Anatomy of a Soundtrack – Bluebird

So since you all know how much I love soundtracks to my novels, I thought I’d do some posts about the songs I choose as I choose them.  And instead of starting with something obvious for Taylor-made (like “Coin-Operated Boy” or “Tailor Made”), I thought I’d start with a Malinda song.  Probably ‘cuz I want to write some scenes for her, but she’s not around yet.

So here’s the background on Malinda.  She bought a Simulant named Justin to be her boyfriend, then was unable to keep him (for financial reasons, though this might change) so she returned him, even though she was utterly in love with him.  Justin was recycled into Taylor, who is programed to love Rosie and to be Rosie’s ideal boyfriend.  And then Malinda sees him one day….

Malinda had some songs early on in the making of the soundtrack.  Her first songs were shared with Rosie–jealous girls in a love triangle.  I was so psyched to consider Beyonce and Shakira’s “Beautiful Liar” because I love the sound of that song, but while it worked okay from Rosie’s POV (she considers Taylor a liar at that point), it didn’t for Malinda, and besides, there’s that awkward name-dropping in the song.  The next logical choice is “The Boy is Mine” by Monica and Brandi, but while I always like this song once it gets going, there’s something about the beginning that makes me want to skip ahead.  In the end, I decided to give Malinda her own song instead of sharing a love triangle song.

Big surprise, there were a couple of Glee candidates (actually, I don’t use a lot of Glee songs in soundtracks, tbh, because I associate them too much to the plot of the Glee episode to think about them subjectively, most of the time).  I pictured Taylor singing “Take Care of Yourself” to Malinda.  And as I was listening to “Rumors/Someone Like You” for about the thousandth time, I realized it could be Malinda singing it.

Except, I don’t see Malinda singing that spiritedly about stealing a boy away (“rumor has it I’m the one you’re leaving her for”).  I see her as the girl who gave up the boy she loved and completely regrets it.  In her case, the boy doesn’t even exist anymore, except as a locked-away memory in Taylor’s head that keeps leaking out.  And while she’s hopeful that he’ll dump Rosie and come back to her, she’s not about to brag about it to Rosie, the way “Rumors/Someone Like You” does in the end.  And I see her as a more quiet character who needs a quieter song.

Originally, the song Malinda ended up with was being auditioned for Rosie (whose ex-boyfriend really did die), but the more I listened to it, the more I realized it was Malinda’s.  A lot of time I’ll audition songs for a soundtrack that I don’t know the lyrics to, but that I have a sense might fit the character or scene.  Most of these end up not making it, but I’m amazed how often I’ll find the perfect song based on the slightest hint of a line I caught at some point while listening to it.  While I’m not a huge fan of “Jar of Hearts,” Christina Perri’s “Bluebird” was a free download on iTunes, and I downloaded it and forgot about it.  For some reason I saw it on my music list and had this feeling it belonged on this soundtrack, so I stuck it with the Rosie songs to audition (most of which have been discarded since).

Since moving it to Malinda’s songs, I’m 99% convinced that Malinda’s theme will be Christina Perri’s “Bluebird.”  Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

Lots of love,

Sage

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