Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend Wildcard: Power songs

Michelle Styles looks at the appeal of power songs.

Recently on The Writing Playground, Marilyn did a blog about decluttering. The last point was to find a power song, a song that makes you feel good about yourself and it is important to find those songs. The songs allow you to take charge and give you confidence.

Reading that struck a chord.

I would say that not only do I have a power song but my heroines have power songs. My heroes tend to have different songs, but my heroines often are pushed to their limits and are forced to take charge of their lives. This may say something about me and the sort of heroines that I write but the songs need to be powerful anthems. And until I have figured out the song, I have not really figured out my heroine. In fact when I was having so many problems with Thyre, my heroine from The Viking's Captive Princess, I stopped having problems once I figured out what her power song was.

Anyway, here is a list of songs I have used in the past:

Defying Gravity from Wicked (There is going to be a movie of Wicked next year -- the original cast are rumoured to be reprising their roles) It is one of my favourites.

Nobody's Side from Chess -- this is the song that is currently going through my brain and it works. Personally I blame Donna Alward for reacquainting me with Chess.

Do you hear the People Sing from Les Miserables (Personally I tend to have this going through my head when I am talking to journalists about series romance which might explain a few things!) There was also a video from Helm's Deep with this song as the background and I could understand it as the song really ran my head when I was writing my Vikings.

Does anyone else have a good power song?

Michelle Styles's latest The Viking's Captive Princess is released in the North America at the end of November.


  1. How about Tonight from West Side Story? Does that count? Not sure its empowering so much as exhilarating but I love it. And also Somewhere from the same musical.

    'Hold my hand and you're halfway there'. Ahhh!

    Can you tell, my mum was mad keen on Leonard Bernstein?

    And I have to admit to a great big guilty pleasure. The Queen song Don't Stop Me Now. They used it in a chocolate ad recently. Boy, was that inspired!

  2. Oh yes, those are great power songs.

    Power songs are songs that enable you to do impossible things. Or give that bit of confidence.

  3. This is such a great post! I always think of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive". Now I am going to look for more. They are sooo inspiring!

  4. Great post, Michelle.

    Heidi - with you on the Queen song :o) The other one is 'We Are the Champions' - love that one! I used to have a mix tape in my late teens with all these kinds of songs on. (Can't remember any of them now except the Queen two!)

  5. Linda -- yes, I will survive is a great one.

    And Kate H -- We are champions is a good one.

    Anything stirring and inspiring will do.

  6. Wow. I'm flattered to have inspired your blog. I fell in love with the idea of the power song and actually now I have a whole power playlist on my iPod.

    When I was writing my first book last fall I came across a song that became not so much the power song for the story but the theme song for it. It's So Close from the movie "Enchanted." When I'd get stuck I'd watch the video until I got unstuck. And now my three-year-old granddaughter loves "the princess movie" as she calls it, so I get to see and hear the song through her eyes and ears.

    Thanks for the mention. I'm always glad to inspire others.



    Here is my power song. Underdog by Lacuna Coil. I also love their song Wide Awake.

  8. Marilyn -- yes after reading your blog, I knew I had to do a blog on it as it is such a great concept. Thank you for doing your blog in the first place.

    ANd what is fantastic about power songs is that there is no right or wrong song, it is all about what speaks to you. It is all about inspiring you or your heroine!
    VmpyrRain -- thanks for sharing your power song.

  9. I'm late arriving as usual, but I agree with Linda - for me it's Gloria Gaynor 'I will survive' which seemed to be our theme tune when we were in our late teens. Great post Michelle!