Character Playlists

character playlist blog header

A few days ago, MyMusicalandWritingLife made a compilation of songs that she felt fitted her characters’ personality and circumstances. I really liked the idea, so I decided to borrow it for today’s post.

I’ll be focussing on my four main characters from my Infinity trilogy (as I refer to Stars Fill Infinity; When Infinity is Empty and Those Who Outlast Infinity as): Chessy, Sapphire, Justice and Quillon. Here we go!

       ~Chessy~

Oceans (Hillsong): Each instalment of the trilogy, I choose a song that really symbolises the character’s arc in that book. For When Infinity is Empty, I chose Oceans for Chessy, since I thought the metaphor of walking on the waves, or drowning beneath them and God being the difference between those two outcomes was very applicable to my poor Chessy.

Song For Grace (Lee Kernaghan; Sara Storer): This is a song about a young girl, whose three brothers go to fight in World War One. Though Grace and Chessy are in different circumstances, the haunting refrain “I will remember them/I can’t forget” reminds me so much of Chessy, especially after the failed revolution of the first book.

Watch What Happens (Newsies Original Broadway Recording): In a lot of ways, Chessy and Katherine are quite similar and Chessy definitely has the same vision. And Chessy also helps Chandler write an article about the plight of the mudlarkers in the river, providing him with information and contacts.

 

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Basically Justice and Chessy having a conversation. 😀 *from Pinterest*

 

 

Without a Word (A Tale of Two Cities, International Recording): This is Lucie’s song of anguish after Charles’s death sentence and it’s quite an angry, heartbroken song. It reminds me of Chessy because Lucie’s reaction in this song is very similar to Chessy’s reaction to Sapphire running away. Both of them are angry and questioning why the person who meant most to them in the world would leave them, without so much as a word or an explanation.

Something to Believe In (Newsies Original Broadway Recording): This is sorta Chessy and Justice’s song, but it probably relates more to Chessy than to Justice. Chessy believes in Justice more than anyone else does (possibly with the exception of Quillon), and vice versa (again, with the possible exception of Chessy’s father). They give each other something to believe in. I’m not usually a fan of love songs, but this is one of my favourites 🙂 (Also Jean Verde isn’t after Justice’s head, but he did threaten to let Quillon break every bone in Justice’s body if he hurt her, so…)

~Sapphire~

I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables): In my Les Mis retelling, Sapphire stands in for Fantine, so this song choice isn’t really a surprise. It really encapsulates Sapphire’s life, her shattered dreams and her desperation.

 

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Fantine *from Pinterest*

 

A Little Fall of Rain (Les Miserables): In the first draft, Sapphire also stood in for Eponine, though I’ve developed that subplot and given it to another character now. Still, this song I associate it with Sapphire and probably always will.

You Are More (Tenth Avenue North): Another song that perfectly describes Sapphire and her redemption act. This song is about a girl like Sapphire, who believes she is unworthy of being loved again, but both characters are constantly reminded that its not “not about what you’ve done/But what’s been done for you.”

Just Another Birthday (Casting Crowns): This is a song from my favourite band, Casting Crowns, and it’s about a girl that’s been abandoned by her father, so she searches out love in all the wrong places, eventually ending up with a child. Though Sapphire’s dad is the greatest guy ever, her mother wasn’t necessarily a good influence, and so I feel her mother can take the place of the dad in this song. Ultimately, the song ends on a note of hope, just as Sapph’s story does.

Wedding Day (Casting Crowns): This is a song about the Bride of Christ, who has “danced in golden castles/and crawled through beggar’s dust”, but I think it’s generally just an empowering and beautiful song. It talks about the mistakes we’ve made and the faults we have, but even with all those, God will still take us back. That was the message Sapph needed to hear.

Does Anybody Hear Her (Casting Crowns): Yet another CC song. Also a very good one for Sapph, since it’s about a girl constantly rejected by those who should be helping her. Its quite a sad song 😦

I’d Give My Life for You (Miss Saigon): I’ve never actually listened to Miss Saigon (too sad, too sad. I’m not going to do it. I can’t handle sad stories anymore), but I heard this song when YouTube was, I think, on autoplay. And it struck me as exactly the sort of song Sapphire might sing to little Kai.

~Justice~

Look Down (Les Miserables): Of course, since Justice is basically Enjolras with brown hair, this is one of the songs that reminds me most of him. This song is just so full of anger and the burning revolutionary fervour that fills Justice, especially during the first book.

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Miserables): One of the prompting things as I was planning Stars Fill Infinity last year was a post on Pinterest. It said something along the lines of “What’s the only thing sadder than Marius singing Empty Chairs? Enjolras singing it.” And I had one of those glorious writerly moments, when I realised that the post was right. Enjolras would have lived with so much grief and guilt if he had been in Marius’ place. It would not have gone well at all, because he felt responsible for those people and for the deaths of his friends. Anyway, that prompted me to explore Justice’s character more thoroughly.

O Come to the Altar (Elevation Worship): This is the theme song for Justice’s character arc and I absolutely love it. It’s a very heartfelt song about laying down your pain, guilt and brokenness and just coming to the altar.

Do You Hear the People Sing (Les Miserables): Another Enjolras song, and thus, another Justice song. 😀 Again, full of the revolutionary passion that Justice possesses.

 

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Enjolras 🙂 *from Pinterest*

 

Who Am I (Casting Crowns): This is one of my favourite CC songs and I just think it’s awesome. It’s about wondering why God would choose us? Choose me? Who am I that I matter to him? That’s certainly something Justice struggles with.

Captain (Hillsong): Justice, for some reason, always get nautical metaphors. Not sure why, but in When Infinity is Empty, he uses an anchor as his main metaphor and here we have a pretty awesome song about letting God guide you and be our Captain.

My Own Worst Enemy (Casting Crowns): Justice to a T. He’s trying so hard to “get away” from his “other side”, this is a sort of Jekyll and Hyde song about trying to change and struggling with that change, always feeling like you’re being dragged down by who you once were.

Everything to Win (Anastasia Original Broadway Recording): This song doesn’t quite have the same context for Justice as it does for Dmitry, but it definitely captures Justice’s realisation of…well, spoilers. But I bet you can guess. 😀

~Quillon~

In My Life/A Heart Full of Love (Les Miserables): Quillon is my Marius character, so this makes sense. I especially like the line “I am lost…” for Quillon, because he really had his life worked out before he ran into Sapphire, and he gets totally lost, in a good kind of way.

Rouge et Noir (Les Miserables/French Concept): This one is more melodramatic than the English version, and even though Quillon is not really as melodramatic as Marius is, this was probably what he was thinking.

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Miserables): Again, Quillon is my Marius character, and, along with Justice and Chessy, one of the only survivors of their revolution. So this song is his as much as it’s Justice’s, in my mind.

Samwise the Brave (The Two Towers): This is an instrumental piece, but I love it and I think Quillon would too. It’s so sweet and beautiful and it, of course, recalls to mind Frodo and Sam’s conversation about “Samwise the Brave”.

 

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From Pinterest

 

Now and For Always (The Lord of the Rings): I’ve already compared Quillon to Sam, but I’ll do it again with this song from the LOTR musical. This is the sort of relationship that Quillon has with everyone in the books (excepting the bad guys, of course, like Sean Darcy). He is a brother and steadfast friend to them all, and he is given the role of encourager. There is “no finer friend” than Quillon.

Touch of Heaven (Hillsong): This is Quillon’s theme for the third book, and it’s about living within the touch of heaven, longing for God’s voice and presence in your life. It fits his character arc well, I think.

Just Be Held (Casting Crowns): Another song reminiscent of Quillon, he holds onto everything, trying to keep it together when he really should offer it up to God.

Oh My Soul (Casting Crowns): Another song, detailing Quillon’s instinct to cling and to worry instead of offering God control of his life. This song particularly deals with grief and sorrow and well…Quillon has a lot of that in his life.

Wonder (The Lord of the Rings): This is Galadriel song of lament for Lothlorien, which she knows will begin fading now that the Ring has been destroyed. Despite the sorrowful tone of this song, it ends on a hopeful note, talking about life coming from death and joy from sorrow. Quillon maybe understands this more than any of the others do, since it’s his words that inspire all the titles (Stars Fill Infinity, When Infinity is Empty, Those Who Outlast Infinity), and those titles will all make sense when you read the books, promise!

How about you guys? What are some songs you think fit your characters? Do you like any of the songs on this list?

16 thoughts on “Character Playlists

  1. My series I am working on, which is going to be a series, is a children’s series I have no idea which songs could even fit them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I NEED TO READ YOUR BOOK. Les Miserables is one of my favorite movies and books! I love the music… what’s your favorite song from it? I like “Can You Hear The People Sing,” “Red and Black”, “Stars”, “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables” and “One Day More.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooh, great idea! (And have I mentioned I love the names of those four characters? They’re unique and striking!)

    Okay, I need to listen to “Song for Grace”; that one sounds good. AND I LOVE “WITHOUT A WORD”!

    Sapphire’s playlist is awesome. It’s very honest about her brokenness and sadness, but there’s hope in most of the songs as well.

    “Enjorlas with brown hair”…haha, love it! Ooh, Justice’s playlist is intriguing!

    Okay, I think I’d like Quillon, based on the songs in his playlist. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this! I enjoyed reading it and getting to know your characters a bit more through music! (Also, mind if I borrow this idea for my own blog? 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the Les Mis movie sooooo much! (How many times have I watched it? I have no idea actually and that’s probably a good thing).
    Favourite song? I like the girl songs “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own” “A Little Fall of Rain” and I like “Look Down”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” um….basically all of them!
    Thanks for commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks! I love their names too. I’m rather proud of how unique they are 😀
    Song for Grace is a very sad song, but I recommend Lee Kernaghan/Sara Storer’s version because it’s slightly less depressing than the original version. In my opinion anyway. “Without a Word” always manages to break my heart into little angry pieces.
    “Enjolras with brown hair” is literally who Justice is 😛
    Quillon is one of my favourite characters 🙂 I love him so much!
    No worries! I loved writing it! And definitely, you can go ahead and borrow it 😀 I look forward to reading your post 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

    Like

  6. I absolutely loved the songs that you picked for your characters! I need to go and start listening to some Casting Crowns, apparently–I’ve never heard of them until now! I loved your picks from Hillsong, though, I think that they’re awesome! 🙂 And, of course, your musical picks were great too. I loved what you brought up about how sad it would be if Enjolras sang “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”… just… ouch! Seriously, Justice sounds like such a cool character–I mean, all of the characters sound awesome but you know what I mean! Whew! Seriously, all of your novels sound super, super great!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Casting Crowns is awesome, trust me 😀 Yes, Hillsong has some AWESOME songs! I love them 🙂 Enjolras singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables would be soooo sad. Also, my favourite version of that song is Ramin Karimloo’s version, so you can kind of imagine Enjolras singing it.
    Thank you so much!!
    Thanks for commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Newsies, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables and Anastasia! I also know a lot of Tenth Avenue North and Hillsong (I love Oceans!). I don’t know a lot of Casting Crowns songs, but the ones I do know I really like, so now I’m not sure why I haven’t listened to more…
    I compile playlists for my characters all the time. It can be so fun, and sometimes helpful. Have you heard the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor? That song always makes me think of one of my characters, Alvin, who has a hard time believing he can really be a valuable person after the horrible life he has led. He needs to hear this song. Another song I have for him is “Paralyzed” by NF. (“If life is pain then I buried mine a long time ago, but it’s still alive.” Love, love, love these lyrics.)
    Another of my characters, Riadne, (Alvin’s half sister) has two Mandisa songs (“Say Goodbye” and “Just Cry”) which are basically things she would say to Alvin.
    I love how even though I haven’t read your trilogy, I can get an idea of what your characters are like by these songs. It’s so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love every single one of those musicals soooo much 😀 “You are More” is literally the only song by TAN that I know….I really should listen to more of their stuff.
    I haven’t heard any of those songs, but they sound really cool! (I also appreciate the fact that you have a character named Alvin :D)
    Riadne is such a cool name though! I love it!
    It is pretty cool. I love doing character playlists….so much fun 🙂
    Thanks for commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yeah, the story of Alvin’s name is kind of funny because I named him without really thinking, before realizing that he was going to be really important. By then the name was stuck. I gave a little more thought to Riadne.

    Liked by 1 person

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