Songs that Give You Chills

I was driving home from the grocery store last week, thinking that I needed to give the hero of my work-in-progress more depth, when “Catch My Breath” by Kelly Clarkson came on the radio. I got chills. I instantly knew that was how my hero felt. As soon as I put away the groceries and took care of the cat and dog, I went on YouTube. When I typed in Kelly’s name, I saw a list of songs that could be used to help form a lot of characters. Clarkson was the first American Idol winner in 2002 (I remember voting for her). She’s the most successful singer of all the winners, and looking at the songs she’s put out in the last eleven years, I’m not surprised. Not only does she have a great voice, but she chooses – and writes – songs that are amazing and touch us emotionally.

I chose the video above because it has the lyrics. Here are some lyrics from a few of her other songs that would fit fictions characters in books:

“Miss independent”

Miss self-sufficient
Miss keep your distance
Miss unafraid
Miss out of my way
Miss don’t let a man interfere, no
Miss on her own
Miss almost grown
Miss never let a man help her off her throne
So, by keeping her heart protected
She’d never ever feel rejected
Little miss apprehensive
Said ooh, she fell in love

“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”

You think you got the best of me
Think you’ve had the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I’d come running back
Baby you don’t know me, cause you’re dead wrong

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over cause you’re gone

“Because of You”

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I’ve learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

What songs have lyrics that give you the chills and would fit a fictional character?

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8 Responses to Songs that Give You Chills

  1. Amy Atwell says:

    Great choices, Edie. You’re right–these songs could be anthems for certain heroines. A bunch of songs go through my mind. I was singing along to Queen’s greatest hits the other day, and thinking how emotionally-driven We Are The Champions is. Not just a thumping beat, but great, heartfelt lyrics. And just yesterday, my husband and I looked up the background on a Blood, Sweat and Tears hit because it sounded like it should be in a Broadway show. Turns out it wasn’t, but the lyricist had written a number of big hits in the late 60s/early 70s. She’d also written One Less Bell To Answer (made big by Marilyn McCoo). Now that’s a very different character anthem, a woman who is quietly heartbroken after her man has left her. Maybe that’s just a sign of how women have adapted in society during the bast 50 40 years!
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …The Classics Are, Well… Classic.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, I loved One Less Bell To Answer! And I think some women are still quietly heartbroken. Though now it’s okay to be really pissed off. 🙂

  2. Edie,
    I’m a fan of Kelly Clarkson’s music, too, and I always thought “Because of You” told such a story of heartbreak. I can imagine how difficult it would be for the heroine of that song to learn to love again…
    As for lyrics that give me chills, in a story I’ve been working on, one of the characters suffers the loss of a beloved family member. When I heard Led Zeppelin’s “All My Love” on the radio recently and really listened to the lyrics closely (they were written after Robert Plant’s son died), I thought immediately of my character. Couldn’t get that song out of my head!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Cover Reveal: A Summer in Europe…in Polish!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Marilyn, whenever I heard Kelly and Reba sing “Because of You,” I felt that heartbreak. To me, it was watching her mother that made her so cautious and afraid to take chances.

      And listening to Eric Clapton singing Tears in Heaven always gives me chills, too.

  3. Amy says:

    I like reading a book and then looking at an author’s website to see if they have a playlist for a book or anything. It is amazing how songs can really fit a character and a story. I love music as much as I love books so I really enjoy them together! I also find it fun when characters talk about specific songs or bands in books. I always go look up the song or band if I haven’t heard it. One of my fave Kelly Clarkson songs is a duet between her and Jason Aldean – “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Thanks for the fun post, Edie!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, I don’t listen to music while I write, so I don’t have playlists. But I love it that so many songs tell a story. Miranda Lambert’s songs tell stories, too. And Taylor Swift is famous because of her story songs.

      I can’t remember the “Don’t You Wanna Stay” duet, and I’m going to look it up now. I should be prepping for dinner tonight. lol

  4. Misty Evans says:

    Music and writing go hand-in-hand for me, Edie. I always have a playlist for my characters and books and use it to get motivated or put me in the mood to write. I voted for Clarkson, too, and have all of her albums.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Misty, I haven’t done that for my characters, though in Dragon Blues, I listened to a lot of blues music – which I love, so no hardship there. And I mentioned songs often. I think I’ll do the same in my next book!

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