Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soundtrack Thursday - Romance Goes Country(ish)

There are two things I love most in life (well except for chocolate, food and Sam West to name some others) no the two loves I am talking about are BOOKS and MUSIC. Now I am pretty catholic (with a small c) in my tastes but let’s be honest here… I am a romance reading country music lovin’ gal!
And my do they go well together! I mean country music songs are tiny nuggets of stories all wrapped up in 3 or 4 minutes… and being a storyteller that appeals to me. And country music usually deals with love, love and loss in most cases but love all the same. Now some of you know that writers like to make up soundtracks for the books they are writing, I decided to try this when I was writing Dream Date (still sitting in Richmond… two months and counting).
I sat down with my rather extensive collection of music and chose those songs that made me think about the story in general. I can’t say I found one song that summed the whole book up but the songs I found are not only some of my favourite songs but songs I thought summed up different parts of the book. I have a huge love for Kenny Chesney but his music just didn’t work with the story and neither did Willie Nelson (who is a god!). And as my heroine was a singer songwriter I was surprised not to be drawn to the music of the lady whose image had inspired her, Lori McKenna.
Instead I found myself listening to two great tracks by Gary Allan, his rough voice spoke about volumes to be about how tough things make you stronger and about having met someone who was the best you’d ever had.
And then I moved on to Gretchen Wilson. Now I know what you’re thinking… doesn’t she sing all those partying, drinking and one of the boys sort of thing? Yes she does (and does them well) but she also can sing a humdinger of a love song. Her country voice just weeps heartbreak in the wonderful song ‘Come To Bed’ about how two people trying to reconnect. This is a great song that also features John Rich of Big & Rich fame. Which brings me to a song that I believe is a top pick at weddings these days, ‘Lost In This Moment’. A great song by Big & Rich and written by John Rich and Keith Anderson (more from him later);
I couldn’t have a playlist that didn’t have some Keith Urban in it; Kate Hardy would have my head for one. ‘Raining On Sunday’ is one of the sexiest songs I know, once I had it on repeat more times than I can safely say (or my neighbours appreciated) as I wrote a short sexy story based on it. For me this is when Zoe and Jack are mid fling each thinking it is nothing more than each enjoying each other. Oh how foolish can two people be? My second Keith Urban track was ‘You’ll Think Of Me’ which actually lyric-wise doesn’t fit the book but there is something about it makes me think of the time when Zoe has run away from her feelings. And she really does think of Jack. By the way this is a great break up song.
In my playlist I had three great Tim McGraw tracks, ‘Just Be Your Tear’, ‘Blank Piece of Paper’ and ‘Something’s Broken’. Of the three ‘Just Be Your Tear’ is my absolute favourite and for me is the song that inspired me when I wrote about Zoe performing. When ever I hear this song I have visions of an orchard covered in fairylights and lanterns and a couple dancing, the girl in a white Broderie Anglaise dress. So I imagine that is what Zoe is imagining and singing about when she is in the club performing her song about dreams.

‘Every Time I Hear Your Name’ by Keith Anderson… just listen to it. This is another song I have been known to have on repeat. It is just so… so… arghhh!! I have no words but it is another great song that explains how Jack and Zoe can’t get each other out of their minds.
You must all go out and buy a Julie Roberts album ‘Unlove Me’ was from her debut album and is a brilliant song for that heartbreaking time when you just want to get over someone. You want to go back to what life had been before.
And then comes the part of the list when things are going well… Billy Currington’s ‘Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right’ was great for this.

And then there was the song that wasn’t country but was absolutely the one that played when I wrote the final love scene. The scene when both realised how much the other person meant to them, Corinne Bailey Rae’s ‘Like A Star’. Fantastic.
Have a listen to them all; let me know what you think. What are your favourite songs? To listen to, to write to, to… well do anything to.

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Biddy is still waiting to hear back from Richmond on ‘Dream Date’ but she is busy at work on a new story. And if you want to hear more country music then head over to CMR Nashville where Biddy hosts the weekly US Country Chartshow.


  1. Fab choices there, Biddy (and when I get my new PC this week with a soundcard that actually works... Um. DH had better hide my credit card *g*).

    I always remember that RNA conf when we sat in my room listening to Keith and talking, and you introduced me to the ones I hadn't heard. Wonderful stuff.

    I might just have to alternate Keith with Sheryl Crow, today :o)