Below, I will walk you through each song that inspired Sweetness in Innocence: Book Two of the Take me to Church Series. You can also find the playlist I created on both Spotify and YouTube. In this, I am just going to cover some of the songs. There are more songs on the playlist provided, and I suggest you click on those links to listen while you’re reading the book! It just adds to the experience.
Bring me to Life- Evanescence
How can you see into my eyes like open doors
Leading you down into my core
Where I’ve become so numb. Without a soul
My spirit sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home
This song and band made up my formative years. The chapter where they go grocery shopping is somewhat monumental. It seems so simple, but it was so important for the development of their relationship. It’s the first time Harlan shows trust toward Luka. He gives Luka a glimpse into his life and his problems.
Witching Hour- In This Moment
Don’t you see the way I look at you
I can see behind your eyes
Can’t you tell the way I reach for you
I wear my halo in disguise
I watch you burn
I can feel you
I watch as you turn
What did you do
I think this is pretty self explanatory. This song coincides with the Halloween chapter and Luka, of course, wears a halo.
Follow You- Bring me the Horizon
My head is haunting me and my heart feels like a ghost
I need to feel something, ’cause I’m still so far from home
Cross your heart and hope to die
Promise me you’ll never leave my side
When Luka got hurt, I think it made Harlan realize just how much he cared for him. Before this scene, their relationship was almost one sided. Luka always went out of his way for Harlan, and I wanted to see that reversed a bit. Luka needed Harlan, and Harlan was there for him. He followed him to the hospital because he was worried. It solidified their relationship a bit more.
Half God Half Devil- In This Moment
I won’t pretend that I resist temptation
I think it’s funny when you preach damnation
I’ve been to hell and back and now it’s just a part of me
Without the darkness there’d be no light in me
I just love this song and the lyrics so much. I think this really fits with the Christmas chapter because Harlan finally lets another wall down and allows Luka inside of his home. The dark is a part of Harlan, and Luka sees that now but accepts it.
My Soul- Thrice
Are you ready for my soul?
What if I’m broken from the start?
And what if I never heal?
Are you ready for my soul?
What if I open up my heart?
And somehow we stumble into something real?
This song is just so fucking beautiful, and I felt it was perfect for their first time. Harlan really allowed Luka inside. He showed he trusted him in some small way, and it was so fucking gentle. I think it reflects Harlan’s thoughts perfectly. He worries that he will never be able to full trust anyone because the wounds from his past run so deep. He is afraid to show Luka everything because he doesn’t want to scare him off with the amount of darkness he has suffered. In turn, Luka is almost afraid of something this real. Every other time he has spent with a guy hasn’t felt this real, and that scares him a lot.
Iris- The Goo Goo Dolls
And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t want to go home right now
And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later, it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight
I really could have just quoted this whole fucking song. It’s so fucking perfect. Harlan and Luka danced to this in Harlan’s room on New Years Eve and I think something really shifted for them. I can’t listen to this song without getting emotional. It’s a very personal song for me, for different reasons, and I knew I had to use it for such a pivotal moment in this book. The lyrics sum up their blossoming relationship perfectly.
The Judas Kiss- Metallica
Followed you from dawn of time
Whisper thoughts into your mind
Watched your towers hit the ground
Lured the children never found
Helped your kings abuse their crown
In the heart of feeble man
Plant the seeds of my own plan
The strong and powerful will fall
Find a piece of me in all
Inside you all
Warning: Do not drive while listening to this song. You will probably drive far too fast because the drums are fucking killer. This song isn’t really for a specific chapter, more so the slow demise of Luka’s faith. It also comes into play in the next book. The title that is… but spoilers.
A Reason to Fight- Disturbed
When the demon that’s inside you is ready to begin
And it feels like it’s a battle that you will never win
When you’re aching for the fire and begging for your sin
When there’s nothing left inside, there’s still a reason to fight
Luka sang this to Harlan during the concert. Harlan has a lot of demons. Luka doesn’t know why yet, but he knows that it’s a constant battle for Harlan. He wants to give him a reason to fight those demons, and this song sums that up perfectly.
Avalanche- Bring me the Horizon
Cut me open and tell me what’s inside
Diagnose me ’cause I can’t keep wondering why
And no it’s not a phase ’cause it happens all the time
Start over, check again, now tell me what you find
‘Cause I’m going out, I’ll fake what’s real
Can anyone respond?
When Ezra finally confronts Luka about what he’s been hiding, I think we were all holding our breaths. Luka still hasn’t accepted that it’s just a part of him. A small portion of his mind is still telling him that he’s sick for his sexuality and he needs to pray and ‘fix himself’, so I think this song perfectly reflects Luka’s inner turmoil.
Brighter Than the Sun- Poets of the Fall
Like a miracle you change me, raise me
Brighter than the sun till I’m ready to be me
And your love is the reason, yeah
Like a miracle you wake me, make me
Brighter than the sun when it used to blind me
I know your love is the reason
Love never goes out of season
Harlan compares Luka to the sun more times than I care to admit. I think he is finally starting to accept the positive changes Luka has made in him. I wanted to end this book on a positive note, and I think this song does just that. Luka is the reason he’s happy now, and he is starting to realize his feelings for Luka.