Meaning of the Songs Accompanying Book Two

*Spoiler Alert*  If you haven’t read Book Two and Bonus Chapter 57.5 yet, don’t read this blog post.

As previously mentioned, the songs in the 299 Days soundtrack are very significant.  They explain a chapter, a character, or perfectly describe the setting in a chapter.

Chapter 47, “The Trigger,” describes the riots that kick off the Collapse.  The song is “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” by Sublime, a song about the LA Riots.  You should watch this video and remind yourself of what a riot is like; it’s coming.

“The Easter Bunny” is Chapter 49.  It describes Grant’s explanation to Lisa of why the garage is filled with food and ammunition (“the Easter Bunny left that stuff.”)  The song is “Note to Self: Don’t Die” by Ryan Adams.  When he finally leaves, Grant is fed up with having to have hidden prepping from Lisa and he’s not willing to die in Olympia by staying there just so she can feel like everything is OK.  The key line in the song is:

Note to self: don’t change for anyone
Note to self: don’t die
Note to self: don’t change for anyone
Don’t change, just lie

Chapter 50 is “Bugging Out… Alone.”  This is when Grant leaves his home in Olympia–alone–and goes out to the cabin.  The song that perfectly describes everything going on during this drive out to the cabin is “Long Hard Times to Come” by Gangstagrass.  Listen to it.  You will understand exactly what Grant is going through.  It’s about being alone, pissed off, ready to fight, and getting ready for those “long hard times to come.”  I heard this song and immediately wrote Chapter 50 in one siting.

“He’s Gone” is Chapter 52.  This is where Lisa is coming to grips with the fact that Grant has gone.  The song for this chapter is “Heart Attack” by Low vs. Diamond.  The key lines are “Kiss the way we were good bye. …  And we try and act surprised.  As we watch the world end.”  Lisa is realizing that life as she knew it is over.  (Another amazing line from “Heart Attack” is “You should write a book about it.”  I heard that as I was deciding whether to write this book.  Huh.  Was that the outside thought?)

Bonus Chapter 57.5 is “The Car Wash.”  (Bonus chapters are side stories.  They are provided free if you sign up on the home page of  The song for Bonus Chapter 57.5 is “Right Here, Right Now” by Fatboy Slim.  Much like the scene in “The Car Wash,” the song builds and builds–until it explodes.  “Right Here, Right Now” captures Eric’s anger.  He wants justice against the corruption–and he wants it “right here, right now.”  That Friday afternoon is when and the car wash is where.  The chanting at the end of song “fear, fear, fear” expresses what Eric wants all the corrupt officials to feel, especially the one helplessly strapped into the car in the car wash.  The drum burst at 4:44 sounds like the gunfire.

“Weenie Uprising” is the name of Chapter 61.  (You should buy any book that has a chapter title like “Weenie Uprising.”)  In Chapter 61, Nancy leads the “weenies” (Grant’s term for the passive suburbanites) against Grant and the other men who want to protect the neighborhood.  Nancy hates testosterone and thinks Grant and the other men are just trying to be “macho.”   “Testosterone” by Bush, which mocks “macho” men, expresses Nancy’s view of men who want to protect the neighborhood by relying on themselves instead of the government.

Kinda makes you look at the soundtrack for the remaining books in the series and wonder what all the songs are about…