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Catcher in the Rye Playlist

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Vanessa Liu

on 20 June 2014

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Transcript of Catcher in the Rye Playlist

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Another Brick in the Wall
Pink Floyd
Another Brick in the Wall fits the first chapters of The Catcher in The Rye impeccably. This song revolves around students that want their teachers to leave them alone. The song keeps repeating “We don’t need no education…Teachers leave them kids alone”. Holden has been kicked out from countless colleges, and these lyrics are probably something he would be thinking in his mind, as he analyzes his terrible situation. He is fed up with school and education, because he cannot stand the phonies that are connected with the system. In addition, the tone of the song sounds like it is directly coming from Holden’s mind since it is so demanding and angry sounding. Also, the music is very upbeat which amplifies the angry mood. This song is great for the first chapters of The Catcher in the Rye.
Born This Way
Lana Del Rey
Born to Die, by Lana Del Rey, has many elements that are parallel to what Holden is going through in the book The Catcher in The Rye. The lyrics seem like they were written by Holden because they describe the state he is in. For example Lana sings “walking through the city streets” which is exactly what Holden is doing for a good portion of the book. He roams the streets of New York City, going from place to place. In addition, in the song says “I feel so alone on a Friday night” and similarly Holden constantly mentions that he feels lonely. In chapter 7, he is so lonely to the point where he wishes he were dead. Furthermore, “Let’s go get high” is constantly repeated in the song, and even though Holden only gets drunk once in the book, he attempts it many times. Lana then goes on saying “The road is long, we carry on, Try to have fun in the meantime”, which is exactly what Holden is doing in the book. He is experiencing a difficult period of time in his life what with him failing and getting kicked out of school. Instead of going home, he tries to have fun in New York to get his mind off these matters. In addition, the lyric “Come and take a walk on the wild side” is perfectly parallel to the moment where Holden seems to lose his mind, and babbles to Sally about his insane ideas for the future. The song goes on, “I was so confused as a little child” which could potentially be connected to Holden. His brother’s death had a major impact on him, and it probably made him confused of what the purpose of life is. This is probably responsible for his odd behavior at times and depression. Also, the most famous line of the song, “We were born to die” connects with Holden’s confusion of life and its meaning. Throughout the beginning of the book, it seems like Holden has no purpose in life except awaiting his death. In addition to the lyrics, Lana Del Rey’s voice in this song is very monotone with hardly any changes in pitch. If Holden were to sing, it is imagined that his voice would sound pretty similar to Lana’s since he wouldn’t want to put any effort in. Even the music is a bit eerie which is parallel to Holden’s peculiar personality. If this book was turned into a movie, this song would be a seamless pair with scenes that portray him wandering around from street to street.

Gnarls Barkley
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley was chosen because it fits Holden perfectly. Throughout the book we are left questioning Holden’s mental state, his mental stability. At times it seems as if he is fine, that he is like any other teen boy out there, but then we get a glimpse inside his head and his sanity is left to be questioned. In the book, Holden exemplifies normal teenage boy behavior such as not caring about school and thinking about girls, yet he also exemplifies examples of inconsistency and odd behavior such as his curiosity for the ducks and his strange obsession with Jane and his complete mood swings and hypocrisy. This song fits perfectly because like the narrator with in the song who is questioning if his actions and thoughts make him crazy, we question Holden’s sanity. We also see ideas such of saving others within both the song and Holden’s character. In the book, Holden wants to grow to be the catcher in the rye, saving children from falling off the cliff. In the last stanza of the songs it says “My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb, And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them, Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun, And it's no coincidence I've come, And I can die when I'm done.” This excerpt from the song is saying that the person wants to be like the heros they admire and save those even if they die in the end. In both cases as well, they seem to be ok with death. In the last line of the song it says “I can die when I’m done,” and in Catcher in the Rye Holden often talks about death and even said he wanted to jump out the window after his encounter with Maurice.
Scientist by Coldplay was chosen because it relates back to Holden and his relationship with Allie. Although the song is more of a song that has to do with a romantic love, it still does a great job when describing some of the feeling Holden had after Allie died. In the song the lines "Nobody said it was easy, It's such a shame for us to part, Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard, Oh, take me back to the start." These lines can relate back to Holden missing Allie all the time and often turning towards him for support and company. The song talks about how it's hard to part with someone you love like Holden did. It also talks about going back to the start which is similar to Holden always reminiscing about Allie and when he tried to talk about Allie with Phoebe. The song it really slow and melancholy and refers back to the person coming back and "haunting" which in Holden's case would be how Allie is able to be there for Holden even though he is dead.

Catcher in the Rye
Guns N' Roses
Catcher in the Rye by Guns N’ Roses is perfect for this book, not only in title but also through the lyrics as well. This song is a lyrical interpretation done on the book and holds many similarities. The song like the book holds a lot of angst and strong feelings. In the first stanza it talks about death and its trigger from the older world. It also talks about them might being crazy which is seen in Holden’s character. Like Holden the narrator of the song is asking if he is crazy. The chorus of “Oooh, the Catcher In The Rye Again, Won't let ya get away from him, (Tomorrow never comes), It's just another day... Like today” references the “job” Holden wants later on in life, the catcher in the rye. The song talks about being crazy a lot and being lonesome. “All at once the song I heard, No longer would it play , For anybody, Or anyone, That needed comfort from somebody, Needed comfort from someone , Who cared , To be, Not like you, And unlike me” talks about lonesomeness which relates back to the book because in the the story, Holden is always looking for companionship. We never really see a time in which Holden is not thinking about finding someone or trying to call someone up just so he won’t be lonely anymore. “That haunt our memories, You were the instrument, You were the one, How a body , Took the body, You gave that boy a gun, You took our innocence, Beyond our stares, Sometimes the only thing, We counted on, When no one else was there” relates back to the text in the sense that it references the little rhyme thing Holden would say and it also talks about the robbing of innocence,something Holden tries to protect.
Jack Johnson
Changes by Jack Johnson was chosen because it is about changes and how we try to keep up with them. Right when you start to get used to something new, something else comes along and alters your world. In the book the Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s character is really opposed to change and believes that is what corrupts the minds of young innocent children. When he is in New York, he decides to go visit his sister Phoebe at Central Park but cannot find her and a little girl mentions that Phoebe was at the museum. When Holden goes to visit the museum, he looks around and realizes that everything in the museum has forever been as it is, and it will forever be as it is. He begins to deeply ponder the changes that come in life and that they are inevitable, he cannot do anything about it. One line in the song is “You thought you could trust all the faces, well they’re only one side of the coin,” it parallels how Holden feels about people in life and that you can’t get attached to them because they will change and leave you hurting behind. This song fits because of how it talks about changes in our lives being an everyday thing and how they never stop or that we can’t stop these changes from occurring, similar to how Holden analyzed things in his own life.
How to Save a Life
The Fray
The song How to Save a Life is an appropriate song to represent Holden’s younger brother Allie, who has passed. The message of this song is a melancholy one in which the narrator seems to be regretful of losing a close friend from not being able to help them. “As he goes left, and you stay right; Between the lines of fear and blame; You begin to wonder why you came,” these lines explain how the narrator was trying to help their friend and how his friend seems to not acknowledge the help, so he wonders why he even tried in the first place. In the book, the Catcher in the Rye Holden’s heart is with his younger brother Allie. Holden misses his brother with the pieces of his heart and he seems to almost feel a little regretful that at one point, he didn’t let Allie join in on playing with BB guns before he died. Holden was really upset by Allie’s demise and even broke a window, putting him in the hospital, causing him to miss Allie’s funeral. The song How to Save a Life personifies this with the lyrics “And I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life,” this line is talking about the “what if’s;” similarly Holden is always in deep thought as to how things could have been if Allie hadn’t lost his life.

Chasing Cars
Snow Patrol
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is a perfect fit for the Catcher in the Rye soundtrack because this song is about the different personas, excessiveness, and unmeaningful things in our lives. It’s talking about how people don’t spend enough time doing nothing, they are too busy with their own lives trying to make money and make themselves the top dog. “Let’s waste time, chasing cars,” this line is describing how everyone needs some time to find himself and just take a moment to be their true self. This song relates to Holden and his character because throughout the entire book, Holden is incredibly observant and notices the phoniness in the world. He seems to be stopped in time, in his own little world while everyone else is invested in things that are “phony” and don’t matter. “Would you lie with me and just forget the world,” this line relates to Holden’s relationship with his sister Phoebe in the way that she’s the only one around that he can connect with anymore and because of the fact that she is still a young girl, she is innocent and can appreciate the little things in life.

Hot and Cold
Katy Perry
The song "Hot and Cold" is a great fit for the soundtrack of the book Catcher in the Rye. The main message of the song is that there is a person who is "hot and cold," "yes and no," "in and out." This means that this person can not make up their mind, and always changes their opinion. The same is true for Holden. One minute we see him saying bad things about Stradlater, but the next he says good things about him. The same goes for Ackley, the boy who lives next to him. Holden is always complaining about Ackley, but when it comes down to it, he doesn't really mind having him around.

Imagine Dragons
Hear Me
The song "Hear Me" by Imagine Dragons somewhat describes Holden's emotions. The chorus of the song says, "Can nobody hear me? I've got a lot that's on my mind. I can not breathe. Can you hear it, too?" Throughout the book, we see that Holden definitely does have a lot on his mind. When the song says, "Can nobody hear me?" it reminds us of Holden because he has bad communication skills and therefore does not transmit his thoughts to other very well. So if you look at what is going on inside Holden's mind, the chorus of "Hear Me" describes it pretty well.

City of Blinding Lights
There are two specific parts of the song "City of Blinding Lights" by U2 that can be connected to the book Catcher in the Rye. First, Holden, after leaving Pencey Prep, goes to New York. That is also where his family lives. New York is known for many different things, including Times Square, a bright, upbeat part of the city. The description of the city in the song is, "Neon heart day glow eyes / A city lit by fireflies / They're advertising in the skies." The first thing that comes to mind when these lyrics are sung is New York City. It is truly a "neon" city with tons of lights and advertisements. The second connection is from when the song says, "And I miss you when you're not around / I'm getting ready to leave the ground." This reminds me of Allie. Holden is always thinking about him and he misses him a lot. So Allie is the one Holden misses because he is "not around" anymore.

Catcher in the Rye Playlist
by: Vanessa Liu, Shaima Azam, Fernanda Cerqueira, Amel Hassan
Full transcript