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To Kill a Mockingbird

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Rachel Modery

on 3 June 2015

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Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird

Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’.
Someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children, wake up.
Hold your mistake up
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little gods causin' rain storms,
turnin’ every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’,
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’,
I can see where I am goin’.
With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’,
I can see where I am go -- goin’!

You better look out below!



This song demonstrates a prominent theme in the book To Kill a Mockingbird. Arcade Fire sings this song about waking up, which also demonstrates the theme of Growing Up in Harper Lee’s novel. In the stanza where it states “But now that I’m older, my heart’s colder, and I can see that it’s a lie,” it closely resembles Jem’s situation in the book. As Jem grows up, his vision of Maycomb slowly starts to shatter. He says in Chapter 22, “I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like.”
Later on in the song, the artist sings that, “If the children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.” Scout and Jem’s hearts get torn apart when they finally realize the real truth about Maycomb and racism in the later parts of the novel. When they acknowledge Maycomb’s “usual disease,” the children’s hearts are shattered, finally seeing the cold hard truth of the world.


Wake Up by Arcade Fire
We Exist by Arcade Fire
Forgiveness by Matthew West
Brave by Nichole Nordeman
The gate is wide, the road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear
That ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love
That cuts the strings
So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me wanna be brave
The way it always was is no longer good enough
You make me wanna be brave
Brave, brave

I am small and I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name, just Your name
And I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall
Why did I
Take this vow of compromise?
Why did I
Try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was is no longer good enough
You make me wanna be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
And every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if You believe in me that changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me wanna be brave, I wanna be brave
The way it always was is no longer good enough
You make me wanna be brave
Brave, brave, brave


By: Rachel Modery
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes
In this song, the lyrics by Nichole Nordeman closely mirror some of Scout’s feelings in the award winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird. The lyrics in the song state that “The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in.” This relates to when Atticus said “I hope and pray that I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease.” Maycomb had been corrupted by racism and was pulling everyone, including the children, into their ways.
In another verse of the song, Nichole sings that “The way it always was is no longer good enough,” which makes a connection to Jem’s feelings. Jem wants to change the way people act in Maycomb. He talks to Atticus about the case and says “How could they do it, how could they?” This demonstrates Jem’s thoughts that the way people are acting in Maycomb is wrong, and that it is “...no longer good enough.”
In the novel, Scout has thoughts, but she doesn’t always voice them. Similar to the lyrics, “I am small and I speak when I'm spoken to, but I am willing to risk it all,” Scout is ready to change the way that people view her. This also relates to the chorus in the song, “So long status quo, I think I just let go.”


They're walking around
Head full of sound
Acting like we don't exist
They walk in the room
And stare right through you
Talking like we don't exist
But we exist

Daddy it's true
I'm different from you
But tell me why they treat me
like this
? If you turned away,
What would I say?
Not the first betrayed by a kiss

Maybe it's true
They're staring at you
When you walk in the room
Tell 'em it's fine
Stare if you like
Just let us through
Just let us through
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

They're down on their knees
Begging us please
Praying that we don't exist
Daddy it's fine
I'm used to 'em now
But tell me why they treat me
like this?
It's cause we do it like this

Maybe it's true
They're staring at you
When you walk in the room
Tell 'em it's fine
Stare if you like
Just let us through
Just let us through
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na



Let 'em stare, let 'em stare!
If that's all they can do!
But I'd lose my heart
If I turn away from you

Oh Daddy don't turn away
You know that I'm so scared
But will you watch me drown?
You know we're going nowhere
We know that we're young
But will you watch us drown?
What are you so afraid to lose?

Down on my knees
Begging us please
Praying that we don't exist
You're down on your knees
Begging us please
Praying that we don't exist

But we exist
We exist
We exist
We exist
Maybe if you hang together
You can make the changes in our hearts
And if you hang together, you can change us
Just where should you start?
This song by Arcade Fire relates to the theme of racism in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The line in the first stanza states “acting like we don’t exist.” This is similar to the way the Negroes were treated in the novel. People like the Ewells did not care about putting Tom in jail, because they felt no compassion or empathy towards him. A few lyrics later, the songs says, “talking like we don’t exist.” This compares to the way Aunt Alexandra is acting towards Calpurnia in the novel. When Scout asks to go to Calpurnia’s house, Aunt Alexandra refuses based on the fact of Calpurnia's race. Later, Aunt Alexandra tells Atticus he should get rid of Calpurnia.
Overall, this is a major theme portrayed in the book. Sadly, Arcade Fire sings that, “I’m used to ‘em now.” The Negroes have become accustomed to the way they are treated in the novel, and characters like Tom demonstrate this. When Tom is put in jail, he whispers to Atticus that he should just stop trying, that it is no longer worth the fight. By that point in the novel, Tom is used to the racism.
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word
Forgiveness
Forgiveness
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness
It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness
I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness


Matthew West sings this song about a prominent theme in the novel, forgiveness. When he says that, “the pain they caused is just too real,” it makes a connection to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Jem feels resentment to the way the Negroes are treated by the Whites. He cries because of the emotional pain that he feels. In the beginning of the song, the listeners cannot see a reason to forgive, much like the novel. However, as the song progresses, West sings that “it will clear the bitterness away.” This relates to how the characters in the book must learn to forgive others mistakes. Finally, the singer is able to forgive the one the one he is singing to.
This relates to the book because most of the characters in the book have to forgive each other. When Atticus talks to Scout, he says “...if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." This shows how, like the song, you have to be open to forgiving someone. The prisoner that you will finally free will be you. Once you consider another person's point of view, you will
finally be able to
understand them.

It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
'Cause when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more how're you keeping score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me


Society by Eddie Vedder
In this song, sang by Eddie Vedder, the theme of Society is portrayed. He says that “It's a mystery to me, we have a greed with which we have agreed.” This resembles how Jem is confused as to why Maycomb’s residents are acting the way that they are towards people such as Tom Robinson. The next line in the song that resembles the theme of society in the novel states “Society, you're a crazy breed, I hope you're not lonely without me.” This shows the way that Scout and Jem are learning that way that the town is acting, and are choosing not to follow with the status quo.
Another line later in the song says, “Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that.” I made a connection to the book with this line. The ones at the top of the social ladder chose the way that they act, and many others below them follow suit. Just because they are at the top in society’s eyes, they, in a way, decide the way that other people will act. A final line in the song says that “Society, have mercy on me.” Often times when people are different, they get treated harshly. At school, Scout gets picked on by some of the school children
because her dad is
defending Tom
Robinson. In a way,
she is wishing
that society has
mercy on her.
Ain’t No Reason by Brett Dennen
There ain't no reason things are this way.
It's how they always been and they intend to stay.
I can't explain why we live this way.
We do it every day.
Preachers on the podium speaking of saints.
Prophets on the sidewalk begging for change.
Old ladies laughing from the fire escape,
Cursing my name.
I gotta a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same,
A window and a pigeon with a broken wing,
You can spend your whole life working for something,
Just to have it taken away.
People walk around pushing back their debts,
Wearing paychecks like necklaces and bracelets,
Talking about nothing, not thinking about death,
Every little heartbeat, every little breath.
People walk a tightrope on a razors edge.
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons.
It could be a bomb, or a bullet, or a pen,
Or a thought, or a word, or a sentence.

There ain't no reason things are this way.
Its how they've always been and they intend to stay.
I don't know why I say the things I say,
But I say them anyway.
But love will come set me free.
Love will come set me free, I do believe.
Love will come set me free, I know it will.
Love will come set me free, yes.
Prison walls still standing tall.
Some things never change at all.
Keep on building prisons, gonna fill them all.
Keep on building bombs, gonna drop them all.

Working your fingers bare to the bone.
Breaking' your back, make you sell your soul.
Like a lung, it's filled with coal,
Suffocating slow.
The wind blows wild and I may move.
But politicians lie and I am not fooled.
You don't need no reason or a three piece suit,
To argue the truth.
The air on my skin and the world under my toes
Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes
Chaos and commotion wherever I go,
Love I try to follow.
Love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes
There ain't no reason things are this way.
Its how they've always been and they intend to stay.
I can't explain why we live this way.
We do it every day.

In this song, the lyrics closely resemble the way that Scout and Jem feel throughout the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. As Dennen sang "I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday," it made me think of the way that Jem felt. He doesn't understand why the people in Maycomb act the way that they do. When the verdict is delivered at the courthouse, pronouncing Tom guilty, Jem cried. He could not comprehend the reason why the residents acted so cruel. The next stanza says that, "carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons. It could be .. a word, or a sentence." This makes a connection the novel in the way that the Negroes are treated and spoken to.
The next line states that, "There ain't no reason things are this way, its how they've always been and they intend to stay." This line sums up the theme of racism in the novel. Jem and Scout do not understand why things are they way that they are, but they know some people will never change. This relates to the late line, "some things never change at all." It has become second nature to the people of Maycomb, they "...do it everyday," just like the artist sings in this song. Racism was a prominent theme throughout the award winning novel, To
Kill A Mockingbird, and was
portrayed in this song.
Full transcript