It must be sickeningly apparent by now that I like music. I can even play guitar well enough to not get laughed at to my face. I’ve bought enough recorded music over the years to fill a small record store. Selling a collection of old punk vinyl partly financed my coming to America in the first place.
All three of my books namecheck copious songs and copious singers. Permafrost skewed towards country for the most part. Mission got a little more adult alternative. For Colorblind things stayed close to these two genres with some notable exceptions; Tom himself played and sang a selection of dated rock stuff mostly pulled from the sixties and seventies, and a handful of New Orleans music was shamelessly plugged as the narrative settled down in the Crescent City.
This list of music from the third book is far from comprehensive. Lots of artists are mentioned by name, but not by song titles (Two Gallants, Irma Thomas, Britney Spears, and Sham 69 to name a disparate few). The Gretchen Peters track wasn’t named but enough background information was provided to justify (to me anyway) its specific inclusion. Ditto for Badfinger’s “Baby Blue.” There are probably close to five million versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluiah” out there and Jeff Buckley’s is my favorite, although both John Cale and Rufus Wainwright do the original proud in my humble opinion.
Speaking of Jeff Buckley; I had several real-life singers in mind when I wrote about Logan Kind in Colorblind. In the end his character ended up being a composite of several people, some passed away and others very much alive. Jeff Buckley was certainly one of the people I selectively borrowed from and I make no apologies for that. He died much too young and left behind Grace, one breathtakingly beautiful full-length recording, from which his rendering of “Halleluiah” is taken.
So, in largely the order in which they appeared in the narrative, here is the almost complete song list from Colorblind, which is also available as a playlist on Spotify.
Heart of Gold by Neil Young
This Town by Steve Earle
Action by the Sweet
Angie by the Rolling Stones
When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin
Dark Angel by Gretchen Peters (not technically named in the book)
Perfect Day by Lou Reed
Halleluiah by Jeff Buckley
Soul Love by David Bowie
House of the Rising Sun by the Animals
City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman
Maggie May/Reason to Believe by Rod Stewart
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers
Shrimp and Gumbo by the Rebirth Brass Band
Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Desperado by the Eagles
St. James Infirmary by Allen Toussaint
Baby Blue by Badfinger
Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones
Here Comes the Sun/Let it Be/In My Life by the Beatles
You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash
Abide With Me by Mahalia Jackson
I Wanna Be Loved by You by Marilyn Monroe