Friday, October 15, 2021

Going Forth by Day Soundtrack

Well, here we are folks. The end of the line for the O4S series, at least for now. Below is the playlist for Going Forth by Day (The Order of the Four Sons, Book VI). I didn't think we'd ever be able to top Books III-IV, but I think Books V-VI really turned out well, and these characters received the send-off they deserved. And only after 15 years! 

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

I've said before, the nice thing about the O4S-verse is there are literally worlds of stories and characters to explore, so if Coyote or I ever decide to pay them a visit, the door(s) are open. Until then, I hope you enjoy these songs that will forever be linked in my mind with Kate, JD, Murphy, et. al. 

SPOILER WARNING - if you haven't read Book VI of the series, you may want to stop now.

Spotify Lists:

If you want my commentary on the songs, here are the other soundtrack blog posts:

Going Forth by Day Soundtrack

Art by Andrei Pervukhin

1. Vickers and the Eerin – When I Look Into Your Eyes, Drenge

It's no joke
Working in the heat of the day
It's so hot
Sweating like I'm reaching the end
Give me a hand
I need a friend...

The apocalypse makes for strange bedfellows, no? It's hard to imagine a stranger team-up than the bald, naked, albino hobbits and Aaron Vickers, former MJ-12 muckety muck, not to mention the rest of Carcosa's colorful supporting cast. Fortunately, nothing surprises or fazes Vickers for long, and he gets right to business.

2.  St. Matthew’s Field – Waiting for Something to Happen, Veronica Falls

Standing in the middle waiting for something to happen
Are you waiting for something to happen?

The Order's construct, the Field of St. Matthew, is filled with Order survivors and refugees fleeing Starry Wisdom attacks and a plague of violent, supernatural phenomenon. Starry Wisdom was more or less successful in neutralizing the Order. The beaten organization battens down the hatches and settles in to wait for things to end, one way or the other. 

3. Brokenhearted Leo – Unfucktheworld, Angel Olsen

In Corbenic, Prince Leopold is pining for his lost love, Alyssa-- as far as he knows, she is never coming back. This is a good, sad song about loss and absence.

Art by Alejandro Magnozz

4. Alyssa Captured – There’s No Way Out of Here, David Gilmour

There's no way out of here
When you come in
You're in for good
There was no promise made
The part you played
The chance you took...

The Oracle Alyssa Calderon surrendered to General Anglicus at the end of the last book, and we can see in this one that he takes her to the Starry Wisdom Oracle facility, Naviim House, where she is kept under sedation, just as Clayton once warned her would happen. There's no way out, or so it would seem. Also on the playlist is a song called "No Way Out" by the Electric Light Orchestra, which is punchier, but the Gilmour song has more appropriate lyrics.

5. Bill vs. Akhenaton – Hooked on a Feeling, Blue Swede

Saved by pop culture! Bill succeeds in reclaiming control of his own body-- or, at least, as much as he can while also being on the TAV system. Akhenaton is bound for now, in an old television of all things. It reminded me of how the US military has used rock music to torture prisoners. I imagine American music was absolute torture for Big A. This song also wends its way through some other pivotal scenes, demonstrating just how closely connected everything is at this point. I'm high on believin'!

6. Leto and Bathory – The Blue Danube, Strauss

One of my queer friends who read the series remarked to me that Leto's situation with Bathory was uncomfortably close to their and many other queer people's experience-- that of the problematic, older mentor/lover figure. Bathory is certainly that. Really, no one but Leto could have taken Bathory down, but how do you get close to someone so seductive without getting seduced yourself? I guess the short answer is, you don't. 

After I posted the Book VI trivia the other day, I realized I forgot to mention a crucial theme in this book is that of temptation. Bathory is Leto's temptation, fulfilling all of Leto's fantasies, including the one in which she and her beloved dance. 

7. Leto's Plan – You’re Gonna Go Far Kid, Offspring

Now dance, fucker, dance, man, he never had a chance
And no one even knew it was really only you
And now you steal away
Take him out today
Nice work you did
You're gonna go far, kid

With a thousand lies and a good disguise
Hit 'em right between the eyes...

Leto goes in with lies and a good disguise and man, they never had a chance. Then she goes home to a knighthood. You've come a long way, baby. Also for Leto on the playlist is "Stay Alive" by Hidden Citizens, which is more about survival, and our Sir Mouse is a survivor above all things.

8. JD Flips a Coin - Escape, Journey

C'mon, you know JD loves Journey. And this is his temptation-- he's living his best life in Cerulean. It takes all of his strength and willpower to flip that coin and bail. But, being JD, he does it. Of course, his life can hardly be called his best life if his Katie's not in it. 

Photo by Artem Podrez

9. The White Bird – Teardrop, Massive Attack

Teardrop on the fire
Feathers on my breath...

Bathory's gift to Leto was a white dove, which Leto was forced to release. It's always hard to say goodbye to a pet. 

10. Bathory & Nathan’s Demise – Blow, Kesha

A song for when things get explosive.

11. Kate & Sarosh – Once Upon a December, the Anastasia soundtrack (1997 film)

Kate's middle name is Anastasia-- that wasn't an accident. The song is from the film Anastasia, which is about a woman who is unaware of her true identity, as Kate is. Also, the name Anastasia means "of the resurrection." Death and resurrection were always in the cards for our favorite red-haired musician.

Kate and Sarosh's relationship continues the theme of temptation-- Kate tempted to cheat on JD is obvious, but she is also tempted to consume Sarosh. If she had, she would become just like Starry Wisdom, like DePriest, like Jack, like the Corbenese-- for all intents and purposes, a vampire. Fortunately, Kate is made of stronger stuff.  

12. The White Room – A Woman Caught, Penny and Sparrow

You don't have much practice at
Being honest with yourself
What hold you have for showing me that
You don’t love nobody else

And Hallelujahs are all around
But the roof's caving in
And Hallelujahs are all around
Honestly, girl where you been...

Alyssa and Michael get up close and personal, though not in any way Alyssa might enjoy. They do this crazy dreamfast/mind meld thing, which was inspired by The Dark Crystal, only, instead of sharing their memories, they meet up in each other's dreams of a white room. Alyssa and Michael's temptation is each other-- there's definitely attraction there, and maybe something a bit more. But to give in to that temptation would require them both to abandon everything and everyone they've ever cared about. It's a highly uncomfortable stalemate. 

13. Stoned Joan and the Aftermath – Aftermath, Tricky

So this is the aftermath
Your eyes resemble mine
You see as no others can
Here inherit my kingdom
Speak of our people's plan… 

Just when I thought
I was winning
Just when I thought
I could not be stopped...

Joan checks Alyssa out of Naviim House like a library book. Joan has always wished for Oracular abilities, but alas, that was not among her not inconsiderable gifts. Alyssa is just the sort of Oracle she's been waiting for. We imagined Joan basically sucked in Alyssa's essence like a hash pipe, so when Michael finds them, she's a bit stoned-- which is how Oracles are when they come down from one of their visions. 

Joan was tempted by Alyssa and she gave in. For someone who prides herself on being so disciplined and ascetic, Joan proves herself over and over to NOT have as much self-control as she thinks.  

14. Kill Me - Bury a Friend, Billie Eilish

I actually think this song could be applied to the whole book-- "When we all fall asleep, where do we go?" But it's especially relevant to Alyssa and Michael's continued, strange headgames, and Alyssa's feelings about her Terminus. "Honestly, I thought that I would be dead by now." And, above all, "I wanna end me." She really believes that Michael will be the one to kill her and fulfill her death prophecy, and it's easy to see how she arrived at that conclusion. 

Art by Mihaly Zichy

15. The Healing Kiss - Apocalypse, Cigarettes After Sex

Sharing all your secrets with each other
Since you were kids
Sleeping soundly with the locket
That she gave you clutched in your fist

Got the music in you baby, tell me why
Got the music in you baby, tell me why
You've been locked in there forever
And you just can't say goodbye...

Rather than murder her, Michael cures her. As with Vickers and the Eerin, (or Bathory and Nathan, or the Order and the Corbenese) some seriously strange bedfellows. 

16. Through the Looking Glass – The Truth, Handsome Boys Modeling School

The man in the looking glass
Is looking back at you at last
You can't hide from the truth

Because the truth is all there is...

Michael and Alyssa break the mirror. No one was watching them-- no one was ever watching them. They just had to learn to let go of their paranoia and confront the truth about themselves. 

Photo of Indus Valley Civilization ruins by Fahad Siddiqui. Inspiration for Tarweja.

17. Calamity to the Coming of the Matriarch – Believer, Imagine Dragons  

This is another song I sort of associate with the whole book. The idea of faith and belief is a major component of Cerulean life. Between breaking the mirror and finding what Michael had bequeathed to  Millie, we see how Cerulan's particular brand of religion was made.  

18. Ancestor – Don’t Call Me, Daughter, Pearl Jam 

She holds the hand that holds her down...

Millie finds out exactly what her relationship to Michael is. 

19. Michael’s Death – Carry On, My Wayward Son, Kansas

Michael releases Alyssa and pays the price-- which is exactly what his mother expected him to do. Joan was hoping it would move him to fight her, but Michael refuses to raise a hand to her. Speaking of problematic mother figures, their relationship was dysfunctional right to the bitter end.   

20. Millie Addresses the Nation – Uprising, Muse

They'll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down
And hope that we will never see the truth around...

It's really good that the people of Cerulean don't even know what dishonesty is, otherwise they might not have believed Millie's story. It also helps that the TAV system records everything, so she had the video evidence. Imagine learning your entire world was a lie.

Utopia/Dystopia, art by Jonas De Ro

21. TAV Shutdown – Kingdom Fall, Claire Wyndham

I'd rather watch my kingdom fall
I want it all or not at all
I'd rather watch my kingdom fall
I want it all or not at all
I want it all or not at all 

Painful reckoning, reckoning...

The only way the people of Cerulean can be free is to get off the TAV system. But there are, shall we say, side effects.   

22. Ghosts Unleashed – Raise Hell, Dorothy

Millie was not satisfied with only freeing the living people enslaved in Cerulean-- she had to release the souls that had been trapped there as well. The title of this song really says it all. 

23. Emotions – Revolution, The Score

For the first time, the people of Cerulean can feel the full range of their emotions. Unfortunately, this turns a lot of them into rage zombies and carnage ensues. We'd figured that a lifetime of repression meant that some of this has just been simmering beneath the surface, some of it was the sudden chemical imbalance, and some of it was just people who'd never had to control their anger before-- why would they know how to do that? And, to be fair, if I found out that Joan and her cronies had done that to me, I'd feel pretty murder-y too. 

St. Michael the Archangel among the souls in purgatory - artist unknown

24. Michael Escorting the Souls - Awake O Sleeper, The Brothers Bright

Oh, Abraham would raise his hands
And mourn this very day
For his children left the promised land;
In search of their own way
They kick and scream like wayward sons
And always wanting to sleep
And dream away these evil days
In hopes that God can't see...

Michael lives up to his namesake and guides the recently freed souls of Cerulean to the afterlife. 

25. Riot - Anarchy in the UK, the Sex Pistols

As Murphy said, "How did we get from 'I Want to Buy the World a Coke' to 'Anarchy in the UK'?" See what I said above about feeling murder-y. Also on the playlist are two other songs, both called "Start a Riot," one by the Beginners and one by Duckwrth. 

Concept art by Zy Hwang

26. Isfet – Paint it Black, Ciara

When Joan invokes Isfet, the unmaking, everything goes black. The doors to a multitude of realities have been kicked open and she just has to wait for universes to collide and topple, like dominoes. 

27. Every Magician – One for the Money, Escape the Fate

Are you ready, motherfuckers? Are you ready? Let's go!

The Corbenese to the rescue, led by none other than the Grand Master himself. He rounds up every capable magician in the empire and they go to Cerulean to restore order. 

28. Kate - See Who I Am, Within Temptation

The world is in our hands
This is not the end...

This is another song that I associate with the entire book. It's definitely not the end if Kate West has anything to say about it. 

29. Aftermath – Fallout, Unsecret

Cerulean is in ruins and their population has been decimated. The Corbenese, also, suffered terrible losses. Henri, Leo and Christophe are left to pick up the pieces.  

30. Naviim House Ruins – Kiss the Sky, Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra

It's not too late to keep the world from dying
It's not too late to spread the love you have...

Leo and Christophe see the smoking ruin that is Naviim House and have to assume that Alyssa is dead. It rips my heart out to see my prince in such agony-- thank God he has Christophe to comfort him.  

31. Jack & Alyssa – All Mine, Portishead

Make no mistake
You shan't escape
Tethered and tied
There's nowhere to hide from me

All mine
You have to be

So don't resist...

Did you catch how the Grand Master noted, "Demonic things were attracted to the chaos." Is there anything in the multiverse more demonic than Jack? I'm not sure that there is. I can tell you, of all the scary creatures and personages in this story, Jack is the one who makes regular appearances in my nightmares. And thus, the Terminus comes to pass. 

Pope Joan by mousykat, Deviant Art

32. Kate vs. Joan – Unbreakable, Fireflight

Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me...

This could apply to both women. They have their own little Thunderdome going-- two enter, but only one can leave.

33. Joan and the Staff – Push the Limits, Enigma

What has Joan been doing her whole life, but pushing limits? Social, moral, philosophical, magical-- you name it. This is Joan pushing that ultimate limit, and storming the country of death like a one-woman army.  

34. St. Matthew’s Field Reunion – Never Alone, Barlow

You're here and I'm never alone... 

Alyssa and Clayton, reunited for a minute, back where they began. I sobbed when I wrote this scene, and now I can't hear this song without tearing up.  

35. Birds in Carcosa – Fly Little Bird, Paul Weller

Carcosa lives on and winged creatures grace its sky once more, beneath a single sun.   

36. Bill’s Sacrifice – Female Robbery, The Neighbourhood

I think I found hell, I think I found something
I think I found something in my TV screen
I think I found out that I have nothing...

Bill doesn't have nothing-- he still has one more thing to trade, and greater love hath no man than this. 

37. Back to Scotland – Christmas Eve Sarajevo

Throughout the series, Christmas has always been important to our characters. It's around Christmastime on Earth when Emily, JD and Murphy return to help Kate. Again, resurrection is an important theme in this book, as are children. Christ's humble birth signals the beginning of resurrection. In pagan traditions, Yuletide is also important-- the time of the Great Hunt (which our heroes are definitely on), and Odin, the hanged god who received the prophecy of Ragnorak (the end of the world), as well as the Night of the Mothers, a time to honor our female predecessors and goddesses. 

38. Sarosh’s Sacrifice – You, Candlebox

Oh, you
It's for you
Only you

It's for you...

Sarosh is nothing without a magician to serve, but I don't think he ever would have sacrificed himself for Joan. Joan always treated him like a slave, and Kate treats him as a friend and ally. 

39. Kate Pulls the Trigger – Boadicea, Enya

There's only one way for Kate to follow Joan into the land of death. Nothing with lyrics would do. I also have on the playlist, "Death is the Road to Awe," by Clint Mansell.

Anubis by Mohamed Saad

40. The Afterlife – Hell, Squirrel Nut Zippers

In the afterlife...

I wrote the afterlife scenes in a separate file labeled "Serious Strife."

41. Masquerade – In the Mood, Glen Miller

The afterlife attendants really know how to throw a classy soiree.  

42. The Last Dance – Summertime, Charlie Parker

Kate and David finally get to have a date, but it's rudely interrupted when David turns into an elephant. Don't you hate it when that happens?

43. The Girl in the Well – Strange Creatures, Jake Bugg

Oh well a little ghost of a girl
She came to me
She's been haunting me

Strange creatures, oh yeah you and I both
Strange creatures, deep down you and I both...

The afterlife town of Excelsior has flooded. There are fires in the fields. Kate seeks refuge with none other than the James Brothers and Jonas Whitefeather. Then, things get weirder. The little girl Kate has been seeing ever since she arrived in the land of death finally reveals herself.  

44. Transformation – Dolly’s Nightmare, Robert Austin

Kate and the little girl merge. Irene Avery had to die in order for Kate West to emerge. Now, Kate and Irene merge to forge yet another persona, one even more powerful still. 

45. The Cosmic Forest – Forest Hymn, Deep Forest

Trees and uber lines-- it's both beautiful and more than a little terrifying. Kate enters as a rabbit, small and humble. 

46. The Staff of Solomon – Lion, Saint Mesa

Bring the lion out...

Kate has her second and final showdown with Joan, and proves she has no need of the staff or staff segments, unlike Joan.  

47. All the Little Girls – Thank Heaven for Little Girls, Maurice Chevalier

As I mentioned in the Book VI trivia, little girls have been a theme running throughout the series-- the children at the Royal Hotel, Katarina, Alyssa, Leto, Angelique, Daisy, Phoebe, Arabelle. Vickers and his lady, Nellie, are expecting a daughter, as are Alyssa and Leo. I also mentioned that the joke we've been setting up since the beginning was the Order of Four Sons, when it was the daughters who ended up saving the universe. You're welcome.  

48. Goodbye, Bill – Wild Mountain Thyme, James Taylor

Another funeral, another goodbye. 

49. The Wedding – Today, Smashing Pumpkins

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out

Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained...

I've always thought of this as an Alyssa song-- a song about scars, the fleetingness of life, and the unexpected pleasure of today. I wish her and Leo every possible happiness.  

Cinderella concept art by Adam Brockbank
50. Farewell and Amen - House of Gold

Let's say we up and left this town
And turned our future upside-down
We'll make pretend that you and me
Lived ever after, happily...

I can't tell you how many times I've listened to this song, envisioning our heroes returning to their respective homes, or, in Emily's case, striding off into an unknown future. All's well that ends well.


Sorry, this playlist is so long, but I hope you find it worth it. There were a lot of plot threads to tie off in this final book, and it was many years in the making. Some of these scenes we wrote as far back as 11 years ago, so it's both strange and bittersweet to see all the gaps filled in and the story complete. Thank you for making the journey with us.  

As always, please feel free to drop a comment below or shoot me a message. I'd love to hear from you.