As a follow-up to my article last week about my all-time favorite book, The Catcher in the Rye, I decided that it's time to introduce 5 songs that would definitely make it onto Holden Caulfield's playlist.
1. The Catcher in the Rye by Datarock
Holden would love this song because the title is a bit obvious. I really like the part where they sing "I don't want to be no hero, I wouldn't care to wear a halo." I think this describes Holden perfectly. He doesn't want to be a hero or gain any recognition, and he is far from being an angel
2. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? by Green Day
This song would knock Holden out! The part that stands out to me is:
"There's a boy who fogs his world and now he's getting lazy,
There's no motivation and frustration makes him crazy,
He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting,
Someone help him up or he's gonna end up quitting."
The chorus literally describes Holden's situation. He gets kicked out of Pencey Prep, and he decides to go back to New York early to just walk around the city and stay in a hotel. He's not motivated and he's frustrated many adults in his world. He has a plan to be the "catcher in the rye" but he does not truly take a stand.
3. Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
"Son, when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?"
Holden is an outcast among people in society. He wants to be a savior of the innocent, because he is actually the "beaten and the damned."
"And though you're dead and gone believe me,
Your memory will carry on,
We'll carry on."
Allie's death will "carry on" in Holden's memory. In addition, Holden learns to keep on "carrying on," because he realizes that life is just a never-ending cycle.
4. Teenagers by My Chemical Romance
I believe that this song is supposed to be sending a message to Holden about teenagers and how they are corrupted by society.
"They're gonna clean up your looks,
With all the lies in the books."
Holden thinks that almost every adult is a "phony" who lies. School is supposed to make teenagers into fine, young citizens, but it doesn't fix everything.
"They're gonna rip up your heads,
Your aspirations to shreds,
Another cog in the murder machine."
Adults will rip up all his dreams and aspirations because of how corrupt society is.
"You're never gonna fit in much, kid."
That pretty much sums Holden up in a sentence.
5. Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls
"And I'd give up forever to touch you,
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow,
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be,
And I don't wanna go home right now."
I know this song might be about a girl, but it can surely be applied here to Holden! The opening line could definitely be applied to Holden's deceased brother, Allie. I feel like Holden doesn't believe he'll actually get to "heaven," so Allie is the closest thing he has to it. He does not want to go home either because his parents have yet to find out about his expulsion.
"And I don't want the world to see me,
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand,
When everything's made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am."
Holden doesn't think that people can understand him. He is a broken soul, and he's ultimately trying to find who he is and his place in this world.
Just like everyone else.