Top Ten!! Songs in Intervention. By Mia Kerick
Music, and in specific, pop music, inspired me to write my first YA novel, Intervention. I wish it was some type of super cool, unconventional musical selection like “Eclectic Prog” that served as my muse, but alas, it was the American Top Forty. In my defense, I included songs from the top forty lists of the past twenty years’ (and more), so I’m pretty sure you will find them catchy.
My challenge was to encapsulate the entire meaning of the song in less than two lines. And in order to work the message I wanted to relay into the text of the novel, I had to study the lyrics and be very selective over my choice of phrase. That was kinda fun, but incredibly hard to do. And so I invite you to take a look at ten songs—there are many more—from Intervention, and the lyrics I chose to help Kai speak to Jamie.
Kai is a high school senior who works as a musician in a college coffee bar.
Jamie is the very broken college freshman who is a server at the coffee bar and will only listen to Kai’s words when they are in song.
1.Sara McLachlan’s “Angel”—the first song Kai performs during which he notices Jamie noticing him. You’re in the arms of an angel, may you find some comfort here.
Jamie desperately needs comfort.
- Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” performed Adam Lambert (American Idol) style—the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. When Kai performs this song Jamie literally runs away. It hits too close to home.
- “Freedom ’90” by George Michael—Kai performs this song to underscore both Jamie and his need for freedom from those who want to control them. All we have to see is that I don’t belong to you and you don’t belong to me.
- Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt” performed Johnny Cash style—I focus on the pain, it’s the only thing that’s real. Kai tries to show Jamie that he understands his pain.
- Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”. Kai wants Jamie to know it is okay to be angry. It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me.
- R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”. When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on… Kai tries to show Jamie that he should hang onto the hope that things will get better.
- The Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road”—The long and winding road that leads to your door… This song is in Kai’s mind as he tries to fall asleep one night after he meets Jamie, because he knows the road to Jamie’s heart is going to be long and winding, with no shortcuts.
- ”Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield—I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned. Jamie asks Kai to sing a song of inspiration to a long lost friend.
- Elton John’s “Your Song”—My gift is my song and this one’s for you. Music is all Kai has to offer Jamie and he knows it.
- “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel—I want to be that complete; I want to touch the light the heat I see in your eyes. You will need to listen to the audiobook to find out where and when and why Kai sings this to Jamie.