Characters and Music

Characters and Music

I was in a restaurant a few weeks ago, and as in many restaurants, they had the radio playing.  And a song came on that I’d heard before, but for whatever reason I had never really paid close attention to the lyrics.  Listening to them, it struck me how they applied perfectly to one of my characters – Sara, the heroine of the Dream Doctor Mysteries.  Which got me to thinking about “theme songs” for my other characters.  Not necessarily songs the characters themselves would listen to, but songs that define them, songs that might be part of the soundtrack of a hypothetical movie of their books.

For Sara, that song was “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen:

Why?  Well, for these lines:

Hey, I just met you and this is crazy
But here’s my number, so call me maybe
It’s hard to look right at you baby
But here’s my number, so call me maybe

That’s pretty much Sara’s exact reaction when she first meets Brian, in chapter two of Dream Student.  Sara herself would be horrified at this choice of songs for her, but she wouldn’t argue about how she felt, or how things ultimately worked out for her.

For Jane Barnaby, heroine of the Jane Barnaby Adventures, there’s a really obvious choice, and Jane would totally agree with it.  Especially because it’s an 80’s song and Jane would have listened to it as a teenager (the books take place in the early 1990’s, when Jane’s in her 20’s).  It’s “Jane’s Getting Serious” by Jon Astley:

Besides the song being about a Jane, and besides the crazy 80’s hair (which Jane also would be very familiar with), the lyrics definitely suggest someone who finds herself in some touchy situations, and drags her friends along with her:

So I’m pretending I’m not
Caught in between
The devil and the deep blue sea
And I cannot believe
That I would ever admit
That I could take Jane seriously

I haven’t figured out what the theme songs are for the cast of Mr. Smith and the Roach, except for Hilary Jackson, Mr. Smith’s longtime friend, owner of his favorite bar, and a retired Mafia hitwoman.  This one’s kind of obvious, especially since her mob days took place thirty years ago, in the 1980’s.  “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring:

She can definitely relate to this:

Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind
This far from the borderline
When the hitman comes
He knows damn well he has been cheated

I’ll follow this up with more character theme songs as I discover what they are…




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