Pairing of Words and Music

The most common feedback I get from readers of Gardenia Duty is the very one I used in my Acknowledgement: Nostalgia. As I researched the time period for my Higgins family, I not only read and dove into so many historical rabbit holes… but heard songs from the past. My favorite local radio station plays predominantly Babyboomer music. In various stages of the book, I would keep post-its in my car. If I heard a song that resonated with a particular scene, I’d jot it down. Most had a common plea of love of self, familial or romance that was a focal point of my novel.

I decided I would create My Playlist songs if other readers who inject reading as I do…a pairing of words and music– which are still words! Here I go and reveal my top #35 songs that resonated with my effort to share the life of the Higgins family! Bon Appetit! It may seem long but easy access to what I watched and heard as that oldest child in a complicated social and familial transition: From zero to 61 years….

  • Gardenia Duty – “This One’s for the Girls” by Martina McBride OR “He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley
  • Prologue – “You Could Hear Me” by Jocie
  • Chapter 1 – “In My Life” by The Beatles
  • Chapter 2 – “Good Riddance” by Greenday
  • Chapter 3 – “What is Life” by George Harrison
  • Chapter 4 – “Wink & a Smile” by Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Chapter 5 – “I Got You” by Leona Lewis
  • Chapter 6 & 7 – “Anchors Aweigh” (Navy theme song!)
  • Chapter 8 – “Butterfly Fly Away” by Hannah Montanah
  • Chapter 9 – “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Chapter 10 – “Satisfied” by Jewel
  • Chapter 11 – “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
  • Chapter 12 – “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens
  • Chapter 13 – “Time” by Alan Parsons Project
  • Chapter 14 – “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars
  • Chapter 15 – “The Deployment Song” by Emay Holmes
  • Chapter 16 – “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel AND “Kind & Generous” by Nathalie Merchant
  • Chapter 18 – “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Chapter 20 – “Dumb Blonde” by Dolly Parton
  • Chapter 21 – “He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley
  • Chapter 21 – “Space Oddity” by David Bowie (Audrey’s loss)
  • Chapter 22 – “Guess I’m Falling 4 U” by Michael Bublé
  • Chapter 22 – “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore
  • Chapter 23 – “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
  • Chapter 26 – “Home” by Michael Bublé
  • Chapter 28 – “Head Games” by Foreigner
  • Chapter 29 – “Stronger Woman” by Jewel
  • Chapter 30 – “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes
  • Chapter 31 – “Roar” by Katy Perry
  • Chapter 31 – “The Rose” by Bette Midler
  • Chapter 32 – “Turn, Turn, Turn” by The Byrds
  • Chapter 33 – “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill
  • Acknowledgements – “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

There are so many others but I narrowed this handful down. My memories growing up during the same Cold War period as the Higgins family is full of music that my mother filled our home with. My sisters and I danced and performed to our own 33-1/3 and 45s. Like my characters, the music is women empowered, spiritual musings, metaphors to scenes, and even melancholic. But, I find real-life full of all ranges of emotion and personal growth. Leave me a song that came to you while reading Gardenia Duty. Cheers!

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