Lysander's Music Playlist
By James O'Brien
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (by Elton John)
"You know you can't hold me foreverI didn't sign up with you"
This is shows that Lysander is ready to move on, that maybe his love for Hermia was only a temporary thing, and was a big mistake.
Harmony by Elton John
I chose this song because it's a love song, but in symbolic form. Another slow tempo tune, from the classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. The soaring background vocals imply infinity, being in love forever, etc. Lysander would be listening to this when he was first with Hermia. It feels like it's about first love.
"Harmony, Gee, I really love you
And I want to love you forever
And dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony"
Lysander is clearly in love with Hermia at the beginning of the story; this represents Lysander's love for Hermia that he believes will last forever.
My Love by Paul McCartney & Wings
This song was written by Paul McCartney for his then wife Linda McCartney, and relates here to Lysander and Hermia when they were first in love. You can't get any more classic than this, it's the definition of a love song. This is yet another slow tempo love ballad, and Linda McCartney actually sings the background vocals. It was not one sided. The same thing applies to Lysander. It was not a one-sided thing, like Demetrius, but a two-sided relationship, which made both of them happy.
"Don't ever ask me why / I never say goodbye to my love
It's understood / It's everywhere with my love"
This shows that Lysander has only one thing on his mind: Hermia.
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf
This is another breakup song, which could be used to describe when Lysander breaks up with Hermia. This song emphasizes more "You are okay, just not the person I need," feeling, which was mainly present in that scene. Unlike the Elton John love songs, this has the same tempo, but is a bit more forceful, including the singing and the instruments.
"I want you
I need you
But there ain't no way
I'm ever gonna love you
Now don't be sad
'Cause two out of three ain't bad"
This is not only probably what Lysander felt, but what felt Hermia felt as well. Hermia was probably pondering what she did wrong, and how to fix this, and make it three out of three.
I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meat Loaf
This describes how Lysander thought that Hermia treated him; she pushed him too far, and now he's gone. The main body of the song has a similar tempo to the other love songs, but has a small break with a faster tempo section. The faster tempo is kind of a snap back to the realization of how things actually are.
"Oh, I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love, but I won't do that"
This could probably be some of his last words with Hermia as he fell for Helena.
Blame it on the Sun by Stevie Wonder
This would be on Lysander's playlist when he loved Helena, but Helena turned him away. This was one of the few points in his life where he might have felt completely lost. This one of the sadder love songs, with a slower tempo, but with a sadder, softer delivery. Lysander is probably trying to find a reason why something is happening, just as when something goes wrong, you try to find an explanation for it, regardless of how ludicrous it may be.
"But I'll blame it on the sun,
The sun that didn't shine,
I'll blame it on the wind and the trees
I'll blame it on the time that never was enough,
I'll blame it on the tide and the sea,
But, my heart blames it on me"
Again, Lysander is trying to find a way to explain his temporary loneliness. This is probably what Demetrius has also been feeling earlier in the book/play.
Fooled Around and Fell In Love by Elvin Bishop
This is how Lysander felt when he fell in love with Helena and broke up with Hermia. It's a mid-tempo, 6/8 style 1970s pop song, which gives a kind of mix of the moods and themes of Midsummer. It's kind of about playing the field, and doing what's best for you, even if it's not what's best for others.
"It used to be when I'd see a girl that I liked
I'd get out my book and write down her name
But when the grass got a little greener on the other side
I'd just tear out that page"
This is showing the kind of fluid place-to-place, person-to-person lifestyle that the writer has, and a miniature version of that lifestyle applies to Lysander.
Help Me by Joni Mitchell
The obvious part about this song might be about Lysander falling in love with Helena, but in reality it's about Lysander loves his freedom more than he does Hermia. This is a soft, folk-rock song, which is mostly vocalized through a contemporary style. This describes the quick, easy-come, easy-go of some relationships, and certainly Lysander's.
"'Cause I've seen some hot hot blazesCome down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin'
But not like we love our freedom"
This lyric shows that he values more his ability to do what he wants then he does his love for Hermia.
One More Minute by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Again, this shows that Lysander no longer cares about Hermia. This song is a classic 50s-60s doo-wop parody that shows, in an odd way, what it is like to break up with someone. It also shows the drastic amount of change that occurred while he fell in love with Helena.
"That's right (that's right) you ain't gonna see me cryin'
I'm glad (I'm glad) that you found somebody new
'Cause I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you"
This is showing how big of a change it has been for Lysander. If you would rather do anything for eternity than do something that is finite, then the finite something must be pretty bad. In this case the finite something is being with Hermia.
I Want You Back by the Jackson 5
Lysander would listen to this song as he's trying to win Hermia over again. This song is more upbeat, with no real bad vibes. The dancing in the video helps convey the optimism of the message. If Lysander were to go up to Hermia and play this song, Lysander would probably get his way, because this song is just that convincing.
"Oh baby, give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won't you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin', I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)"
This shows his desperation for Hermia, but more importantly, his honesty that he did something wrong.