To celebrate the e-book release of Where the Wild Cherries Grow on the 23rd March, I thought I’d put together something special: a playlist of songs that inspired my writing, remind me of the characters, or just seem to fit the tone of the novel. This is a very mixed bag, from classical nocturnes to Hendrix, but hey, that’s the joy of playlists, right? Without further ado, here we are, a Where the Wild Cherries Grow playlist. I hope you enjoy it.
- Gotta Get Up, Harry Nilsson (1972)
Yes, so I know that WTWCG is set in 1969, but 1972 is close enough, ok?? This is a great song, makes me think of Bill squeezing through the crowds of 1960s London, but it also captures the general mood of a generation, living fast, exhausting themselves. It’s a sort of Sergeant Pepper the morning after the night before…
2. Train Song, Vashti Bunyan (1966)
Anyone who’s read The Confectioner’s Tale will know that I’m a more than a little bit obsessed with trains, and WTWCG is no exception: train journeys are a fairly major feature of the text. So I couldn’t leave out this Vashti Bunyan classic.
3. Spiegel im Spiegel, Arvo Pärt (1978)
“Somewhere past the end of the cliff he stopped rowing, put the oars up and let us drift, tiny as a leaf on the dark water. The moonlight caught upon the ripples and scattered, until it seemed we were floating through stars.” (p.95, WTWCG)
4. Nocturne pour violin et piano, Lili Boulanger, 1911
This is an intriguing piece, written by Boulanger when she was only eighteen… It’s quite Emeline, simultaneously old and new world, impressionistic in places, with early jazz tinges in others. Boulanger sadly died at the age of 24, from pneumonia and Crohn’s disease, but we’re lucky some of her beautiful work survived.
5. Cosmic American, Anaïs Mitchell (2004)
Totally anachronistic, but who cares: this is one for Emeline and Puce, riding the freight trains in the dead of night.
6. Every Day’s a Lovely Day, Gulliver (1970).
I’m pretty certain Jem’s old, battered, green Citroen 2CV wouldn’t have had a tape deck in 1969, but if it did, this is probably what she’d be listening to, bombing around the dusty lanes of Norfolk with Bill in the passenger seat. (And yes, that is Daryl Hall, pre-Hall and Oates fame!)
7. Foxey Lady, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, (1968)
Come on, I had to. So long William Perch Esq, hello Bill. This one goes out to Matti, Javi and Luci.
8. Wonderful World, Sam Cooke, (1960)
This song is Bill, through and through. I always think of it at the end of the novel when… well, you’ll have to read it for yourself!