"Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory."
~~Oscar Wilde

Hi all,

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!

God bless,

JABB Playlist #1

You can find the playlist here (tracks 1-12): https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0lLzWbdHhrFnnRcpOJhHNP

"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 "Immortality."

"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 thing.

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