’t wait to find out what happens to the revolution and how Katness handles her symbolism.

    Reply
  7. Abby

    I think Serenity by Godsmack would be good for, like, any point in this book.
    “I need serenity/in a place where I can’t hide/I need serenity/nothing changes, days go by/where do we go when we just don’t know/and how do we relight the flame when it’s cold?/Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing/and when will we learn to control?”
    I also think Tourniquet, Whisper, or Imaginary, all by Evanescence, would be great too.
    Imaginary: “In my field of paper flowers/and candy clouds of lullabies/I lie inside myself forever/and watch my purple sky fly over me.”
    Whisper: “I know I can stop the pain/if I will it all away/if I will it all away/don’t turn away/don’t try to hide/don’t close your eyes/don’t turn out the lights (never scream, never die).”

    Reply
  8. Shannon

    “Run” by Snow Patrol is brilliant for the movie.
    Some lines:
    And I can barely look at you
    But every single time I do
    I know we’ll make it anywhere
    Away from here
    Light up, light up
    As if you have a choice
    Even if you cannot hear my voice
    I’ll be right beside you dear
    Louder louder
    And we’ll run for our lives
    I can hardly speak I understand
    Why you can’t raise your voice to say
    To think I might not see those eyes
    Makes it so hard not to cry
    And as we say our long goodbye
    I nearly do
    Light up…
    Have heart my dear
    We’re bound to be afraid
    Even if it’s just for a few days
    Making up for all this mess

    Reply
  9. Amelie R

    I think In Loving Memory by Breaking Benjamin coulde be a good one either for Rue or Katniss father… They both apply in different circumstances

    Reply
  10. Emma

    I really like some of the song choices however I do believe that there are a few songs that should most definetly be on the soundtrack. Ever heard of “Mad World” By either Tears For Fear or Gary Jules! “All Around Me Are familiar faces, worn out places worn out faces, bright and early for the daily races going no where going no where”
    I think this would be the perfect way to open this movie!

    Reply
  11. Darling

    I love the songs, and I think you have great ideas. But for the part where Katniss finds Peeta injured, well I think that “I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie sounds more appropiate. I guess the song seems to fit the visual description when Katniss hurts to find Peeta injured.

    Reply
  12. Iris

    For the scene with Rue: Somewhere over the Rainbow sung by Eva Cassidy
    I prefer Angel of Death by Slayer for the post-60 second insanity–While We Were Hunting Rabbits by the Matthew Good band is so much more appropriate for a variety of part of the book. It makes me think of Gale.

    Reply