The soundtrack of a novel (revisited and revised)

Anyone who knows me has heard me say, many times, that I could live a lifetime without a television (and did, for all the years I was single) but not one day without books and music. I have also been heard to say that my life has a soundtrack, and it is never-ending and ever-changing.  No matter what emotion I’m feeling, what situation I’m facing, I can always think of countless lyrics that speak exactly to the moment. Sometimes I actually wish I could turn that jukebox off, but I can’t, and then I realize the music is telling me something I need to hear.

 So it only makes sense that music would affect how I write.  It won’t surprise anyone that I have music playing when I write.  Today, I realized that what I’ve done is the very same thing an author I admire did, a few novels back, and that is to create the soundtrack to a novel.  Now, I haven’t gone so far as Joyce did, and release a compilation CD (but wouldn’t I love to!)  And I play these particular pieces so much that my family has begun to comment on it, saying that it will be hard to make a movie out of my book with so many copyright claims for the music (I love that they say ‘will’….they believe so much that this is going to happen, not just a novel but a movie, eventually, which is farther even than I’d ever dreamed) and ‘when are you going to stop playing that one!’

 Would you like to listen to the soundtrack? Let me share…

 Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say it~~Buffalo Springfield.  This is the first piece of music Cooper and Maggie dance to, the night they find each other after so many years, an old song that brings back the teens who were so in love, and could not come right out and say it.

 Cinnamon Girl~~Neil Young.  This is the lyric Maggie is telling her friends about, that morning in the coffee bar, a lyric that always makes her smile. It is part of the reason when everyone else called her Meg, he called her NutMeg.

 Please Come to Boston~~Dave Loggins.  Cooper has traveled alone all these years, longing for Maggie to ask him ‘won’t you come home to me.’ He wants so much to believe she would do that, if ever he can find her.

 Just Like a Woman~~Bob Dylan.  Cooper is mystified at how much of the girl he knew remains in the woman he sees now, as she tells him that ‘she aches just like a woman, but she breaks like a little girl’ says it all. 

 Spellbound~~Poco.  ‘Nuf said, if you know this one. If you don’t….you want to. You do.

 Wait For Me~~Bob Seger.  Cooper is on the road again, and Maggie is listening to this very late one night. They have had a dust up about the way she reads so much into music; he’s told her that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But Maggie ‘hears’ Cooper in these words, thinking this is what he would say to her, if he knew how to open up. There is so much they still can’t say to each other.

 The Long Road~~Cliff Eberhardt and Richie Havens.  THIS is the one that my family wants to know when I will stop listening to it.  I’m not sure I ever will.  There are no other lyrics that evoke Cooper and Maggie’s story to me as distinctly as these do.

Someone Like You~~Van Morrison.  Need you ask? And who doesn’t want to be loved this way?

 Warm Ways~~Fleetwood Mac.  Cooper has come into the bookstore at closing time one night, and sees Maggie dancing to this, unaware he is watching. 

 You’re Not Leaving Here Tonight~~Ed Bruce.  A snowy radio station on a snowy night…

 Across the Miles~~The Search is Over~~I Can’t Hold Back~~all by Survivor.  The first one: Cooper calls Maggie one night, saying “listen…just listen.”  The second one is where the novel gets its name (WITH ME ALL THE WHILE) and the third is where the sequel gets its title (CAN’T HOLD BACK.)  But it is not just the music they love…

 Into the Night~~Benny Mardones.  Cooper told Maggie he could have written this for her, if he’d known how to do so, feeling the way he always felt.  She has her own story about this one, too…about how she felt the first time she heard it, when he was only a memory that she escaped into during the darkest nights.

 All I Know~~Art Garfunkel.  The course of true love, as they say, does not always run smoothly.

 All I Wanted~~Kansas.  Ditto.

There are many, many more songs I’ve been listening to, and have added to this soundtrack; it could end up being a multi-disc, TIME-LIFE size, if I were to release such a thing!  Nevertheless, the more I listen, the more I write, which makes me listen more and more, until it almost seems that turning a page will change the track.  I want the readers to ‘hear’ this novel as well as read it.  If I write it well–and I believe I am–they will.

And if you want more…..ask me: I’ll give you a link to this playlist.




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