I saw this tag on Pinterest, and thought it would be fun to do. I’ve not thought about The Hunger Games for a while, but, in honour of Mockingjay Part 2, I felt this tag was perfect. Let’s get right on into it…
Each song corresponds to a question i.e. song 1 answers question 1, song 2 answers question 2, etc.
1. Your reaping song.
All I ever wanted was a part of you that I couldn’t break
A piece of you that I couldn’t take apart
But we’re in pieces now
And all you ever wanted was a part of me that I couldn’t fake
I never made it easy to shape my heart
But it’s not beating now
I have to let you down
This would be quite sad, for this song is all about how love just didn’t work out, and I’m just imagining someone walking up to the podium thinking of these lyrics, and knowing that – despite their love – they don’t have time to fix things, for they have just been chosen at the reaping, and thus “have to let you down”. (Sheds tear.)
2. When you say goodbye to your family.
Your flyin’ high at the show, I’m feeling hot to the touch
You say you’ll miss me the most, I say I’ll miss you so much
But something keeps me really quiet, I’m alive, I’m a-lush
Your love, your love, my love
When I first saw this, I didn’t think I’d be able to link it, and I can’t to the chorus, but the bridge made me think a little. The tribute would be “feeling hot to the touch” (i.e. feverish) for they have basically been sentenced to death. Then, obviously, the family tells the tribute they’ll miss him/her, and he/she will “miss [them] so much”, as you’d expect at a goodbye. However, the last two lines make me imagine a tribute “quiet[ly]” thinking how they are “alive” at that moment, and will continue to be if they fight for their life in The Hunger Games, and it’s worth doing so for their family’s “love”.
3. When you’re interviewed by Caesar.
Hey you! Hey you!
Can’t you make this sane?
I know, I know, I know you ain’t the one to play the game.
Now I know I’m never gonna go your way.
If you go, now I know, I know know know.
I imagine this making a really bad-ass speech for the tributes interview, and it actually reminds me a lot of Johanna Mason. In shouting “hey you!” the tribute is obviously trying to get the attention of the audience individually, or maybe even President Snow, and getting their attention for the rest of the speech. “Can’t you make this sane?” sounds as though they’re questioning the Capitol to justify hosting the games. “I know you ain’t the one to play the game” fits perfectly, because it sounds as though the tribute is pointing out that all the districts make a sacrifice for the games, so why can’t the Capitol? “Now I know I’m never gonna go your way” has some rebel ideas attached to it; the tribute doesn’t want to comply with the Capitol’s ruling, and intends to rebel.
4. Your theme song in the games
I find shelter in this way
Under cover, hide away
Can you hear when I say
I have never felt this way
The first 2 lines here definitely relate to the tribute hiding in the arena, and biding their time to stay alive. They “find shelter” and “hide away” from the other tributes as well as the cameras. Then, for “I have never felt this way” it becomes clear how scared the tribute is – they have never known fear like this. Also, in questioning if someone can “hear [them] when [they] say”, it starts to appear as though the tribute is starting to feel alone, and needs someone to reassure them that their pain is real, they are real, and they are heard.
5. The song that plays when you make your first ally.
I promise that one day I’ll be around
I’ll keep you safe
I’ll keep you sound
Right now it’s pretty crazy
And I don’t know how to stop or slow it down
This reminded me a lot of Katniss and Rue. In this section, I imagine the tribute looking out from their hiding spot, and seeing a 12-year-old tribute wandering alone, and looking terrified. At that point, they’d come out of their cover, and approach the 12-year-old. Of course, they’d be terrified, and the tribute would calm them down, and promise “I’ll keep you safe, I’ll keep you sound.” When the 12-year-old breaks down in tears, the tribute would say the final two lines: “Right now it’s pretty crazy” (it would obviously be a little insane to be in arena); “I don’t know how to stop or slow it down” (no matter how much the tribute wishes, they know of no way to stop THG, despite their wanting to subvert its rules, nor can they slow down how quickly everyone is dying.
6. When you make your first kill.
Might go to Hell and there ain’t no stopping
Might be a sinner and I might be a saint
I’d like to be proud, but somehow I’m ashamed
The tribute understands that they “might go to hell” due to the fact that they’ve killed someone, yet they acknowledge the fact that it was going to happen eventually in the games, and so understands “there ain’t no stopping”. In saying “might be a sinner and I might be a saint”, the tribute vocalises how the “might be a sinner” due to their killing, yet they also “might be a saint”, for they are looking out for their ally, and don’t agree with the games. Finally, in saying “I’d like to be proud, but somehow I’m ashamed”, we go back around to how the tribute disagrees with the games, but thinks about how they’d “like to be proud” – like to fit in with the games, and find it easy to kill someone – yet “somehow” still feel “ashamed”, for they have obviously just killed someone, and their natural instinct to feel ashamed has kicked in.
7. When you make the final kill.
I’m feeling rough I’m feeling raw I’m in the prime of my life.
Let’s make some music make some money find some models for wives.
Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge the song title: in it being called “Time To Pretend”, I imagine the tribute flicking a switch in their mind, and deciding it’s “time to pretend” they’re happy they won the games. Next, in “feeling rough” and “feeling raw”, yet being the “the prime of [their] life”, one can assume the tribute feels as though their whole life has been lived in the few days spent in the games – all their pain, anguish, fear, and strength has been used up trying to fight for their life. Also, the line “let’s make some money, find some models for wives” reminds me a lot of the way in which the Capitol treats the victors – it’s all about the money, and how good-looking they are; everything else is negligible.
8. When you’re in the hovercraft, post win.
We can talk it so good
We can make it so divine
We can talk it good
How you wish it would be all the time
Here I imagine the victor talking to their mentor on the hovercraft. The victor here is telling their mentor that they “can talk it so good” and “make it so divine”, and live a life of lavish luxury in the Capitol, yet that isn’t what the victor wants; the victor feels as though they’re guilty for winning the games and killing people. That’s why he/she says “how you wish it would be all the time” – the victor knows their mentor has demons, too, and knows the mentor wishes their whole life could be spent living in luxury, without a care in the world, yet they know that’s impossible with deaths on their conscience.
9. When you accept your win.
They say we’re too young now to amount to anything else
But look around
We worked too damn hard for this just to give it up now
Whilst appearing as an innocent song on the outside, and a nice song for the audience to dance to, the lyrics have a deeper meaning than face value. “They say we’re too young now to amount to anything else” relates to how the victor will always be just that, a victor. Throughout their life, they’ll be known for nothing else, simply as a victor, and perhaps – to some – a murderer. Yet, the victor “look[s] around” and starts to realise they’ve “worked too damn hard for this just to give it up now”; they’ve worked too hard to win their title of victor, so much so, they refuse to give in to the pressure of their demons, and vow to not “give…up” on their hatred for the Capitol.
10. On the victory tour.
Find a place and lose it
You can do it
Won’t you dance with me?
Here I imagine the victor being approached by someone from their home district at the after party on that particular leg of the tour. The person from the past – perhaps a love interest – urges them to get up and dance, and reassures that the victor is OK to let their demons go (“find a place and lose it, you can do it”). The love interest wants to dance with the victor, and the victor finally lets go of their demons.
This post took a different turn that I anticipated, but I really enjoyed it. Frankly, I didn’t go into this post intending to write a story, but I kind of fell into it!
Thanks very much for reading, I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next time!