FANDOM


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.

Music is prominent in the prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, in which the character Lucy Gray Baird is a member of a performing group known as the Covey. She performs a number of songs throughout the novel.

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.

Lucy Gray Baird sings this song to Clerk Carmine, having sung it to him in the past when he had croup. Coriolanus Snow also listens to the song and finds it soothing, until mockingjays pick up the melody, as he finds them disturbing.[1]

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 mockingjasy, 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.

"The Hanging Tree" has a brief backstory in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes at the execution of Arlo Chance. The song also one of many, composed by Lucy Gray Baird. Arlo Chance is said by the Peacekeepers to have been responsible for an explosion in the mines which killed three people, hence the reference in the song to "a man they say murdered three." Lucy Gray, however, also later uses the song to refer to Coriolanus Snow, who indirectly reveals to her that he himself killed three people - Bobbin, Mayfair Lipp and Sejanus Plinth, the last being not directly but through his treachery. The song was banned by Commander Hoff of the Peacekeepers, who considered it rebellious.[2] However, soon after, Hoff was replaced by a new commander, who banned all musical performances at the Hob entirely, because music caused trouble.[3]

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.

Media

The Hanging Tree’ James Newton Howard ft

The Hanging Tree’ James Newton Howard ft. Jennifer Lawrence (Official Audio)

Official version of Jeniffer Lawrence and James Newton's The Hanging Tree released by Vevo.


"Gem of Panem"

Main article: Gem of Panem

"Gem of Panem" is the anthem of Panem. It is a favorite song of the Grandma'am, the grandmother of Coriolanus Snow, and he is talented at singing it as well due to having heard her sing it many times.

Lyrics

Gem of Panem
Mighty city
Through the ages you shine anew

We humbly kneel
To your ideal
And pledge our love to you

Gem of Panem
Heart of Justice
Wisdom crowns your marble brow

You give us light
You reunite
To you we make our vow

Gem of Panem
Seat of power
Strength in peacetime, shield in strife

Protect our land
With armoured hand
Our Capitol
Our life


"Nothing You Can Take From Me"

This song was performed by Lucy Gray Baird at her reaping. It was the first song that Coriolanus Snow ever heard her perform. As it was broadcast nationally throughout Panem and to the Capitol, it made her an instant sensation, catching the attention of those who would be sponsors even before the sponsorship program was conceived of. The first lines of the song were actually sung by members of the Covey within the audience in District 12; Lucy Gray Baird then picked up the song and continued it.[4]

Lyrics

You can't take my past.
You can't take my history.
You could take my pa,
But his name's a mystery.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.

You can't take my charm.
You can't take my humor.
You can't take my wealth,
'Cause it's just a rumor.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.

Thinking you're so fine.
Thinking you can have mine.
Thinking you're in control.
Thinking you'll change me, maybe rearrange me.
Think again, if that's your goal,
'Cause...

You can't take my sass.
You can't take my talking.
You can kiss my ass
And then keep on walking.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.

No, sir,
Nothing you can take me from me is worth dirt.
Take it, 'cause I'd give it free. It won't hurt.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping!


"The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird"

This song is performed by Lucy Gray Baird during her interview before the Games[5] and is about Billy Taupe.[1] Coriolanus Snow considered a dark, moving and far too personal account of Lucy Gray's life and found himself jealous.[5] She later explains to Coriolanus Snow that the last line specifically refers to Taupe, in that he bet that he could have the affections of both her and Mayor Lipp's daughter, Mayfair Lipp.[1] In author Suzanne Collins's acknowledgements for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, she states that is an entirely original song and is meant to be sung to a variation of a traditional ballad tune that has long accompanied tales of the unfortunate ends of rakes, bards, soldiers, cowboys, and the like. The title of the song is provided in these acknowledgements.[6]

Lyrics

When I was a babe I fell down in the holler.
When I was a girl I fell into your arms.
We fell on hard times and we lost our bright color.
You went to the dogs and I lived by my charms.

I danced for my dinner, spread kisses like honey.
You stole and you gambled and I said you should.
We sang for our suppers, we drank up our money.
Then one day you left, saying I was no good.

Well, all right, I'm bad, but then, you're no prize either.
All right, I'm bad, but then, that's nothing new.
You say you won't love me, I won't love you neither.
Just let me remind you who I am to you.

'Cause I am the one who looks out when you're leaping.
I am the one who knows how you were brave.
And I am the one who heard what you said sleeping.
I'll take that and more when I go to my grave.

It's sooner than later that I'm six feet under.
It's sooner than later that you'll be alone.
So who will you turn to tomorrow, I wonder?
For when the bell rings, lover, you're on your own.

And I am the one who you let see you weeping.
I know the soul that you struggle to save.
Too bad I'm the bet that you lost in the reaping.
Now what will you do when I go to my grave?


"The Old Therebefore"

This was another song performed by Lucy Gray Baird. She sang it after Dr. Volumnia Gaul loosed snake muttations into the Capitol Arena. The snakes were completely mesmerized by it and after completing it, Lucy Gray began a soft humming to keep them docile.[7]

Lyrics

You're headed for heaven,
The sweet old hereafter,
And I've got one foot in the door.
But before I can fly up,
I've loose ends to tie up,
Right here in The old therebefore.

I'll be along
When I've finished my song,
When I've shut down the band,
When I've played out my hand,
When I've paid all my debts,
When I have no regrets,
Right here in
The old therebefore,
When nothing
Is left anymore.

I'll catch you up
When I've emptied my cup,
When I've worn out my friends,
When I've burned out both ends,
When I've cried all my tears,
When I've conquered my fears,
Right here in
The old therebefore,
When nothing
Is left anymore.

I'll bring the news
When I've danced off my shoes,
When my body's closed down,
When my boat's run aground,
When I've tallied the score,
And I'm flat on the floor,
Right here in
The old therebefore,
When nothing
Is left anymore

When I'm pure like a dove,
When I've learned how to love,
Right here in
The old therebefore,
When nothing
Is left anymore.


"That Thing I Love With"

This song is performed by Lucy Gray Baird and the Covey at the Hob. It is the first song that she performs upon her return to District 12 after wining the 10th Hunger Games and the first song that Coriolanus Snow hears her perform in District 12. It has a bright and upbeat musical accompaniment.

Lyrics

My heart's stupid and that's not maybe.
Can't blame Cupid, he's just a baby.
Shoot it, boot it, execute it,
Still comes a-crawling to you-hoo.

Heart's gone funny, it won't hear reason.
You're like honey, you bring the bees in.
Sting it, wing it, give it a fling, it
Still comes a-crawling to you.

I wish it mattered that
You chose to smash it up.
How come you shattered that
Thing I love with?

Did you feel flattered that
You could just trash it up?
That's why you battered that
Thing I love with.

Trapped my ticker but haven't freed it.
People snicker at how you treat it.
Snare it, tear it, strip it bare, it
Still comes a-crawling to you-hoo.

Heart's been jumping just like a rabbit.
Blood keeps pumping but that's just habit.
Drain it, pain it, I'm insane, it
Still comes a-crawling to you.

Burn it, spurn it, don't return it,
Break it, bake it, overtake it,
Wreck it, deck it, what the heck, it
Still comes a-crawling to you.


"Lucy Gray"

This was the song from which Lucy Gray Baird got her name. Maude Ivory performed it for Snow during a day trip to the lake in the wilderness, a couple of hours from District 12. The song was about a girl who was sent out into a snowstorm and apparently ended up becoming a ghost girl. Snow disliked the song, as he both did not understand it entirely and thought it ridiculous.[8]

"Lucy Gray" is actually originally a poem written by William Wordsworth in 1799. The poem, due to its age, is in the public domain. The lyrics featured in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes are slightly tweaked by author Suzanne Collins to fit the Covey.[6]

Lyrics

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt where none abide
mdash;The sweetest thing that ever grew
Upon the mountainside!

You yet may spy the fawn at play
The hare among the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.
 
“To-night will be a stormy night—
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, Child, to light
Your mother through the snow.”

“That, Father! Will I gladly do:
'Tis scarcely afternoon —
The village clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!”

At this the Father turned his hook,
To kindling for the day'
He plied his work; — and Lucy took
The lantern on her way.

As carefree as a mountain doe:
A fresh, new path she broke
Her feet dispersed the powdery snow,
That rose up just like smoke.

The storm came on before its time"
She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb:
But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them as a guide.

At daybreak on a hill they stood
That overlooked the scene;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
That spanned a deep ravine.

They wept &mdash and, turning homeward, cried,
"In Heaven we all shall meet!";
— When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they crossed:
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, not ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none!

— Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.


"I'll Sell You For a Song"

Lucy Gray Baird and the Covey perform this song, the song itself sung by Lucy Gray Baird. It is described as a downbeat number with a "mournful" musical accompaniment. Coriolanus Snow disliked it, as he thought that it might be inspired by Lucy's spurned lover, Billy Taupe.

Lyrics

You come home late,
Fall on your cot.
You smell like something that money bought.
We don't have cash, or so you say.
So where did you get it and how'd you pay?

The sun don't rise and set for you.
You think so, but you're wrong.
You tell me lies, I can't stay true—
I'll sell you for a song.

You get up late,
Won't say a word.
You been with her, that's what I've heard.
I don't own you, so I've been told..
But what do I do when the nights get cold?

The moon don't wax and wane for you.
You think so, but you're wrong.
You cause me pain, you make me blue—
I'll sell you for a song.

You're here, you're not.
It's more than me,
It's more than you, it's more like we.
They're young and soft, they worry so.
You coming or going, they need to know.

The stars don't shine and shoot for you.
You think so, but you're wrong..
You mess with mine, I'll hurt you, too—
I'll sell you for a song.


"Pure as the Driven Snow"

This was another song by Lucy Gray Baird. Coriolanus Snow believed she had written it for him.

Lyrics

Everyone's born as clean as a whistle—
As fresh as a daisy
And not a bit crazy.
Staying that way's a hard row for hoeing—
As rough as a briar,
Like walking through fire.

This world, it's dark,
And this world, it's scary.
I've taken some hits, so
No wonder I'm wary.
It's why I
Need you—
You're pure as the driven snow.

Everyone wants to be a hero—
The cake with the cream, or
The doer not dreamer.
Doing's hard work, It takes some to change things—
Like goat's milk to butter,
Like ice blocks to water.

This world goes blind
When children are dying.
I turn to dust, but
You never stop trying.
It's why I
Love you—
You're pure as the driven snow.

Cold and clean,
Swirling over my skin,
You cloak me.
You soak right in,
Down to my heart.

Everyone thinks they know all about me.
They slap me with labels.
They spit out their fables.
You came along, you knew it was lying.
You saw the ideal me,
And yes, that's the real me.

This world, it's cruel,
With troubles aplenty.
You asked for a reason—
I've got three and twenty
For why I
Trust you—
You're pure as the driven snow.

That's why I
Trust you—
You're pure as the driven snow.

Mentioned songs

"Anthem"

The national song of Panem, it often accompanies Capitol 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. The Valley Song may be the same song which Lucy Gray Baird sang in the monkey cage at the Capitol and later to Snow in District 12. If so, then the song is a slightly modified version of "Down in the Valley," a traditional American folk song.

"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.[9]
  • 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 27
  2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 30
  3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Epilogue
  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 11
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Acknowledgements
  7. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 20
  8. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 26
  9. The Hunger Games (film)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.