"Turning Myself Into
"Turning Myself Into You" by Captain Tractor
I made the mistake of going to see these guys in concert while I was writing the first version of this story, and look what happened! It was the line about "wearing your coat" that got me, I think. It actually doesn't fit as well as some of the other songs, but the title worked so well for the theme I was trying to work with that I couldn't resist. And it's sung by a man, but the lyrics are (quite obviously) written by a woman, and I think that's somehow appropriate, too.
"Cool On Your Island" by Tori Amos
A friend suggested this one. The voice is very early Sam, toward the end of "Turning Myself Into You". It's a silly little ditty, but it just works.
"Other People's Hearts" by Kirsty MacColl
This one was a bear to track down -- a friend found the lyrics and we all went: "Oh!" and then couldn't find the song to save our lives -- but I finally managed it. I was so sure this story wasn't soundtrackable, but the song couldn't be more perfect. Right down to "I hear you're living in New York these days." Eerie.
"Let the River Run" by Carly Simon
A friend mentioned this one, but my instant reaction was "Oh! Yes!" It's actually just plain generally West Wingy, but for me it especially conjures up the moment where Josh appears in the window at the Gage Whitney law firm and Sam runs out on his meeting and his job to follow Josh to the Bartlet campaign. With my own Turning-universe twist on it, of course.
"The Wonder of Birds" by the Innocence Mission
This one doesn't fit as well lyrically as it does musically. But it's just so entirely buoyant that it ideally soundtracks both the moment Sam goes to get Josh and the last scene of "The Real Thing." I listened to it on repeat play the entire time I was rewriting this one. Thanks to a friend for "infecting" me with it.
"For Everything You
"Gravity" by Gus
One of my friends found this one, and it took a little bit for it to settle in for me, but there are just so many resonant bits in it. The first three lines especially work for me: the "on the road" bit, the echoes of "turning myself into you", and of course, "I never want to fake the way I feel". It's a lovely, lovely song, too.
"Fields" by Sponge
'Best friends' was what we used to say / All this time, it feels like yesterday / Remembering when we said goodbye / Still I doubt I'll ever figure out why ... yeah, that's "Ghosts" all over.
"Jessie" by Joshua Kadison
This, to me, is the quintessential Turning-universe Sam song. Yeah, the gender's wrong, and some of the details are wrong, but the sentiment is exactly spot-on. Rediscovering this song on a long drive got me unstuck on "Tripartisan", and it merited an actual brief mention in the bar scene of "The Decay of Lying". And my post-administration story will be called "Any Dream" after the line "you can always sell any dream to me."
"Call and Answer" by Barenaked Ladies
This is another one pointed out by a friend. I actually associate this song much more strongly with a story someone else wrote, but it works nearly as well for the Turning universe. It's Sam, toward the end of "Dancing With Shadows" (which, ugh, I must rewrite!).
"Sister" by the Nixons (acoustic version)
One of my friends suggested this one when I was joking about how there was no way "Transparent Reflections" was ever going to have a song attached to it, because people don't write songs about stuff like that. I don't know if this actually is supposed to be a song about stuff like that, but man, does thinking of it that way ever add a new dimension to those lyrics. Creepy.
"Bizarre Love Triangle" by Frente (acoustic version)
Whenever I get this way / I just don't know what to say / Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday? I chose this version 'cause the original New Order version is much too queer-sounding for my Josh's comfort. Hee.
"Freedom Calling" by Colin Hay
If "Jessie" is about Sam, then this one's the other side of the coin, the quintessential Turning-universe Josh song. The last verse, especially, is almost eerily exactly right. I listened to this one a lot while I was writing "Interlude for Two Voices and a Cast of Thousands" and the rewrite for "Turning Myself Into You".
"Interlude for Two Voices
and a Cast of Thousands"
"In Secret" by Tom McCormack
If the spirit of soundtracking is that we find songs that work subtextually, then this one is really too easy. But it begged to be included. Besides, Tom McCormack is wonderful, and more people should listen to him.
"The Decay of
"Almost" by Cheryl Wheeler
A reader alerted me to this one by telling me she thought about my stories whenever she listened to it. I was so touched that I bought the CD, and wow, was she ever right. The lyrics alone don't do it justice, either; you've got to hear it. This one was a big inspiration to me while I was writing the final three scenes of "The Decay of Lying" -- and really, it's kind of also the reason this soundtrack exists in the first place.
"Hope Alone" by the Indigo Girls
I vaguely knew this song already, but I didn't think of it along soundtrack lines until a friend suggested it to me. But man, just *how* Turningverse Sam, final-scene-Decay-of-Lying is it? The whole thing, really, but especially the line: "It's funny what you know and still go on pretending with no good evidence you'll ever see that happy ending." And the fact that it comes from an album called "Become You" is just a bonus.
"Light of Some Kind" by Ani DiFranco
A friend found this one -- she'd heard me describe the story outline, and she knew at once that this was the song. This may well be the most perfectly soundtracked story of the lot. The second and third verses (on either side of the second chorus) are note-perfect.
"Hymns to the Earth and the
"That Particular Time" by Alanis Morissette
A friend found this one for me. The thing I love the most about it is that the lyrics can fit equally well for Lisa and for Josh, which is just too perfect. Especially the last verse. No, especially the last four lines.
"After All" by Dar Williams
It took me quite a while to find a song about recovering hope for Sam in Winter Sun. Parts of it don't work, of course, but the last four stanzas are brilliantly fitting.
"Leave the Light On" by Colin Hay
This is one of my all-time favorite Colin Hay songs, so it's kind of surprising that it took me so long to realize just how well it works for Josh in Winter Sun, but it really does. The whole "figuring out what you can still be to your still-beloved ex" theme could have been written for Josh.
"Any Dream" (in progress)
"Clearest Indication" by Great Big Sea
This one soundtracks a yet-unwritten story, so I won't spoil it with anything other than a lyrics snippet: Did we have all we wanted and let it slip away in time / Like a country divided fifty-one to forty-nine / Years ago, I suppose / We just can't seem to make up our minds
"The Kind of Love You Never Recover From" by Hugh Blumenfeld and Dar Williams
And one last lyrics snippet: So here am I, looking at you / Oh, tell me, what are we gonna do? / Am I destined to be your regret? / Are you that one I will never forget?
Further contributions are always
welcome! Oh, and I'm burning CDs. If you want a copy, let me know,
and I'll send you one. :-)