I listened to this playlist so many times during the years I worked on Bulfinch that I realized, upon digging it up again, that I still had most of the lyrics memorized.
Music and writing are tightly intertwined for me. When I listen to certain songs, I feel like my soul is actually singing them through the musicians who created them. Sometimes I wonder if I write because I never had the musical talent to fully express those soul-sensations with voice or instrument, and writing was the next best thing. So when I create playlists for the stories I write, it's more than just background music; many of the songs were the direct inspiration for certain stories or scenes, and others sang the soul-sensations that I tried to capture in my characters. The Bulfinch playlist is inextricably linked with the book in my mind.
The first song, "Jolene," is one of my favorites by CAKE. I'm not sure if it was a song for Rosie, or a song for me -- for a few years, I listened to "Jolene" on repeat while writing many stories about young women escaping into their imaginations. It set the scene in my imagination.
The next two, a playful cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle," and "Cricket" by Dance Hall Crashers, capture Rosie's idyllic childhood, and her untarnished love for her parents -- as well as the untarnished love she imagines they have for her.
"Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths is, naturally, bigmouth Max's theme.
"Tee Shirt Weather" and "When My Boy Walks Down the Street" are anthems of Rosie and Bulfinch's exploration of Baltimore.
"Help the Aged" is one of my favorite Pulp songs, and it spoke to me pretty loudly about Rosie and Uncle Alvin's relationship while I was writing Bulfinch.
"Where Would I Be?" and "Guess How Much I Love You" capture Rosie's feelings toward Uncle Alvin, and her parents, as both fluxuate and begin to grow into a more mature, wise love.
"The Anchor Song" is about finding home -- as all the characters fumble to do.
"Full Moon in My Soul" is one of those happy-sad songs that seems made for endings.