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Various songs appear and are mentioned throughout The Hunger Games trilogy. Although relatively few are expounded upon in any detail, music in general holds importance for many characters: Katniss Everdeen's father was renowned for his singing voice and taught many songs to his daughter; Rue described music as her favorite thing in the world; and music often plays a part in celebrations or important events throughout Panem.

Featured songs

"Deep in the Meadow"

"Deep in the Meadow" (also known as "Rue's Lullaby") is a song sung by Katniss to Rue as the latter was nearing death (Marvel had speared her in the stomach). Because of her love of music, Rue's last request was to hear Katniss sing. At first, Katniss did not know what to sing, but then remembered a lullaby she would sing to her sister Prim when she was ill. The words are easy, soothing, and calming.

Katniss also found herself musing on the words of this song many years later as she watched her own children play in the Meadow in District 12.

Lyrics

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open, the sun will rise.

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, A moonbeam ray,
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Media

An official version of "Deep in the Meadow" was recorded for The Hunger Games film by English musician Sting. Jennifer Lawrence, who portrayed Katniss in the film series, recorded a version of the song for the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. It was also used in the unofficial short film, Hunger Games: Katniss & Rue.
"Deep In the Meadow" by Sting

"Deep In the Meadow" by Sting

Official version of Rue's Lullaby, performed by Sting (released as downloadable bonus track)


"The Hanging Tree"

"The Hanging Tree" was a song taught to Katniss by her father when she was young. Mrs. Everdeen heard Katniss singing the song one day and saw her and Prim making necklaces of rope, like those mentioned in the song's lyrics. Although the sisters did not understand the true meaning of the song, Mrs. Everdeen became fearful and yelled at Mr. Everdeen, which caused Katniss to run into the Meadow and cry under a tree. After finding her, Mr. Everdeen told Katniss to forget the song, but Katniss ended up remembering every word of it. After Mr. Everdeen's death, the song played itself over and over in Katniss' head.

Katniss eventually understood that the person singing the song was a dead man calling for his lover to come join him in death. The thought at first seemed disturbing to her, but when she ended up spontaneously performing the song for a District 13 propaganda film, she remembered how after her rescue from the Arena of the 75th Hunger Games, she was about to kill Peeta with a syringe to keep him safe from the Capitol; a life of torture is a far worse fate than death.

Katniss also sang this song to Pollux after she plays with the mockingjays, which brought him to tears. This song is mentioned many times throughout Mockingjay. An official version has been recorded for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.

In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Plutarch Heavensbee claims he changed the words "necklace of rope" to "necklace of hope" in the recording for the Capitol.

Lyrics

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run, so we'd both be free
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here,
No stranger would it be,
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Mentioned songs

"Anthem"

The national song of Panem, it often accompanies Captiol propaganda media, and is played at the end of each day in the Hunger Games Arena.

"Rue's Four Note Song"

This simple melody was developed by Rue as a signal to the District 11 agricultural workers that the working day had ended. She whistled the tune to a group of mockingjays, who then carried it across the fields and orchards. Rue and Katniss later used this tune to signal each in the arena.

"The Valley Song"

Mentioned by Peeta while he and Katniss are taking refuge in in the cave. He says how he remembers Katniss singing this song at school when they were children.

"Mouse song"

In the arena of the 75th Hunger Games, Wiress sang a children's song about a mouse and a clock. The Catching Fire film interpreted this as the classic folk song "Hickory Dickory Dock".

Trivia

  • In The Hunger Games film, Katniss sings the first verse of "Deep in the Meadow" to Prim to calm her down from a nightmare, just before she leaves to go hunting on the morning of the Reaping.[1]
  • During training for the 75th Hunger Games, Beetee mentions to Katniss that he has created a music chip small enough to be concealed in a flake of glitter, but that can hold hours of songs.
  • Music features prominently in the wedding of Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta; the traditional wedding song of District 4 compares marriage to a long sea voyage, and at the celebration following the ceremony, the refugees from District 12 show off their traditional music and dancing.
  • While confined in the training center following her assassination of President Coin, Katniss finds herself singing all the songs she had learned from her father, "Hour after hour of ballads, love songs, mountain airs".

References

  1. The Hunger Games (film)
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