Mixtape Muse?

I’ve had a strange idea in my head for a while now to put my entire music collection on my media player and press shuffle, and then use the first ten or fifteen songs as inspiration to a totally new work.  Basically writing a story around fifteen random songs.  The events in the book have to follow the mood and dictation of the songs—meaning if it ends on a downer song, the story is going to be a tragedy.  I tried doing this, and the first time turned out so bipolar that it wasn’t worth keeping—it also included Altered Images “Happy Birthday,” from the Gilmore Girls soundtrack, which I couldn’t bare the idea of listening to over and over again, and so while I wrote up that playlist, I pretty much ditched it immediately and tried again.

The next list actually turned out kind of interesting… it strays a little bit by the end of the fourteen songs that I let play, and I may not use all fourteen, but I do like the idea of trying to write this story, entirely dictated by music.  Here are the tracks I came up with, along with a few lyrics that caught my attention.

1. The Rasmus – In the Shadows

“No sleep until I’m done with finding the answer”

“They say that I must learn to kill before I can feel faith, but I would rather kill myself than turn into their slave”

2. Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby

“She’s got to be somebody’s baby. She must be somebody’s baby.”

3. Relient K – Faking My Own Suicide

“’cause I know you love me, you just haven’t realized.”

“they’ll hold a double funeral, because a part of you will die along with me.”

4. Sondre Lerche – It’s Too Late

“I try to set an example for all the people who try to blame their luck.” “Time won’t wait ’til it’s too late to tell you who you were.”

5. Sarah Slean – The Score

“This time the pleasure’s all mine – I’ve got your number, I know the score.”

6. Lucinda Williams – Blue

“I don’t wanna talk, I just wanna go back to blue.”

“Blue is the color of night, when the red sun disappears from the sky.”

7. The Fray – How to Save a Life

“You say we need to talk – he walks, you say sit down, it’s just a talk. He smiles politely back at you, you stare politely right on through.”

8. Emilian Torrini – Ha Ha

“’cause it’s long gone down, you’re still hanging around, it’s not over ’til it starts again.”

9. The Eagles – I Can’t Tell You Why

“weren’t we the same two people who lived through years in the dark?”

10. Ben Harper – In The Lord’s Arms

“Tonight is in the Lord’s Arms.”

11. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – At my Door

“I’ll never see it ’til it’s at my door, ’til it’s at my door it will be ignored.”

12. Lostprophets -For Sure

“if I could I’d stop the time and ask you for a clever line, just because I know you won’t give it to me.”

13. Switchfoot – Company Car

“Mike was right when he said I put up a fight to be someone, a fight to be me.”

14. Sarah Slean – Mary

“She’s looking up enough to the galaxy. A fateful boattrip ‘cross a northern sea…”

“Oh Daughter, this is how she became”

So it still looks a little fractured, sure, and a bit darker than what I’m used to writing, to be honest… but I kind of like that.  Maybe I’m crazy and this won’t work at all, but that’s not really a bad thing if it doesn’t—it’ll still be a heck of a writing exercise.

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