As you know by now, I have always used music as an inspiration to my stories, and this book is no different. Below, I will walk you through each song that inspired Born in Sickness: Book One of the Take me to Church Series. You can also find the playlist I created on both Spotify and YouTube.
Take me to Church- Hozier
No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen, Amen, Amen
The reason why this one was included is pretty obvious. The song inspired the series in a lot of ways. Of course, this series took on a mind of it’s own, but the song fits perfectly!
Welcome to my Life- Simple Plan
Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don’t belong
And no one understands you
If there was one emo song that defined my teen years, it would be this one. You will notice for this playlist, most of the songs fit into some kind of rock category. I really like this song for the first few chapters, specifically from Harlan’s point of view. He is the classic outcast teen that thinks everyone hates him and nobody understands him. You either were that person or knew that person in high school, don’t lie.
No Me Importa- In This Moment
You’re so brave from your side of the glass
And you, you can’t compute, you can’t do the math
And you’re, you’re playing god with your remote control
But I already know that there’s a flaw in my code and the
The truth is you silently study me
And there are consequences that you cannot see
And you ask yourself how did I unplug
But the simple truth is that I just don’t give a fuck
Again, this one is mostly from Harlan’s POV. It also refers a bit to Luka’s frustration with not being able to read Harlan’s body language. He doesn’t understand how Harlan works, but he is is trying to, especially early on in their relationship. Harlan is very closed off.
Black Honey- Trice
I keep swingin’ my hand through a swarm of bees
I can’t understand why they’re stingin’ me
But I’ll do what I want
I’ll do what I please
I’ll do it again ’til I’ve got what I need
This song is mostly referring to Harlan’s desire to do everything he can to help his family, and Luka’s desire to get Harlan to open up a bit.
5. Your God- Stone Sour
Say something, anything to me
I do believe, but I have doubts
So many reasons to hold on
Conflicting interest, isn’t it?
I guess I’m better off in the end
‘Cause you were always there to blame
I haven’t felt so bad in I don’t know how long, you know
This song is definitely more from Luka’s point of view, and how he really starts to question everything he was taught about religion. This fits that first chapter where a real theological debate between him and Harlan takes place. I thought this song really fit both of their points of views. How Luka is questioning his faith and how Harlan has already lost his and feels as though he doesn’t need Luka’s God.
Dyers Eve- Metallica
Dear mother, dear father
What is this hell you have put me through?
Day in, day out, lived my life through you
Pushed onto me what’s wrong or right
Hidden from this thing that they call life
I think the reason why I chose this song is obvious. The song is very much about how parents force their doctrine and religious belief on their children. How they shelter them from life, which in the end, does more harm than good. They push their narrative of what’s wrong and right, and force a certain way of life on their children. Luka goes to the church homecoming with this family, starting to resent his step-dad, Matt. He starts to realize how fucked up his religion really is and open his eyes, even if it’s just a tiny bit.
Natural Born Sinner- In This Moment
Did you really think by pushing me
I would become what you want me to be?
And did you really think by hurting me
I’d open up and just hand you the key?
I know you’re scared and don’t understand
This is my life, this is who I am
What I do know is come judgement day
Before the lord can you say the same?
This is about the moment Luka begins to take his life into his own hands. The moment he just says “fuck it” and kisses Harlan. He knows it’s wrong. He knows it’s against God. He knows it’s against everything Matt wants him to be, but he just can’t seem to care because he also knows he wants Harlan. He doesn’t want to deny himself of it anymore.
And I hate that I’m conflicted
This addiction’s got me twisted on you
I’m conflicted, contradictive
Got my body confused
I’m yes or no, I will, I won’t
I’m conflicted and addicted
So come over and make up my mind
Even though Luka decided to kiss Harlan, he’s still conflicted. Simultaneously, Harlan is also conflicted. He doesn’t know if he should trust Luka and he doesn’t want to be his ‘dirty little secret’ or help him cheat on his girlfriend. He is giving Luka a chance to explain himself.
Jet Black Heart- 5 Seconds of Summer
But now that I’m broken
And now that you know it
Caught up in a moment
Can you see inside?
‘Cause I’ve got a jet black heart
And there’s a hurricane underneath it
Trying to keep us apart
I write with a poison pen
But these chemicals moving between us
Are the reason to start again
This song is about knowing your kind of fucked up, but wanting someone to see it. Loving someone so much that you’re going to let them inside. You want to start with them. Start over with them even, and I think that it really fits the end of the book. They are just starting. They have a long way to go. Their path is probably going to be turbulent, but they may fall in love. They are giving each other a chance.
Recently, I got the opportunity to talk about my musical influences in an interview on the Mando Method Podcast. Listen to it here. Or watch the YouTube video blow:
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