If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Le Petit Prince, or as we Americans know him, the Little Prince.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince is one of the most well-loved characters in children’s literature. He lives all by himself on a planet the size of a house, complete with three small volcanoes, a rose, and a bunch of persistent baobab trees, but wishes to explore the rest of the universe, and so sets out, meeting various ineffective adults, each inhabiting their very own planet, as he does so. The real thematic crux of the story, however, is summed up by what a certain fox says to the Prince when the two meet: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” A more twee sentiment we’ve never heard. Accordingly, we’re confident that our delicate, emotional prince would listen to mostly twee and indie pop, or at least focus his interests that side of the cuteness spectrum. Here’s what we think he would demand illustrated sheep, visit planets, and fall in love with his rose to.
“Nuit Avec Une Amie” — Standard Fare
This light, jangly and sweet track from twee darlings Standard Fare would be right up our wide-eyed prince’s alley. Plus, we think an American version of our prince would inexplicably be drawn to songs with French titles…
“Me and the Major” — Belle & Sebastian
If there’s a more perfect Belle & Sebastian fan than the little prince in this great big world (or even this great big universe), we’d like to meet him. We think this song would be particularly appealing — after all, it’s basically about the failures of grownups, something the little prince knows a lot about.
“A Teenager in Love” — The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The modern twee kid has The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on constant repeat. Though the teenager in this song is in love with “Christ and heroin,” which is pretty irrelevant, we think the opening couplet is very prince-like: “Now you go unseen, perfect you’ll stay hidden/ And I can dream of things you’ll never see…”
“You’re Kidding Aren’t You” — The Field Mice
If you’re going to listen to the new stuff, you have to listen to the genre standbys as well. We bet the prince would have this album on vinyl (in addition to keeping it on his iPod, of course), and display it proudly by volcano number two in all its mauve glory.
“This and That” — Acid House Kings
These Swedish indie poppers are the perfect combination of sweet and sad for our little prince: “Do you understand?/ This might be the perfect start/ Something pure in you/ No more late night television hours/ Or sleepless mornings/ I’m looking forward to the change”
“Sleepy Tigers” — Her Space Holiday
If nothing else, ‘sleepy tigers’ sounds like something the prince would request drawn. As long as they were too sleepy to eat the sheep, that is. But we think he would love this bouncy, weird track nonetheless, being just as excitable and darling as he is.
“Perfectly Perfect” — Elizabeth & the Catapult
We think the dulcet tones of Elizabeth & the Catapult would send the little prince reeling around his home planet, dancing as he pulled up baobab tree after baobab tree.
“Falling and Laughing” — Orange Juice
Another pillar of the twee pop genre, Orange Juice is just cute enough. But the lyrics to this song could be the prince talking to his rose: “You may think me very naive/ taken as true/ I only see what I want to see…”
“Indian Summer” — Beat Happening
The perfect song for any young boy’s coming of age story.
“Good Year for the Roses” — Elvis Costello
Like any smitten boy, the prince would compulsively fill his iPod with songs that he imagines were written from him to his beloved. This is one of those.