I wrote a post a while back for Penguin UK and I thought I’d share it here, too. My UK editor wanted to know if I could explain the reasons behind the songs I’d chosen for the Covet playlist. In case you’d like to know, here they are!
1. “Her Diamonds” by Rob Thomas – The opening line of the song is, Oh what the hell she said I just can’t win for losing. When I first heard those words I thought they perfectly captured how Claire was feeling when she tried to help Chris through the stress of losing his job and the depression that followed. She wanted to help, but nothing she said or did seemed to be right.
2. “Daniel” by Elton John – Somewhat self-explanatory, since Daniel is one of the main characters in Covet. But because of a decision that was made in the book, this line especially hit home: Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much.
3. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police – At one point in the drafting of Covet, I had Daniel tell Claire that he’d assigned this ringtone to her. It was a not-so-subtle way of letting her know that he thought she was pretty special. The song is performed by The Police (get it?). I later took it out of the book, because it seemed a bit juvenile, but I love this song and it remained on the playlist.
4. “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson – *Sigh*. These three lines say it all: Don’t you wanna stay here a little while? Don’t you wanna hold each other tight? Don’t you wanna fall asleep with me tonight?
5. “Bring It On Home” by Little Big Town – I love this song. I listened to it over and over while writing the ending to Covet (so it really should be last on the playlist). The theme of this song, at least to me, is that home is where you need to be when things are really tough. It’s where your spouse is. It’s where problems can be fixed. When things are at their worst you still have each other, so don’t shut the other person out.
When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me.
I also love these two lines:
Baby let me be your safe harbor
Don’t let the water come and carry you away. Claire was very close to being swept away, and Chris had some work ahead of him to convince her that he could be that safe harbor for her.
This last one just makes me teary-eyed because of what it conveys:
You got someone here wants to make it alright
Someone who loves you more than life right here. It reminds me of what Claire and Chris have at home.
6. “The First Cut Is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow – The opening line of this song is, I would have given you all of my heart. This is especially significant because Claire tells Daniel, “If things had been different, I would have given my whole heart to you.”
7. “Good Is Good” by Sheryl Crow – The song opens with, Good is good and bad is bad, You don’t know which one you had. I chose this song because that line sums up how conflicted Claire was throughout much of the book. She knows she is lucky, and that she has a lot to be thankful for, but there’s a part of her that wants and needs more. But she doesn’t want to rock the boat too much and risking losing it all.
8. “Say” by John Mayer – Oh, this song.
Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead,
If you could only . . .Say what you need to say.
Claire had tried to talk to Chris in the past – and been shot down – so she stopped trying. Chris internalized everything and never shared the way he was feeling with Claire. Their lack of communication almost ended their marriage.
9. “Mockingbird” by Rob Thomas – These two verses highlight the way Claire felt when she knew the marriage was on shaky ground. She knew something had to change, but she needed Chris to work with her, not shut her out. This one was one the darkest times for her.
Here we stand
Somewhere in between this moment and the end
Will we bend
Or will we open up and take this whole thing in?
Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
We can’t move on and we can’t stay here
Maybe we’ve just had enough
Well, maybe we ain’t meant for this love.
10. “Whatever It Takes” by Lifehouse – This whole song applies to Claire and Chris’s marriage. I can picture him saying the words in the first verse to her, and her saying the words in the second verse to him.
I’ll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what’s at stake
I know that I’ve let you down
And if you give me a chance
Believe that I can change
I’ll keep us together whatever it takes.
She said if we’re gonna make this work
You gotta let me inside even though it hurts
Don’t hide the broken parts that I need to see
She said Like it or not it’s the way it’s gotta be
You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me.
So, there you have it! I played that playlist so often my kids know the words to every song (my daughter has become quite the Rob Thomas fan). I love being influenced by music when I’m writing a book.
Here’s the playlist for my new book, which I’m sure I’ll be adding to as I go along. All of the songs are relevant to the story in some way (I’ll be sure to explain why I chose them after the book has been released). If you’re on Spotify, please follow me. 🙂
Happy Friday, all!