‘The Great Gatsby’ Playlist, Greenlit For Your Reading Party

What are you waiting for, old sport? The light is green… for you to listen to all these grand tunes right now!

Art and Music Book Culture Classics Just For Fun
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Hello, Music Monday lovers and all-around old sports! Welcome to Music Mondays, and this week, we’ve put together a special list of songs in dedication to the now 100-year-old classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. To start off this piece right, here is a song that sets the jazzy LI scene for the novel…


The American Dream –

“All That Jazz” by the Ensemble of the musical Chicago


This piece will mainly dish out songs that fit three main characters of the novel, surprisingly none of whom includes the actual narrator of the novel Nick Carraway (sorry Nick): two characters, whose relationship is at the very forefront of the novel; and one, which is not really a person within the novel but acts as the main recurring theme of the novel that drives the titular character’s ambition and love for the other (human) character, and happens to be the one we’re starting with right about now…


“American Dream” by MKTO



“A Million Dreams” by P!nk (from The Greatest Showman)





Now, onto the actual characters of the novel at center stage. Here’s the one and only Jay Gatsby…


Jay Gatsby –

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons



“Remember You Young” by Thomas Rhett



“Things You Do for Love” by Thomas Rhett



“Working My Way Back to You” by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons





So, as you could probably tell by the majority of these songs – if not almost the entire list – they for the most part revolve around our titular character, Jay Gatsby: his strive for the American Dream as well as his drive for that dream, which is mainly derived from his devotion to his dream gal of nearly five years (see the above love songs on the list), make him the kind of person we all want as our soulmate!

However, he’s not the only one to have songs specifically tailored just for him, for there are a couple songs, both of which come from around the same time period in which the book is set, for that certain someone he happens to be chasing after…


Daisy Buchanan –

“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Bessie Smith


…none other than Daisy Buchanan. Upon listening to this song, you can just picture her getting so fed up with her husband Tom and his unfaithful antics. It’s as if this song were written just for her! But remember, there are two songs that fit her pretty well, so here’s the other…


“Stormy Weather” by Billie Holiday


Pretty much a repeat of the previous one, but still very much effective in telling us what we need to know about the OG “beautiful fool” Daisy herself: song seems to outright state exactly what she desperately wants (and possibly needs), even if in the end she doesn’t truly deserve it…


“Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey


Of course, up next on the list are a couple of songs that – while the genders are swapped – sum up the characters perfectly…


Jay Gatsby (gender-swapped): “Someone Like You” by Adele


Don’t tell me you haven’t thought of this one for Gatsby lusting over an already married woman. Still, it’s a shame he never got the chance to come to his senses to get over Daisy and go out to find “someone like [her].”


Daisy (gender-swapped): “In Your Eyes” by The Weeknd


Despite her overall oblivious character, once Gatsby had explained what he had done for her over the years since their parting of ways, Daisy can tell how much Gatsby wants her and wants nothing more than to jumpstart what the two of them had way back when, but she knows she can’t just uproot the life she has now with Tom to go back to the life she had with Gatsby then; in other words of the song and the novel, she can “see there’s something burning inside [him],” but she “can’t just repeat the past.”

To top off this greenlit list, here’s the best one saved for last, one actually derived from the Great Gatsby time period that was the Roaring Twenties…


“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin


*Warning: this classic track is 16 and a half minutes long, so only play if you have a deep appreciation for long-running jazz-infused classical music!

If you want to access the full Gatsby-inspired playlist, you can go to it right here. What are you waiting for, old sport? The light is green… for you to listen to all these grand tunes right now!




Featured Image via The Conversation