Selection One: All That I’ve Got – The Used:
This was a selection chosen for Dimmesdale, and I feel it accurate represents the original numbness that he felt, and finally, the explosion of his grief. It also talks, in parts, about how he’s “not lonely”, when he is, in fact, quite lonely. It’s a very nice picture of him having to keep away from Hester, but still remembering traces of her, these things he held in his mind but can no longer give into, that which is holding a great weight in his heart.
Selection Two: Brick By Boring Brick – Paramore
This selection was made with Hester and Dimmesdale’s relationship in mind, with allusions to Pearl in the beginning. The second verse reads, “Her prince finally came to save her, and the rest you can figure out; But it was a trick, and the clock struck twelve…” This, I feel, really sort of captures the feeling behind Hester’s tragic and incredibly brief taste of love. She was swept up in an issue with someone who was essentially like a Puritan prince, and she was blinded by this one moment of love, but it really all crashed around her. The connections to Pearl really come in in the first verse, speaking of a fairy tale and forgetting the taste and smells of a world left behind for a new one, building up your own little world because your real life is tragic, etc.
Selection Three: Carry on My Wayward Son (Lullaby)
This, again, was a selection chosen for Dimmesdale, and while the song itself is powerful, I prefer the lullaby version to the regular version for this particular purpose, as it’s a good symbol for his fragility. Now this song really hits the nail on the head. He must continue with his life, and there will only be peace for him once it has ended. He’s sort of a wayward man, in his eyes, and he’s living in all this internal confusing and conflict, and he really can’t deal with it. That only really ends when he dies.
Selection Four: Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
This is not only for Dimmesdale, but for the relationship between himself and Hester, and being a somewhat religious song, it also fits very well with the time period. The powerful lyrics like, “Your faith was strong, but you needed proof, and you saw her bathing on the roof…The beauty and the moonlight overthrew ‘ya.” Sort of show the temptation between them, the eagerness to show their love for one another, and the lyrics that follow show the tragedy that they cannot.
Selection Five: Let Her Go – Passenger
This isn’t really a song for anybody in particular, but I feel it definitely fits the feel of the book, the distance between the lovers and how difficult it is for them to let each other go and go on with their lives so their secret won’t be found out. It’s tragic, something like the song, the message essentially being something along the lines of a more severe version of “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and, “You only want that which you cannot have”.
Selection Six: Oh Glory – Panic! At the Disco
“Oh Glory” is definitely a song for Dimmesdale. The very first lines ultimately embody his predicament, his life struggle, shone when Brendon Urie sings: “I can only hope it’s true enough that every little thing I do for love redeems me from the moments I deem worthy of the worst things that I’ve done, and saves me from myself in times of envy when I’m missing everyone”, and the uncanny semblance continues in the chorus: “If I wake in the morning I only need two more miracles to be a saint. Everything I promised everyone I’d be, while I just aint.” This is quite a striking similarity with Dimmesdale’s thoughts of himself within the book, how he found he contrasted so sharply with what the people thought of him as opposed to what he really was, which is really shone when Hawthorne states, “Such was the position which the minister occupied (of a professional character, eminence of superiority, etc.)… Meanwhile, Hester Prynne was standing beside the