As you might already know, if you’ve visited before, I love pairing books and music! Which is why I do these posts. But this one is a bit unique in that I chose three books from the same series and three songs from the same artist. The same artist thing actually wasn’t intentional, or at least, not my original plan. But it just so happened that the three FUN. songs I know all seemed perfect, so I just rolled with it. (Interestingly enough, I did not pair “Carry On” with Carry On.)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the songs, and if you haven’t read this series yet, it’s lovely, and I very much recommend it!
(I avoided anything I would consider an actual spoiler, but if you don’t like to know ANYTHING about books, I’ll understand if you skip what I’ve written about Books 2 and 3.)
Book: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Song: “Some Nights” by FUN.
Why It’s Perfect:
So this video is clearly about war, and it was originally the lyrics, “What do I stand for? // Most nights I don’t know anymore,” that made me think to pair it with this book. The main characters, Simon and Baz, were both basically enlisted in this ongoing war against the big bad—and each other—when they were literally children. But they’re both just doing what they’re told. It’s all they know. It’s not what they decided. Baz is even in love with Simon, despite knowing he’ll probably be tasked with killing him one day.
These lyrics: “This is it, boys, this is war, what are we waiting for? // Why don’t we break the rules already?” also feel kind of relevant, because of how the characters do start to “break the rules” as they realize things might not be entirely as they were told and that perhaps they deserve to make their own decisions.
Book: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Song: “We Are Young” by FUN.
Why It’s Perfect:
This book is about what happens after the war, after the chosen one has done what he was meant to do. So the characters go on a road trip to try and figure things out and get their groove back. The song is about living your life, and that’s what the characters are trying to do. They have some lovely moments of joy and action and whirlwind emotions. They are young and setting the world on fire (“Tonight, we are young // So let’s set the world on fire”).
But I’ve also always felt like this song has an undercurrent of sadness or desperation to it, much like the book, since Simon is struggling with depression, and the whole road trip is just a desperate attempt to help him and get back some normalcy in their lives. There’s also a mention of abuse and how they’re trying to forget that and take it back, which, although there was no abuse in Simon and Baz’s relationship, could be compared to their history of being enemies and how they’re trying to move past their past. And, “Now I know that I’m not // All that you got // I guess that I, I just thought // Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart,” feels similar to Simon worrying Baz doesn’t want him anymore and Baz worrying that he’s losing Simon, even though both still love each other and want it to work.
But the song ends with, “So if by the time the bar closes // And you feel like falling down // I’ll carry you home tonight,” and thinking about that metaphorically, it also perfectly fits with the book. Because Simon is falling down, and Baz just wants to help him.
Book: Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell
Song: “Carry On” by FUN.
Why It’s Perfect:
This book continues the themes of the second, and the characters are still struggling, but there’s a lot more hope. Simon is still coming to terms with not being the chosen one anymore, and maybe not ever having been, which goes with the lyrics: “You swore and said we are not // We are not shining stars // This I know, I never said we are.” But he realizes he has Baz, and Baz has him, and they all have each other, and that goes with the lyrics: “And it’s nice to know when I was left for dead // I was found and now I don’t roam these streets.”
As far as I understand, this song is all about how life has struggles, but we have to find the good and people we can turn to, and, well, carry on, which is exactly what the book is about too. Which leads me to the most important lyrics that relate this song to this book: “If you’re lost and alone or you’re sinking like a stone // Carry on // May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground // Carry on.”
More Book & Song Match-Up Posts:
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (2)
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (3)
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (4) – The Simon Snow + FUN. Edition