If you’re anything like me, the upcoming Hunger Games movie is like Christmashannukahkwanza and your birthday all rolled into one. Which makes the wait even harder and more ridiculously unbearable. Luckily the little tidbits–screenshots, the trailer (hamana hamana hamana), the soundtrack–are helping to tide us over until the blessed day of March 23rd. (I’m voting it gets made into a national holiday–anyone? Anyone?)
The newest addition to the treasure trove of yummy Easter eggs is the track “Safe & Sound,” performed by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars. I’ve never been a big Taylor Swift fan–not my genre–so it took me awhile to get around to listening to the song. As soon as the music started to play, however, I was captivated. The song opens with hauntingly beautiful guitar and transitions seamlessly into Swift’s voice. I’d heard Swift’s voice before (something about a creaky back door and a convertible car) but I’d never heard it like this. In “Safe & Sound,” Swift’s voice is practically ethereal–so pure it’s chilling, and with a hollow edge that breathes so much life into the song. In the Hunger Games series, Katniss is always described as having a beautiful voice, something utterly captivating. As I listened to Swift croon, I could only think how well she was embodying our tortured yet unbowed heroine. I am unashamed to admit that I teared up the first time I listened to this song because it reminded me so deeply of The Hunger Games.
My favorite part of this song, however, is the lyrics. The first time I heard it through, I only picked up on a few, but after looking up a lyrics video on YouTube I was blown away. The lyrics of the song are so incredibly perfect for The Hunger Games—I could *see* images I have in my mind for the book and the characters. Lines like “Come morning light/You and I’ll be safe and sound,” bring to mind the softer aspects of the series–the love between Katniss and her sister Prim, the relationship formed between would-be-enemies Rue and Katniss. It also holds the edge of protectiveness that Katniss feels for those she loves.
On the other side of the spectrum, though, is my personal favorite stanza: “Don’t you dare look out your window darling/Everything’s on fire/The war outside our door keeps raging on/Hold onto this lullaby/Even when the music’s gone.” This stanza just floored me with its perfection. It’s like the essence of The Hunger Games was boiled down those four lines. It’s every death, every bitter kiss, every sweet smile, and every silent promise ever made. It instantly brings to mind Katniss as the girl on fire–the spark that is about to set ablaze everything that once held her and her people down. It is, in its essence, the repression and freedom that you feel so deeply in The Hunger Games.
Bottom line–this track is amazing, and, combined with the trailer, it pretty much makes me want to build a little Hunger Games shrine in my bedroom. Harry Potter has ended, Bella barely survived her demon baby, and I think we can all agree not to talk about the disaster that was the Percy Jackson movie–but The Hunger Games is about to make its mark. And until March 23rd, I think we can all listen to “Safe & Sound” on endless repeat. I know I will.
Sequoia (yes, her parents are hippies) enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music! Her favorite music is Japanese pop and rock but she’ll curl up with a Linkin Park CD any day. Hajimemashite! (That’s ‘nice to meet you’, to you civilians.)