By Katie Lawson and KWUR General Body

   When it was deemed “age appropriate” to read the Hunger Games, aka when I was twelve, I thought “The Hanging Tree” was the most revolutionary concept ever. Honestly, I still do. Yes, I’m talking about the dark and haunting folk chant featured in the Mockingjay: Part One soundtrack and novel. Was I disturbed by the imagery? Yes. Did I listen on repeat as I read the series for a second time? Of course.

   But what compelled me about the song was the fact Suzanne Collins, the writer of the Hunger Games series, wrote it specifically for her series. At first, its eeriness and poignant imagery, as well as its folk style, made me feel the song had been around for much longer. I imagined it was only known by those in forgotten places, sung at times when the mourning was thick as the humidity. The fact I somehow had never encountered the tale of a lone tree with a dark past and a triumphant future by those who sing about its cruelty, made me angry: obviously, I had missed something in history class.

   But nope. Suzanne Collins made it up, and her invention creates a whole mythology and history through this small detail, adding a necessary layer to both her novels and the movie. Such a song makes me geek out, yet again, over the genius of Collins’ work even more. “The Hanging Tree” roots the novels. Panem transforms into a place Americans can find horribly familiar, while not completely isolating the rest of the world. Its specificity is just general enough, the universalism still rings out with the notes. Achieving that balance in a work of science fiction made for young adults shows the talent of Collins.

   The song hit the airwaves big time upon the movie’s release. Jennifer Lawerence is no singer, but the simplicity of her vocals and the reverence in tone make it a point of nostalgia for our generation as we grow older. I remember hearing Lawerence on the radio and it was a very serious matter. People wanted to listen.

   Upon the release of the new Hunger Games Prequal, I began thinking about the strange nature of “The Hanging Tree” and whether there were other songs like it. Songs that are not made for the arena of music, but for some other form. I’ve asked KWUR DJs about their favorite song made for a movie, TV show, video game, musical, or book.

● Fernando Gutiérrez

Fernando wants listeners to pay particular attention to the needle drop in “Across 11th Street”. It works perfectly with the movie and is always a great moment to listen to on its own. “110th Street” by Bobby Womack, Jackie Brown “Mandy Love Theme” by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Mandy “Sandalwood I” by Jonny Greenwood, Phantom thread

● Haley Levin Senior/Snack Time on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM

“Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by the Smiths, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

● Sarah Wang Senior/Dinner Date on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm

“Waters of March” by Art Garfunkel, The Worst Person In The World

● Alice Foppiani Senior/Snack Time on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM

Now, Alice’s answer technically does not fit into the genre of songs made specifically for a movie, tv show, or other piece of media. What makes this song unique is the fact this song and Abba as a whole inspired many pieces of media. In this case, genre is subverted, and such an opportunity should not be given up. “Lay All Your Love On Me” by ABBA, Mamma Mia

● Mateo Hain Senior/Utrimmed on Wednesdays 5pm

“One April Day” by Stephin Merrit, Pieces of April

● Spencer Senior/KWURPresident/S&M on Friday’s at 10:00-12:00AM

“Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News, Back to the Future

● Katie Senior/KWUR Blog Writer

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, White Christmas

● Merrin Senior/Lush Rimbaugh on Tuesday’s at 4:00 PM-5:00PM

Merrin felt very passionately about the prompt. Stating, “Gosh darn it the entire Black Panther soundtrack exists.” You can’t disagree with a point like that. Merrin felt compelled to give another, more explicit answer anyways, and for that, we salute her. “What’s Up Danger” by Black Caviar and Blackway, Spiderman: Into the SpiderVerse

● Carson Codel Senior/Codel Cove on Fridays at 3:00-4:00PM

As a jazz nut, Carson loves older works, especially Hitchcock’s filmography. He almost went on a rant on the work of this particular composer before composing himself. Saying, “Opening numbers of old film soundtracks pop the fuck off” “Vertigo’s Prelude and Rooftop” by Bernard Herrmann, Hitchcock’s Vertigo “Mia and Sebastian’s Theme” by Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

● Maeve McFadden Senior/S\&M on Fridays at 10:00-12:00AM

Maeve couldn’t remember how to pronounce Sufjan Steven’s name, making one of her picks particularly difficult to determine. After some consultation with Google, the matter was finally settled. “Decode” by Paramore, Twilight “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens, Call Me By Your Name

● Vicky Junior/KWUR Exec

“Goodbye To Love” by Phoebe Bridgers, Minions: The Rise of Gru