I wish I could sing. I can’t. I wish I could write songs. I can’t. I’m a fair enough pianist, and I accept my mediocrity. I love all kinds of music, though, and I’m thrilled that singer-songwriters with actual talent, The Old Familiar (aka my brother), and Tariq, are collaborating on a song for my upcoming book trailer! I’ll post it here when it’s ready.
Inspired by my friend Corinna Chong’s post about the soundtrack to her novel, Belinda’s Rings, here are thirteen songs that connect in some way with All True Not a Lie In It:
Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights”
Reminds me of spinning around the living room as a kid. Emily Bronte is one of my long-term favourites, and the no-holds-barred Kate Bush gets me every time. I listened to it when I was just starting the first draft of my book. I should have listened harder—she easily inhabits Cathy’s character in the first person . . . it took me three complete drafts to do that. How many drafts, Kate Bush?!
Bach, Fugue in G Minor
Organ music sets my brain on fire. Bach is an arsonist.
Massive Attack, “Teardrop”
Glittering and throbbing, the pulse and the lyrics always sink me into my writing mindset.
Emmylou Harris et al., “Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby”
From the soundtrack to O Brother Where art Thou. Bluegrass is the music of Kentucky, my book’s main setting, and though it’s not of my novel’s time frame, it still hauls me into the past and into America. I imagine Daniel's family feeling this way, with him gone in the wilderness.
Ralph Stanley, “O Death”
Also from O Brother, this is a haunting vocal. I hear Daniel Boone in the singer’s bargaining with Death, as he has to do several times in my book.
Ruth Moody, “Trouble and Woe”
Ruth Moody has a beautiful, clear, strong voice, which makes me think of Daniel’s wife, Rebecca, whose voice I loved writing.
Shawnee Sioux War Dance
A YouTube mix with a contemporary edge. The calling voices are urgent and beautiful. Trying to conjure up the life of the Shawnee town in the novel was difficult. Music helped.
Soundgarden, “Fell on Black Days”
The line “I’m only faking when I get it right” is Daniel as he faces some of his most difficult moments, forced to make life or death decisions for himself and many others. Plus, it’s Soundgarden.
Tegan and Sara, “Walking with a Ghost”
Daniel finds himself walking—and talking—with ghosts throughout the novel. This is just a great rocknroll expression of how that feels, whether the ghost is of someone quick or dead.
Joan Baez, “Barbara Allen”
This is a centuries-old ballad imported to early America from England. The Boones would have known it. It’s still magic, and this is a good crackly folk version.
Iron and Wine, “Walking Far From Home”
The title sums up so much of Daniel’s life for me. It’s a hypnotic, deceptively simple song I love.
Wake Owl, “Wild Country”
This is a recent one that has wormed into my head. Whenever it crops up on the radio, I see Boone in his own wild country, trying to find his own heart.
I'm the author of My Name is a Knife, All True Not a Lie In It, and The Old Familiar.