For this week’s Music Monday, I have created the ultimate playlist for Jane Austen’s most iconic novel: Pride and Prejudice. Typically, choosing just one book for such an endeavor would be insanely difficult. This week, though, my decision was easy—mostly due to the fact that in the past few days, I have reread Pride and Prejudice AND watched the BBC mini series (which I highly recommend).
The first part of this playlist covers three of the book’s ~best~ scenes.
- “Gold Digger” by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx
If there’s one song that sums up the way the character dynamics in this book work, it’s “Gold Digger.” Take, for instance, the famously ironic opening lines: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” In fact, people with no such fortunes are often the ones trying to get married, and for precisely that reason, like Mr. Wickham (or Mrs. Bennet trying to pimp out her daughters, for that matter).
2. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
Okay, now we need to talk about the godd*mn letter Mr. Darcy writes to Elizabeth after she calls him out for being a shitty person who made her an even SHITTIER marriage proposal…
“I love you even though you are below me in every way” -Mr. Darcy, basically.
In the letter, Mr. Darcy reveals that love is indeed what was tearing Elizabeth and him apart: Darcy stopped Bingley from proposing to Jane out of love for his dear pal Bingley. Accordingly, Elizabeth hates Mr. Darcy even more when she finds out he did Jane SUPER dirty.
3. “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine
Now for the ending scenes—as we all know, in the end, everything works out wonderfully. Our two sets of lovers get married and live next to each other, and everyone lives happily ever after… their dog days are OVER!
The second part of this playlist is made up of CHARACTER ANTHEMS!!!
4. Elizabeth Bennett: “Blister in the Sun” by The Violent Femmes
This song is ~perf~ for Elizabeth, since, like her, it’s upbeat and independent. I think it works especially well for the scene where Lizzy walks three miles to Netherfield Park to see Jane while she’s sick, and arrives, sweaty and muddy, and absolutely not caring what anyone has to say about her.
5. Mr. Darcy: “The Underdog” by Spoon
This song is perfect for Mr. Darcy since Elizabeth spurns him so many times throughout the book—for a time, Elizabeth even sets her sights on Mr. Wickham! Against all odds, Lizzy falls in love with him anyway, making Darcy’s a true underdog success story.
6. Mr. Wickham: “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant
Mr. Wickham spends all his time plotting which unsuspecting young lady he can trick into marrying him, so that he might benefit from their fortune. There really isn’t any rest for the wicked Mr. Wickham, since, like Cage the Elephant wisely says, “money don’t grow on trees.”
7. Jane Bennett: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Though there are various recordings of this song, I have to admit that my favorite is the one sung by Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy at the end of Ella Enchanted. In any of its recordings, this is a song about the fear that the person you love will break your heart, and for much of P&P, Jane believes Mr. Bingley has broken hers. *Spoiler alert* but Mr. Bingley does not go breakin Jane’s heart. <3
8. Mr. Bingley: “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean
Mr. Bingley is often away from Jane (thanks to Mr. Darcy’s meddling) but it turns out that Mr. Darcy was *misinformed.* Mr. Bingley does really love Jane, and he’s definitely thinkin ‘bout her.
9. Caroline Bingley: “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel
Caroline is a snooty city girl trying not to die of boredom while surrounded by country bumpkins, and that’s all I can say about her without losing my temper!!!
Okay folks, that’s that on that… Please enjoy this Spotify playlist for your listening convenience!
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