The #CBBookGroupie playlist

9 Feb

I don’t recall how it came about – some happy conjunction of two of my favourite things, music and books – but whatever prompted it occurred as I was welcomed into the fold of the Curtis Brown Book Group, the result being tweets attributing theme songs to characters in Antonia Honeywell’s The Ship (our first read for the Book Group). It was fun trying to pin down a song that captured a particular character’s demeanour or struggle so when the next book came around I found I was already thinking about the soundtrack that would accompany the story. And so the #CBBookGroupie playlist was born.

Some choices were obvious and instant, others took a little pondering. I think those characters with whom I engaged more readily proved not necessarily the easiest to find a theme for but certainly the most enjoyable. Indeed, where I felt the layers of a particular person it often proved more challenging to find the right tune. And then of course there are as many good songs as there are good stories. I’m convinced there are more pertinent choices out there, if only I had the time to track them down.

What did prove really interesting was the response from the authors when I tweeted the choices (I think only one response amounted to ‘meh!’ but that was for just one track and I suspect more about the song than anything else). It seems some writers compile playlists to assist in the writing of their books – certainly an interesting element of research for more recently historical fiction!

Having attributed the songs, the next step is to apply some listenable order. If you’ve read high Fidelity, or made your own compilations you’ll know that there are rules to doing it properly.

So here it is, in full: The #CBBookGroupie playlist. I don’t confess to have mastered the art of compiling but I do think I’ve managed something listenable. I’ve not included links to all the songs as it would prove a bit link-heavy (and one or two you might not find on t’internet!) but there are links to my reviews of the books.


#CBBookGroupie playlist, side 1:

1      Introduction by Nick Drake

Ivo & Mia’s Theme, The A to Z of You & Me

2      He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother by The Hollies

Jonathan & Roger’s Theme, The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble

3      Night And Day by Tony Bennett

Dan & Stella’s Theme, Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey*

4      Summer (The First Time) by Booby Goldsboro

Charlie’s Theme, The Rocks by Peter Nicholls

5      Secret Heart by Feist

Jess’s Theme, Letters To The Lost

6      It’ll Never Happen Again by Tim Hardin

Gerald & Lulu’s Theme, The Rocks

7      Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

Harry’s Theme, The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan

8      It Pays To Belong by The Blow Monkeys

Phillip’s Theme, Barbarians by Tim Glencross

9      Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode

Michael’s Theme, The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

10     Houses Of The Holy by Led Zeppelin

Lalla’s Theme, The Ship

11     Bad As Me by Tom Waits

Sheridan’s Theme, Barbarians

12     I Know by Dionne Farriss

Asha’s Theme, The Weightless World

13     In The Sun by Joseph Arthur

Tarik’s Theme, The Weightless World

14     Tu Silencio by Bebe

Luc & Aegina’s Theme, The Rocks

15     Trouble by Ray Lamontagne

Sergio’s Theme, The Museum Of Things Left Behind by Seni Glaister

16     Vapour Trail by Conrad Vingoe

Steven’s Theme, The Weightless World

17     Half In Love And Half In Hate by Morten Harkett

Ivo & Laura’s Theme, the A To Z Of You & Me

18     How Little We Know by Hoagy Carmichael & Lauren Bacall

Nancy’s Theme, Letters To The Lost

19     Cuidandote by Bebe

Rabbit’s Theme, The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

20     A Good Day To Die by Sunhouse

Mal & Ivo’s Theme, The A To Z Of You & Me

21     Middle Cyclone by Neko Case

Buzzy’s Theme, Barbarians

22     Eyes On the Prize by M Ward

Will’s Theme, Letters To The Lost

23     Drawn From Memory by Embrace

Greg’s Theme, Alice And the Fly by James Rice

24     Time (Clock Of The Heart) by Culture Club

Tom’s Theme, The Ship

25     Stand Your Ground by Robbie Williams

Raymond’s Theme, The Weightless World

26     Burn Down Love by Conrad Vingoe

Ivo’s Theme, The A to Z Of You & Me

27     At The Chime Of A City Clock by Nick Drake

Sophie’s Theme, The Weightless World**


*Bennett’s version is later than the period in the book but it is, in my opinion, the best version

**Sophie’s not in the Weightless World but was a member of the Book Group. To quote, ‘Nick knows.’ And any reason to get some Nick Drake in is a good reason!


Side 2


1      The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret by Queens Of the Stone Age

Katie’s Theme, Only We Know by Karen Perry

2      Glittering Prize by Simple Minds

Alexias & Lysis’s Theme, The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault

3      Prince Charming by Adam Ant

Derek’s Theme, What A Way To Go by Julia Forster

4      Angel Eyes (Home & Away) by Wet Wet Wet

Zac’s Theme, The Glass Painter’s Daughter by Rachel Hore

5      Magpie To The Morning by Neko Case

Emily’s Theme, The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore

6      In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins

MacKenzie’s Theme, Only We Know

7      Strange And Beautiful by Aqualung

Adam’s Theme, A Better Man by Leah McLaren

8      Archangel Tale by M Ward

Edward’s Theme, the Glass Painter’s Daughter

9      And Dream Of Sheep by Kate Bush

Kit’s Theme, What A Way To Go

10     Freedom Flies by Conrad Vingoe

Isabel’s Theme, the Silent Tide

11     Church Of The Poison Mind by Culture Club

Victoria’s Theme, The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon

12     Second To None by Phoenix

Joel’s Theme, the Silent Tide

13     Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin

Theme for The Last of the Wine

14     What’s the Colour Of Money by Hollywood Beyond

Mary’s Theme, What A Way To Go

15     Burning Bridges by Remy Shand

Nick’s Theme, A Better Man

16     Mary’s Prayer by Danny Wilson

Pete’s Theme, What A Way To Go

17     Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

Maya’s Theme, A Better Man

18     Forgetful by Chet Baker

Nick’s Theme, Only We Know

19     Bleeder by Emiliana Torrini

Laura & Phillip’s Theme, The Glass Painter’s Daughter

20     I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt

Jacqueline’s Theme, The Silent Tide

21     Recovery Position by Headswim

Beth’s Theme, the Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer*

22     After All by the Cardigans

Helen’s Theme, The Summer Of Secrets

23     True Colours by Cyndi Lauper

Harper’s Theme, What A Way To Go


*I originally had Nina Simone’s Sinnerman in the mix for Grandad from the Girl in The Red Coat, too, but the ten-minute version unbalanced the flow.


Whilst I’m not likely to pick songs I don’t like, and even though I say it myself, they’re not bad playlists if you’re after a couple of hours of uninterrupted listening. I’m always on the lookout for another great book to read, or another great song to listen to, so if you’ve got a killer theme for a cracking character, or even a better choice for one of the above, why not leave a comment and share it with us all!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: