1. Like The Dawn, by The Oh Hellos
As I write a book, there's always one song that stays on repeat for me. Like The Dawn was it for Love & OHTPW. The more I think about the songs that I connected with this book, the more I realize they aren't love songs. They are about the choice of whom you will serve this day: Yourself or Jesus?
Mel and Silas are constantly fighting themselves to serve Jesus. They struggle to remain consistent. They struggle with others not seeing how they die to themselves to live for Christ.
Yet, Jesus sees and knows, and He's giving us the strength to take another step toward Him and away from what ensnares us. He is Love, showing us what Love looks like, that we may show Love to others.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
"And like the dawn,You broke the dark and my whole earth shook.
I was sleeping in the garden when I saw you.
At last, at last, bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh, at last.
You were the brightest shade of sun I had ever seen.
Your skin was gilded with the gold of the richest kings,
And like the dawn,You woke the world inside of me.
You were the brightest shade of sun when I saw you."
2. Down in the Valley, by The Head & The Heart
"I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade.
Like ridin' around on railcars and workin' long days.
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways.
Call it one drink too many,
Call it pride of a man,
But it don't make no difference if you sit or you stand.
'Cause they both end in trouble and start with a grin.
We do it over and over and over again."
This is Silas' back story.
A man who wanted more out of life than what he'd chosen. Who couldn't escape the consequences of the choices he'd made. He was on the run for something stable, something better, but like those twisting roads, can't quite seem to stay the course, ending up back where he started.
And why? It was under his own strength. A strength that failed him.
Silas, and those like us sinners who found Jesus, finally cried out to the Lord.
And He heard our cry.
And Lord had mercy on our rough and rowdy ways.
3. Yes I Will, by Vertical Worship
Following Jesus is a choice, an active choice of faith and obeisance. Tasked with loving our neighbors, we can see that this is also an act of worship. Will you show the world how much you value God, how thankful you are for His gift of grace, by loving someone else? When the going gets tough and you're emotionally exhausted by the unlovable, will you still obey?
Each character embodies that question and how we all struggle with the right response.
Will you love Jesus more than your own comfort? Understanding? Circumstances?
"I count on one thing,
The same God that never fails, will not fail me now.
You won't fail me now.
In the waiting,
The same God who's never late, is working all things out
Oh, yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley.
Yes I will, bless Your name.
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy.
For all my days, oh yes, I will.
And I choose to praise, to glorify the Name of all names,
That nothing can stand against."
4. Mountain & the Sea, by Ingrid Michaelson
Mel and Drew's relationship in a song: Two forces of nature daring to stop or sweep away, the other. No one bends and no one releases the other, and yet, it's not like an enemy.
At any point in time, they could have resolved it, could have been different.
"You can move me if you want to.
You can move a mountain.
You can move me if you want to.
You can move everything.
But then one day you'll go away, but I will too.
But until then, oh my darling friend, Well, I will hold,
Yes, I will hold on to you.
5. Lakmé (Delibes): Air des clochettes / Bell Song,
by Sabine Dehieilhe
This is one of the songs from the opera Lakmé. I had to add the beauty of this aria to give you a sense of awe and weave that ambiance through the benefit. It gives you a sense of who Bianca is at heart, how delicate and feminine, and how well she could have possibly settled into life with Drew. They would have been comfortable, but never quite reaching their full potential.
6. Hell No, by Sondre Lerche
"Him: I know I was out of line.
Her: You were way out of your mind.
Him: Wrapped up in my reveries.
Her: Causing all this misery.
Him: Hear me out, if ever there's a chance in heaven,
Her: (Or in hell,)
Him: To slowly forget the past and the pending...
Her: Be careful, you fool, there are certain rules, even for a fellow like you.
Him. But don't be alarmed, no one gets harmed,
Them: I will never go, babe, hell no.
Him: Maybe I was in the dark,
Her: But why'd you have to steal my heart?
Him: Well, I didn't plan to go berserk.
Her: Baby, you were such a jerk.
Him: Well, just hear me out, I can't believe the things I said.
Her: (I know.)
Him: I obviously was removed from my senses."
Mel and Drew's theme song.
Yes, it absolutely tickles me that it's called, Hell No. Listen to the whole song. The back and forth between singers could be Drew and Mel in that one scene, or later in the fictional future explaining their origin story to someone else to the person who asked the typical, "So, how did you two get together?"
It's the final understanding between them. They've laid down their shovels and pitchforks and sidelined the persecution in favor of a truce.
And maybe, just maybe, they didn't mean all the things they said.
And maybe, just maybe, they could patch up and start over instead.
And maybe, just maybe, love and forgiveness will get them where they need to go.
"'Cause I will never go, babe, hell no."
(That's right. I made that whole thing rhyme on purpose. Be jealous.)
7. When I Get My Hands On You, by The New Basement Tapes
The song for the last chapter. Drew Grant is the type of guy to tease the ones he loves, and has never quite learned how to turn the teasing into something nicer. Not all of us know how to say the right things, or how to soften the abrupt nature, but we're working on it.
Well, we're working on it.
We do, however, mean what we do. It's our actions, those confusing little motions blurring the meaning of the hurtful comments, that reveal what you truly mean to us.
It's what makes us so lovable.
We hope so.
"And now you know,
Everywhere on earth you go,
You're gonna have me as your man."