"Music is the art which is most nigh to
tears and memory."
It used to be that when I wrote a Dyeland story, I'd create a
playlist to go along with it. Often, those were kept to
myself but sometimes I shared them. I'd really like to get
back to that and, currently, have two playlists started for the
next two stories. But, in the meantime, I thought I'd
create a playlist highlighting songs from past stories and why I
chose to include them. So I hope you enjoy and maybe I'll
do this again sometime!
"Dark Waltz" by Hayley Westenra- This is an
Andrew and JenniAnn song that I seem to circle back to
fairly often. I think because it's beautiful but,
well, dark. And I think for all the cuteness and
domesticity I bestow on them, we're still talking about a
couple whose life is surrounded by death. Not only do
they have the normal reality of realizing JenniAnn and a
good contingent of their loved ones will eventually die but,
at any moment, Andrew could be sent off to accompany someone
in their final moments. But it's also a song about
light and I think that fits them, too. They bring
light to each other and Andrew, of course, escorts his
assignments to Light Itself.
"Heroes" by Peter Gabriel- And now is probably a
good time to make clear I'm crediting these songs to the
performer whose version is on my playlist... not necessarily
the composer or original performer. Anyway, I'm trying
to remember when exactly I added this to my JABB playlist
(originally kept on iTunes but moved to Spotify this morning
so I could share) and why. But I'm really not
sure. I especially love this version because it's just
so emotional and raw. It reminds me of all the times the
Friends have pulled themselves together and managed to face
adversity bravely and together. I did specifically have
it in mind during Daisy's father's funeral in "Immortality."
"What Wondrous Love Is This" by Fernando Ortega-
This actually isn't a song I grew up with. Having grown
up Catholic, I wasn't exposed to as many of the standard hymns
as you might think. We had a lot of more modern music
that came out of Vatican II. So I think the first time I
heard this may have been when I was writing "The
Carpenter." And when I heard it, I just knew it had to
score the scene where JenniAnn realizes who Joshua really
is... as she's testing the Crucifixion make-up on him.
It's just so lovely and soft and sad but beautiful and happy,
too. And I imagine those are the feelings that might run
through one's mind as you come to terms with the fact that
your new buddy and the crucified Jesus are the same person.
"Winter" by Joshua Radin- So this isn't really
covered very well in the Dyeland stories beyond references
made long after the fact but... this song, for me, kinda
covers that weird period of time when JenniAnn was with Eliot
and Andrew had realized that, whatever he was feeling about
her, it went beyond friendship. Thankfully for them and
their five children, they worked things out!
"Shores of Avalon" by Tina Malia- This one's
been on my playlist for a long, long time. It's actually
for a story that's not yet come to pass so I won't say a whole
lot but, basically, someone comes to escort Andrew Home (for
once) and they look back at his life since coming to Dyeland
and the resulting ripple effect. I also listened to it a
lot while writing Josef's final moments and death scene in
"I'm Yours" by The Script- So this was actually
on a playlist I shared years ago when I wrote "Origins."
I believe that was the first time I wrote a full-on love story
that wasn't really about Andrew and JenniAnn. "Origins"
is about Vincent reuniting with his mother, Cora, and learning
about her love affair with his father, Lor. By sheer
coincidence, my mom played me this song while I was writing
this and between the tenderness of it and the singer talking
about not looking like much... it truly sounded like something
Lor would sing to Cora. And, for the record, that story
messed with me so bad when I wrote it! It's kinda
devastating to create someone knowing you'll have to kill them
off long before their time to maintain a continuity you didn't
create or choose.
"All I Know" by Art Garfunkel- So this song has
a double meaning. I listened to this song a ridiculous
amount of times after John Dye died, especially in the period
before I figured out what I was going to do with JABB.
Beyond the sadness of losing an entertainer whose work I
admired and who I hoped to see more of and who just seemed
like a really decent human being, John had been a daily part
of my life for my entire adult life via JABB. And that
truly was all I knew. It's still all I know. I
don't know of an adulthood that doesn't, for at least a moment
every day if not several moments when I'm writing, involve
John whether it's simply picking out a TBAA quote or delving
into the minds of Andrew and his friends. So this song
really spoke to my confusion and just being at a total
loss. But, before that, I already had this song on my
playlist because it seemed like something JenniAnn would have
latched onto during the period when she was trying to decide
whether to stick with Andrew or lead a more typical
life. Given she met him when she was 17, she truly
didn't know an adulthood that didn't involve him.
"Everything" by Lifehouse- This was also on the
"Immortality" playlist because I listened to it while writing
Josef's eventual surrender to Joshua's love and grace.
But, originally, this song made me think of Emma's and
Joshua's relationship. I realize, obviously, it's about
God. But it also just sounds like something you could
slow dance to. And Emma and Joshua do eventually slow
dance when she realizes who he is and how much effort he put
into pursuing her.
"Too Much" by Leeland- So back when I still
lived with my parents, this CD just showed up one day and no
one could remember buying it. I still have no idea how
it got into the house but I ended up with it. My best
guess is someone went to the Christian bookstore and they were
doing a give-away. But who knows? Anyway, when I
first heard this song I immediately thought of Andrew and the
other AODs. I think it really well encapsulates their
work and the strain it can place on them. Thankfully,
they do have refuge in Heaven... and elsewhere in the case of
those with anam caras.
"From Now On" from The Greatest Showman- While I
haven't a single doubt the Friends love "This Is Me," I really
latched onto this song and ended up utilizing it in "The
Messiah." It just really captured the energy I wanted
during the prayer rally after Joshua was shot. It moves
from a place of struggle to jubilation. And I think it
also encapsulates the journey of some of the Friends who
drifted away from Joshua and then found their ways back to
him. It remains one of the scenes that makes me the most
sad that these are all just written stories and not a TV
show. Because if it were the latter, I'd rewatch this
scene an awful lot.
"The Parting Glass" from Waking Ned Devine- My funeral
song! Yes, despite the fact that I hardly ever drink, I
would like this particular version played at my funeral.
JenniAnn references wanting the same in "God in the
Gloom." I dunno. It's just one of those songs
that, the first time I heard it, I think my heart grew a
bit. If there's a funeral scene in a story, I may have
quite likely played this to get myself into the mood.
"Night and Day" by Bette Midler- So if you're noticing that a
lot of these are Andrew and JenniAnn-centric, it's because I
have a playlist that's just songs I relate to them and I
listen to them whenever I need to strike a certain mood for a
scene between them. Going forward, I'm hoping these will
be a bit more evenly distributed between characters. In
any case, I listen to this one whenever Andrew and JenniAnn
are out of sync either because they had a disagreement or one
of them is hiding something. My mom listened to Bette
Midler a lot when I was growing up and I thought this song was
crazy romantic. So, yeah, it was bound to end up tied in
with Andrew and JenniAnn.
And two bonus songs... I'm not linking to the playlists
because they're too spoilery in their entirety but you can
find the songs easily enough on Spotify or YouTube.
"From Eden" by Hozier- So, originally, this song just made me
think of Crowley and Aziraphale. After all, people have
done Good Omens fanvids to this song. But in
"The Shepherd" it gets utilized in a different way.
Crowley is still involved. But so is someone else.
And it made me tear up.
"The Night We Met" by Lord Huron- This song goes with the
story that follows "The Shepherd" and is entitled "The Lost
Sheep." I won't say much but the scene is really
heartbreaking and features two new characters heavily inspired
by Ed and Stede from Our Flag Means Death.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye who
inspired a heckuva lot of my mixed CDs back when that was a
JABB TOC JABB
Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched
by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline
Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not
being used to seek profit.)