‘Run to the Woods’: Songs for an Appalachian Dystopian Narrative

I tend to only use Pandora in situations where I can’t use iTunes, which then means I just try to recreate my finely honed playlists designed mostly for reading. So of course for re-reading The Hunger Games, I needed to create a portable station with which to read along. When I started plugging tracks from the [AMAZING] Songs From District 12 and Beyond album, I began to pay attention to every song Pandora played to see if the lyrics would fit the narrative, characters and world of The Hunger Games Trilogy. I keep being shocked at how eerily this mix of indie folk, bluegrass, etc has captured so much of the texture and tone of the stories. As an interpretive experience, I love discovering those songs that sound like one character speaking to another, or maybe just songs that certain characters would listen to if they could. And I especially love when the artist name, album or cover art evokes the mood as well.

Here’s some lyric highlights from songs that have come up, (and were findable on youtube). There are many, many more. The name of my Hunger Games station on Pandora is called ‘Run to the Woods’ I dig it.

Mother’s Sick by Horse Feathers from Words are Dead

-Mother’s sick. She’s gone mad.
A daughter’s tricked, she’s been had.
Life just don’t always fold up neat.
Sadness will come in different sheets.

As blue eyes state, on your father’s face,
hides some grace.
All those years your youth has stole.

Have You Ever by Brandi Carlile from The Story

-Have you ever wandered lonely through the woods?
And everything there feels just as it should
You’re part of the life there
You’re part of something good

-Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you’re asking why
What’s the purpose I wonder who am I

Flowers and Blood by Marie Sioux from Faces in the Rocks

-I’ll shoot me a gun made of leaf and branch in this here town
And eat me a bowl full of secret and mud, yes, i will
I’ll eat eat me a bowl full of secret and mud, yes, i will
If you build up a new me of flowers and blood — say you will
Build up a new me of flowers and blood — say you will

How Long by Eilen Jewell from Letters from Sinners & Strangers

-The darkness is deep, but night will end
‘Cause truth crushed to earth will rise again
How long will it take, you want to know
How long, not long because you reap just what you sow

Sing your Song by Johnny Bertram from Sing Your Song

-If you wake up in the morning to find
your things all gone
sing your song
And if you bed down in the darkest cave
of fear and fright
shine your light
Don’t let yourself pretend
that this is the end

– If you’re standing on the battlefield wearing blood,
the lines are drawn
sing your song
And if you’re stuck in situations far out
beyond your control
Let them go

Sing Out by Mason Jennings from Blood of Man

-I’ve been a rolling stone since the devil first came to me
No light upon my feet, so much that I couldn’t see
I was a hurricane till the hurricane called my name
Into the eye of the storm out of the cold, cold rain

-Sing out, sing for the wounded heart
Sing for the lives we’ve lost

Love Song for Buddy by Headlights from Wildlife

We’re all gonna die tomorrow
Waiting around for your friends to come down and join you

Don’t you want to say you tried?
Don’t you want to say you tried to the ones you love?

Posted on Mon, Apr 23rd, 2012 at 3:02 am
Filed under Books, Film, intertextuality, Music, Pop Culture, Psychology/Being Human, Quotes.

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Comments: 5

  1. 1 | Kj

    April 24th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I should also add these 2:

    Fleet Foxes, ‘Meadowlarks’ is totally Haymitch’s song in my mind. You can substitute the word ‘mockingjay’ for meadowlark, and it sounds like the thoughts of a victor, regretting the life they live, watching tributes die.

    And my brother contributed the track ‘Dirt in the Ground” from Tom Waits live album Glitter and Doom. Sounds like the morbid truth-telling of an old resident of District 11.

  2. 2 | Kj

    April 24th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I totally dig this song that just came on the station. Can’t find a sample, but here’s the lyrics. Its a perfect Katniss to Peeta (eventual) text

    “I Call On You”

    When sorrow runs through me like blood, I call on you,
    When it’s drowning my heart in a flood, I call on you,
    You are my drug, you’re my wine,
    You are my medicine too,
    You’re the remedy, you are the cure,
    Call on you.

    When trouble has swallowed my soul, I call on you, (I call on you)
    When I’m waylaid and loosing my hold, I call on you, (I call on you)
    When it’s got my hope by the throat, you break the spell in two,
    You put your love on me like a coat,
    I call on you.

    I call on you, (you carry my load)
    I call on you, (you’re the way down the road)
    Call on you.

    When my life is a mist in the sun, I call on you, (I call on you)
    When my conscience won’t lay down it’s gun, I call on you, (I call on you)
    I am an orphan of war, I am a criminal too,
    But I’m held by a hand with a scar,
    I call on you.

    I call on you, (you carry my load)
    I call on you, (you’re the way down the road)
    Call on you.

    You’re my wine, my drug,
    You are my comforter too,
    You’re the remedy, you are the cure,
    I call on you.

    When the words of my spirit can’t speak, I call on you,
    If ever the angels should sleep, I call on you,
    In the midnight you glow in the dark, you are the one that is true,
    I’m gonna dance to the beat of your heart,

    I call on you, I call on you.
    I call on you, (you carry my load)
    I call on you, (you’re the way down the road)
    I call on you, (you carry my load)
    I call on you, (you’re the way down the road)
    I call on you.

  3. 3 | Jonathan Edmund

    April 24th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Love this. I love everything you do. You know that, right?

  4. 4 | Daniel

    May 3rd, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    So, I was listening to your channel while I graded the other day and “A Bird in my House” by Kate Mann came on (http://youtu.be/A6JIDThIRQs). The whole channel is beautiful but this one, for some reason, felt devastatingly good. It feels very like Katniss’ inner struggle with being the Mockingjay. It’s also a song I wish I had written about the Holy Spirit.

  5. 5 | Kj

    May 3rd, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve heard that one! So rich!

    I just wish I had more control of what didn’t come on- but its getting more honed daily. So glad you’re enjoying it!

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