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Love and Whispers

A SOUNDTRACK TO THE NOVELS, VOL III


Love and Whispers was bound into a limited signed edition of The Whisperers sold by Waterstones bookstores in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and distributed at signings in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The available songs are a playlist on Spotify; to find them, search for spotify:user:johnconnollybooks (US) or spotify:user:johnconnollybooksuk (UK).

TRACK LIST

  1. La Ballade Du Georges Sébastien Tellier
  2. Captain's Table Shack
  3. A Love Economy De Rosa
  4. Honor My Wishes Joan As Police Woman
  5. Some Velvet Morning Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra
  6. Rugla Amiina
  7. Fall Patrick Phelan
  8. Hard To Love A Man Magnolia Electric Co.
  9. Hug The Harbour Emma Pollock
  10. You Never Loved This City Piano Magic
  11. Walking Back To Our Place At 3 A.M. Richard Fontaine
  12. Each Dream Is An Example Gastr Del Sol
  13. I Didn't Mean To Hurt You Spiritualized

This volume, the third in the soundtrack series, is slightly different from its predecessors. Previous volumes have concentrated on music that has, for the most part, been directly referenced in the course of the Parker novels. The songs on this volume are those that have, in a sense, played in the background as I've written books, and particularly the two most recent Parker books, The Lovers and The Whisperers. While I prefer to write in silence, I often use music as a way to recharge my batteries, and to remind me of the mood of a book. Thus, certain songs become associated with specific books, or with the Parker series as a whole, often because of a particular lyrical reference, but sometimes simply because their mood resonates with me.

Mood is important in the case of the first of the songs on this disc, "La Ballade De Georges" by Sébastien Tellier, which sounds like the lost soundtrack to a classic movie from the 1970s, but is in fact from a more recent movie, Narco, made in 2004; and mood is also the reason behind the selection of Amiina's lovely, quietly joyous "Rugla;" Richmond Fontaine's gentle, intimate "Walking Back to Our Place at 3 A.M.;" and Patrick Phelan's plaintive "Fall," with its closing interplay of male and female voices.

In fact, a number of these songs were chosen because of the way in which both male and female voices combine for effect, which relates thematically to The Lovers. That's why "Honor My Wishes" by the mesmerically voiced Joan as Police Woman, aided by David Sylvian, is here; and "Hard to Love A Man" by Magnolia Electric Company, which stands comparison with the best of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris; and Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's strange, brilliant "Some Velvet Morning" from 1967, one of the greatest duet recordings ever made.

Shack's "Captain's Table," meanwhile, is one of the pieces that I associate lyrically with The Whisperers. The song is a kind of modern sea chanty, and opens with disembodied voices whispering and laughing, before moving on to the tale of the mysterious "Captain" of the title. The Whisperers, in turn, is haunted by a figure known as the Captain, so the song is a perfect complement to the book. Similarly, "A Love Economy" by De Rosa, with its talk of killers and fires, evoked The Lovers for me.

"You Never Loved This City" by Piano Magic and "Hug the Harbour" by Emma Pollock are the two most recent recordings included here. I was listening to the latest albums by both artists as I made the final changes to The Whisperers, and in each I found a lyrical reference that echoed an aspect of my books. They're here because they're songs that I happen to like, as well as pieces that fit thematically and musically with the others on this compilation.

I wanted the soundtrack to end on an epic note, and Spiritualized "I Didn't Mean to Hurt You," with its massed strings and chorus of voices, seemed like the obvious choice, because I returned to it often during the writing of both The Black Angel and The Lovers.

One song has not yet been mentioned, and it's perhaps the most unusual inclusion on the album. It's "Each Dream is An Example" by Gastr Del Sol, and it has been a kind of unofficial theme to the Parker books since I started writing them. To be honest, I'm not sure why. I think it may have originally resulted from a mishearing of the lyrics, which I thought went, "A loss of a spouse is spice for life," but in fact may be "A louse of a spouse..." It's also partly because of its haunting final refrain: the words "Corpse, as corpse..." repeated over and over. Whatever the reason, it's a piece that I have been listening to for over a decade, and one that continues to reveal something new about itself each time I hear it.

But I love each of these songs, and each is special to me. I'm grateful to the artists involved for agreeing to allow their music to be used in this way, and for making it to begin with. If you like what you've heard here, then please support the artists by seeking out more of their work. You won't be disappointed.

John Connolly, April 2010

Thanks to Paul Mallon at MCPS Ireland, Mandy Byrnes and all at Trend Studios in Dublin, and for the cover illustration by Hoo-Ha Ltd for The Whisperers. Thanks also to all of the artists, managers, lawyers and record companies who supported this project. A special thanks to Kate O'Hearn and her father, Casey, at KC Permissions in the UK (kate@kateohearn.wanadoo.co.uk), without whom this CD would never have been produced.

This compilation © John Connolly.


1. LA BALLADE DU GEORGES by Sebastien Tellier
Taken from the album Universe
Colosseo Impressario/Sébastien Tellier
(p) and © 2006 Record Makers
Under exclusive license to Lucky Music Limited
Licensed courtesy of Record Makers
www.sebastientellier.com

2. CAPTAIN'S TABLE by Shack
Taken from the album HMS Fable
(p) 1999 London Records 90 Ltd ©1999 London Records 90 Ltd
Published through Warner Chappell Music Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Limited
www.shacknet.co.uk

3. A LOVE ECONOMY by De Rosa
Taken from the album Prevention
(p) Chemikal Underground Ltd. 2009 © Gargleblast Records 2009
By Chris Connick
Published through Domino Publishing Company Ltd.
www.chemikal.co.uk
www.gargleblastrecords.com

4. HONOR MY WISHES by Joan As Police Woman
Taken from the album To Survive
(p) and © Reveal Records 2008
Published through Chrysalis Music Ltd
www.revealrecords.co.uk
www.joanaspolicewoman.com

5. SOME VELVET MORNING by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
Taken from the album Nancy and Lee
Copyright (p) 1967 Boots Enterprises Inc.
Published through Carlin Music Corp.
Used by permission.

6. RUGLA by Amiina
Taken from the album Kurr (EVER11CD)
Written & produced by Amiina
Published by Amiina
(p) 2007 Ever Records
Licensed courtesy of Ever Records part of the !K7 Label Group

7. FALL by Patrick Phelan
Taken from the album Cost
Through Your Hands Music (SESAC)
© and (p) Jagjaguwar, 2005
Licensed courtesy of Jagjaguwar and Patrick Phelan

8. HARD TO LOVE A MAN by Magnolia Electric Company
Taken from the album What Comes After the Blues
Written by Jason Molina, Autumn Bird Songs (ASCAP)
Performed by Magnolia Electric Co.
Licensed courtesy of Secretly Canadian

9. HUG THE HARBOUR by Emma Pollock
Taken from the album The Law of Large Numbers
(p) and © Chemikal Underground Records
Published through 4AD Music
www.chemikal.co.uk
www.emmapollock.com

10. YOU NEVER LOVED THIS CITY by Piano Magic
Taken from the album Ovations
A Make Mine Music Release, 2009
Johnson Glen Ashley
Licensed courtesy of Make Mine Music
www.piano-magic.co.uk

11. WALKING BACK TO OUR PLACE AT 3 A.M. by Richmond Fontaine
Taken from the album We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River
© 2009 El Cortez Records
(p) 2009 Winner's Casino Music, BMI
Licensed courtesy of Décor Records
Published through Bucks Music Group Ltd
www.decorrecords.com
www.richmondfontaine.com

12. EACH DREAM IS AN EXAMPLE by Gastr Del Sol
Taken from the album Camoufleur
(p) and © 1998 Domino Recording Co. Ltd & Drag City
Licensed courtesy of Domino Recording Co. and Drag City
Published by Rough Trade Publishing. Used by permission.

13. I DIDN'T MEAN TO HURT YOU by Spiritualized
Taken from the album Let It Come Down, 5:13, GBARL010067
(Composer J. Spaceman, Lyricist J. Spaceman)
Producer: J. Spaceman/J. Coxon
Performer: Spiritualized
(P) 2001 Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
Published through Redemption Songs Limited
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
www.spiritualized.com