Sing along if you know the words!

November 3, 2014

Like most authors, I listen to music when I write. While my personal taste is incredibly eclectic (I have Britney Spears, The Decemberists, and George Freidrich Handel’s Messiah in my library, among many other things), my stories tend to have demands of their own when it comes to music.

ILUMETTH’s playlist has a somewhat less modern slant than most of my stories do, but of the recent releases it’s the fundamental messages that are more important than when it was composed. Here’s a list of what I listened to (links go to YouTube) and some background info; at the end are a couple of other songs, one ‘for fun’ and the other because it may or may not belong.

Do you have songs that you associate with a particular book, character, or story setting? Share them in the comments!

Whom Shall I Fear? [God Of Angel Armies] — Chris Tomlin – Burning Lights

There are several Christian radio stations in my city, and this song was released as I was in the middle of re/writing ILUMETTH. The second time I heard it, I knew that it was unequivocally Justinian’s theme – if I didn’t know better, I might have thought that it was written for him.

My Lighthouse – Rend Collective – The Art Of Celebration

While Justinian doesn’t have as many troubles as other people, the troubles he does have are definitely less mundane than theirs.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – Martin Luther – Performed by St Olaf’s Choir

This song is another that works well with Justinian’s faith/personality.

One of the interesting things about the Anglican communion is that you can pretty much count on singing all of the verses in a hymn, even if it has, like, eight of them. I’ve often wondered about the reason for it, and came across a half-joking assertion that you sing every verse because—at least with A Mighty Fortress–if you stop after the first one, the Adversary wins… Not really the kind of thing any church wants to promote.

Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil)

I have to admit that I actually bought this after finding out that it’s one of Misha Collins’s favorite things to listen to. I did listen to samples before I paid for it, however, and I do honestly like it on its own merits rather than because someone famous also likes it. (If it had been, I don’t know, 35 Classic Hog Calls, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. …Oh, who am I kidding? You never know when an album of hog calls might come in handy. Yes, I do own a lot of things I don’t actually need, why do you ask?)

Alessandro Scarlatti’s Cecilian Vespers

I was actually looking for musical settings of Psalm 121 when I came across this, and technically I didn’t even know about it until well after ILUMETTH had started the editing process. I did listen to it as I made corrections/additions, however, so it totally counts.

Mozart’s Requiem

Grand, epic, sweeping, and surprisingly sweet, almost tender, at the end. Fitting music for writing about Good vs. Evil.

This Is Gonna Hurt – Sixx:AM – This Is Gonna Hurt

This song was the inspiration for the climax of ILUMETTH. Most of the song doesn’t really apply to either Ezekiel or Justinian, but you can find parts of it in that particular scene now that you know what to look for.

Psalm 121 – Serin

I’m a little…odd, when it comes to religious music. Sometimes, I don’t care for any of the English versions of them, and so it is with Psalm 121. I can’t really say why, either.

Other Songs:

Starry Eyes – The Nick Hexum Quintet – My Shadow Pages

Yes, that’s the Nick Hexum, as in “the lead singer of 311″ Nick Hexum. If ILUMETTH were a movie, this would probably be the song in the closing credits.

On My Own – Ashes Remain – What We’ve Become

I’m still not entirely sure if this song belongs on this playlist. I mean, I listened to it, yes, but I keep waffling over whether it really fits [Character] or if I just want it to. Make up your own mind!

You can also find this playlist on 8tracks, with a bonus track at the end.


- Whom Shall I Fear? (God Of Angel Armies) — Chris Tomlin

- My Lighthouse — Rend Collective Experiment

- A Mighty Fortress Is Our God — Martin Luther/The Joslin Grove Choral Society

- Il Vespero de Santa Cecilia: Psalm 121/122 Laetatus Sum: Amen — Alessandro Scarlatti/Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

- Il Vespero de Santa Cecilia: Psalm 109/110: Dixit Domine: Gloria Patri — Alessandro Scarlatti/Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

- All-Night Vigil/Vespers: O Gladsome Light — Rachmaninov/Dale Warland Singers

- All-Night Vigil/Vespers: To Thee, The Victorious Leader — Rachmaninov/Dale Warland Singers

- Requiem: Rex Tremendae — Mozart; Praga Sinfonietta/Vox Pragae Choir

- Requiem: Lux Aeterna — Mozart; Praga Sinfonietta/Vox Praga Choir

- Psalm 121 — Serin

- This Is Gonna Hurt — Sixx:A.M.

- Starry Eyes — The Nick Hexum Quintet

- On My Own — Ashes Remain

- Psalm 121 — Jeff Presley & South Central Bluegrass

3 Responses to “Sing along if you know the words!”

  1. JJ says:

    Thanks so much for the links so that I listen to your playlist!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Fun post! Even though I love music and love to sing, I’m not as connected to it the way others seem to be, drawing inspiration and energy from it. I wish I did, but at least I still have a good time listening to it. Still, I like when authors share their playlists because it’s great to have some more insight into the stories they’ve written. I wonder if ebooks may one day have links to click on that start music, like a movie soundtrack. I’ll have to make a note to cue up Starry Eyes as I finish ILUMETTH. :)

  3. CJWright says:

    JJ — There’s some beautiful music on there. Enjoy!

    Carolyn — Most of the time, I tend to find the music (that fits characters/scenes) after the fact. This Is Gonna Hurt is one of the few times that I listened to a song and said “Oh. Oh! That’s it, that’s what’s going to happen!”

    I like the idea of an ebook with its own soundtrack! Thrillers scored by Hans Zimmer would be twice as exciting.

    :) You’ll know exactly when to start it, I’m sure.

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