Along side Jane Eyre, in Literature class during the past couple of weeks we read a more contemporary novel, Another Place at the Table, which is a collection of stories from a foster mother. At the end we had to do a project relating to the book and I put together a soundtrack for a possible movie adaptation that could be created for the book.
The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
This song’s main theme is loneliness and despair among other things and often references churches, which reminds me of Gracie and her abandonment and early life before being taken into the foster care system.
Andrew Jackson Jihad – Who Are You?
The song’s lyrics are all about the theme of child abuse and abandonment, a theme at the center of Another Place at the Table. The song discusses neglect and as well regret and loathing of an absent or unqualified parent.
Noah and the Whale – Shape Of My Heart
The lyrics are about the emotional scarring that stays even after the physical damage is healed and how pushing down those feeling only worsens it. This is similar to how every foster child that Kathy took in had problems that maintained years after they were removed from the terrible situation that harmed them.
Tears for Fears – Mad World
I think these lyrics would really resonate with foster kids in general, and can also be applied to those helped by Kathy as well. The words make remind me of the constant changing and moving around of the children and their feelings of hopelessness and sorrow in their chaotic lives.
Muse – Guiding Light
Kathy Harrison brought in the most poorly treated and abused children and was there for them whenever she was needed. She acted as an anchor in their chaotic lives. Guiding Light is about being someone who is always by your side when things are at their worst.
The Shins – Nothing at All
My idea for these lyrics are that they are describing a change of location or belief and the realization that we shouldn’t be bond by our past and instead we should be content with where we are now. It relates quite a bit to the change of lifestyle of each foster kid and their problems associated with their pasts.
Broken Bells – The High Road
This song is about the things that happen in our lives that are terrible (death, abuse, abandonment, drug addiction, etc.) and how we shouldn’t let these things take hold of us, which is good advice to both the foster children (for their abuse and hard life) and Kathy (for her difficult time caring for some of the kids such as Audrey, and her remorse when David’s brother died).
Phoenix – Everything Is Everything
In my opinion, the lyrics are stating everything counts, even the harmful and terrible events. One can’t just erase these memories and move on, they are terrible and shouldn’t have happen but they shape who that person is and it’s part of who they are. Again, this is relating to the foster kids, as they are the focal point of the book, and what they may be feeling about their situation.
And here a link to a YouTube playlist of the songs I used in the Project.