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"Images, quotes, music, that make me think of BATB"
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Playlists on Spotify ~  audio B&B meta story

"Clothes make the Lionman"
Essay written for the 2010 September 25 celebration
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  ruby at batbland dot com

created November 28, 2012


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Playlists on Spotify ~ audio B&B meta story

"For those on Spotify, I made several BatB themed play lists,
search for the titles below."

Needs Spotify ( or just to read, dream and play in one's mind



~ Tunnel Radio

~ Once Upon a Time In the City of New York

~ Summer Below

~ The Flame and The Bow - Third season playlist



Tunnel Radio

"I arranged the playlist semi-chronologically and thought to capture certain moods and themes of various themes and characters and the series as a whole"


"God Bless the Child," Billie Holiday.
(A well heeled medical student and his fiancee sit in a smoky club. The singer's voice wraps itself around the room, and yet the man doesn't take notice of the warning in the lyric. Why should he? He has his future laid out in front of him, as shiny as the silver comb in Margaret's hair.)

"One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)," Frank Sinatra.
(How could  it all go to ash like that? He knows the answer isn't at the bottom of this glass of cheap bourbon but he pours it down his throat nonetheless. When did winters get so cold too? His back is to the door, shut to the world. But Grace has a way of sneaking in anyway...)

"What Child Is This?," Vince Guaraldi Trio.
(A diamond bright and hard winter's night. A mewling bundle of rags. A mystery. A hopeless case. A light to lead the way.)

"The Circle Game," Joni Mitchell.
(Watching children grow up...and apart.)

"Jump Into The Fire," Nilsson.
(The city Above begins to burn, and a boy is claimed by the flames of adolescence.)

"Wordy Rappinghood," Tom Tom Club.
(Words. Words in the city, words in the tunnels. Words in books, and words on computers. Words in mouths, and words on television. Information and exchange. The city shouts and Below whispers. The boy is now a man and the man is now a teacher of words.)

"Everywhere," Fleetwood Mac.
(Springtime in New York. In darkness a man finds a woman and the midnight sky seems ablaze as with a million lights.)

"Magic Man," Heart.
(Passions. "Never seen eyes so blue," but whose? The eyes of the teacher or the eyes of the builder?

"Between A Man And A Woman," Kate Bush.
(Her hair is as a silver as her comb was now. The wreck of his memories has chained him, will he pass them on to his son?)

"One Love (Song Of The Lion)," Pat Benatar.
(Love grows and goes throw the purifying fire that strengthens.)

"Mercy Street," Peter Gabriel.
(Children always need their parents even, perhaps especially, when they're all grown up. But as autumn goes so does man. A grief observed.)

"No One Is Alone," OBC Into The Woods.
(Sometimes the listener has to be ready to hear this, but its words are healing when they're accepted. Children readily accept this. The man cannot bring himself to yet.)

"God Bless The Child," Stevie Wonder.
(Second version, second chances. The lanky blue ache of city streets at night, and the promise of a flickering candle by a warm bed.)

"Round Midnight," Ella Fitzgerald.
(The clink of dirty coffee cups in the sink, the lovely melancholy ache of memory. There are a thousand voices fluttering around the gallery tonight, he loses himself in them again.)

"Mesmerism," Dead Can Dance.
(A song for villains. For watchers, for deceivers, for the lure of madness.)

"If I Ever Lose My Faith In You," Sting.
(He commits, how can he do otherwise? He loves her too much, they've been through too much now to do otherwise. She is his true north.)

"Cinderella Op. 87 Act III: Waltz-Coda," Prokofiev.
(An invitation to the dance, and a warning. Because the ball must end and midnight is coming. The serpent in the gold mask is about to strike.)

"Here With Me," Dido.
(The man is gone. He is here. He is cold, he is warm. The place has no shape or name. He knows that he will either die  here or live again. The woman stands vigil. She will not let him go. Because he is her and she is him and they are all together.)

"Future Love Paradise," Seal.
(Love triumphant and love reborn. A union of worlds.)



Once Upon a Time In the City of New York

"I took a more impressionistic approach this time, focusing on songs for characters. And looking toward the future of the show had it continued.
(Note, in my version of classic Diana is a special investigator who works with Catherine and Joe from time to time.)"

"Opening: The New World," Songs For a New World OBC, Jason Robert Brown.
(It is an island stretching out in steel and glass on the Atlantic ocean, it is asphalt and crowds and magic, in the steam from hot dog carts to the squawking horns of taxis. Pagan goddesses rest in its museums and musicians play in the parks. But that is not all. Underneath, bathed in a strange golden light a secret civilization moves, sings, and shares. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of feet bellow ground, crystals grow and stars are impossibly reflected in pools of water. These worlds have always been separate. But not anymore...)

"Astonishing," Little Women OBC, Sutton Foster.
(It's perfect, the perfect little life. The life of yes I'll marry you. The life of diamond rings and canapes and summers on the Cape. The life of cocktail parties and ski trips. The life of his wife and the life of the boss's daughter. But something keeps her from saying yes, an itch, a flicker that will not be denied.)

"Englishman In New York," Sting.
(He still writes it "colour", and if the afternoon has passed without a pot of tea the whole day feels off. He knows they can be exasperated by him, and he wishes he could tell them, all of them, how much he loves them, and how he'd charge the gates of hell for every one of them. But he doesn't, stiff upper lip you know.)

"Invincible," Pat Benatar.
(Sugar and spice? Brooke is sweet and Laura is brave but she is strong. She isn't sugar or spice. She is honey colored hair and leather boots. She knows innocence is something to be protected, and she knows it's something you have let go off. She lost hers long ago. She has her crossbow and her mouse that scurries behind her and that is enough.)

"Children Will Listen," Into the Woods, Bernadette Peters.
(For the little ones yes, but for the grownups too. Because they need the most reminders that what they do sets the example for the young much more than what they say. And sage advice to a child who's seen too much to guard themselves but not be afraid to trust and adventure on, "Careful before you say/ Listen to me...")

"Soldier of Love," Sade.
(The weariness of the man who is scholar and sentinel. He believes, or pretends he believes, that the life of the mind is his, and love will remain something in the poems in the books that litter his space. And yet, like the strange breezes that flick and twist through this place, he will not completely abandon hope. Something is coming, he does not know where or when, but he knows that much.)

"Ordinary World," Duran Duran.
(The grind and hope of trying to make things better Above. Long, thankless hours that are completely justified in a smile, a relieved sigh, a "thank you." And the worst of it is untangled by the huntress. Cerebral, sly, with cloud pale eyes and a river of crimson hair. She is beautiful night to Catherine's light. They are wary allies, both know the other is keeping quite a few secrets. But the work is first, and they both excel at what they do.)

"Manhattan," Blossom Dearie.
(How cool and wonderful the Halloween night feels, how nice it is to have him by her side. They walk past a saxophone player and he gives them a knowing wink. Revelers in masks and costumes stream around them. They stop for a drink at bar and listen to the singer winding her notes around the piano player's. They buy coffee from a Bodega, they look at the displays in the shop windows. They have little pockets of adventure and mischief here and there. They see Kristopher sketching portraits in a club that only when they're several blocks past it Catherine remembers that it closed down years ago. They buy a hot pretzel and eat it on the observation deck of The Empire State building. They walk towards her building, he can actually escort inside tonight. They slow down and stop in front of the place. Later on, she'll wonder if it was the wine or the coffee (or the pretzel) but in that moment a coy smile plays on her lips. "Your place or mine?")

"Overture and Night Waltz," A Little Night Music, Stephen Sondheim.
(Great big notes for the Great Hall being aired out for another Winterfest. Pine boughs being brought in for decoration, and cedar chips being put in the braziers. Tradition and memories. The waltzes played by musicians growing more able every year, the waltzes yet to be played. The stories woven into the tapestries and the stories spinning out among the players laughing and talking underneath them.)

"Never Be Mine," Kate Bush.
(He can build a city but he cannot have her. He understands, well almost understands, that now. He will always wonder why, but she has changed him. He's tired of chasing the brass ring, in truth he's always wanted to open a club. He does, puckishly naming it the Carousel Club.)

"For Once In My Life," Stevie Wonder.
(Sometimes when we get not just what we want but what we need it can be terrifying, but it can be wonderful too. This is a song that spins on a rooftop party of a Helper's building in summer under the stars with bright colors and tunnel clothes shed down to the bottom layers in the July heat. Children of helpers and tunnel kids run around the edges laughing with sparklers in their hands.

It's also the song of the painted horses that decorate the walls of the club, and the music is some of the best in town coming from a young man he knows was sent by Catherine. Little by little, without his realizing it, it has become a place where the magic is let in.

Where a former addict can be a great musician, where a mysterious redhead can meet for an after work drink with her coworker. Where after nearly breaking up over the risks she's taking they make passionate love in the elevator on the way to her loft.

Where Catherine can take advantage of a private room, the builder knows she's never alone in there but does not knock. Just makes sure they're not disturbed and a bottle of champagne is sent over. He has a date tonight with a former ballerina. He loves her because he sees that underneath the glittering persona is a poor kid as frightened as him. And she knows this and loves this about him too. A song for summer and fireworks and cool limeade drunk out of chipped mismatched cups.)

"Magnificent," U2.
(We've zoomed in into the bedrock of the city, now it's time to go, but with the knowledge that life will continue. If "only love can heal such a scar" it has, tenfold. There will be children to teach, and tunnel no longer children to get through college. There will be new clubs to open, and new, or familiar, people to run them. There will be new cases, new troubles, new dangers, new solutions. There will be change, there will hope, there will be love. To quote the angel that graces the fountain in the park, the great work begins.)



Summer Below

"The show is most associated with autumn and winter, so I thought it would interesting to create one for the warm to the dog days of summer. This a much more free form track list in keeping with the season, slipping from past to future, calling up memories and individual moods"


"Subterranean Homesick Blues," Bob Dylan.
(Summer's heat and dizzying swirl of activities touches even the measured days of Below. Children race orange box scooters outside Helper's stores. Children grow into lanky teens making their first visits Below. A 15 year old Lin brings Vincent his first ice cream sodas and his first comics. Batman is his favorite.

New faces seeking shelter in the cool bedrock appear, familiar faces pack patched together satchels to make new stars at schools and places far away when the season ends. It's the time of eating popsicles in the blazing sunlight of the park and juicy watermelon at night under the stars on the tar paper roof of a Helper's apartment building. It's time of switching wool for cool linen tunics and patchwork skirts.)

"Too Darn Hot," Ella Fitzgerald.
(Ella is one of Catherine's favorites. He can always tell it's been a good day when he comes to the balcony and hears her gently pouring out from the stereo. She's waiting for him one night, a scorcher, even the cover of the night sky is no relief.

He smirks at the tune, she grins, tells him she thought it was appropriate. She asks if he'd be interesting in joining her for a pitcher of ice tea she has waiting in the kitchen. He doesn't even bother to pretend to be shocked, but says he'd be delighted to...)

"Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard," Paul Simon
(Devin and his brother raising hell, having a ball, and watching the stars in a junkyard late into the night. It's a 13 year old Devin who shows him his first Playboy. And it's Devin who bloodies Mitch's nose for a hateful remark. It's the last heady days of freedom for the both of them for a good long while. And it will be the song of Devin's daughter Gracie, but that's another story...)

"There Is a Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute," Barnum OBC.
(His song of the road, traveling from job to job, persona to persona. The song of performers, hucksters, hustlers and show biz. Samantha gasping in delight watching a trapeze act. Sebastian traveling the vaudeville circuit in his younger days. The cheer of hot popcorn and families gathered around the old man in the park, watching him pull doves out a  hat.)

"The Weight," The Band.
(She's all elbows and knees, a tall young girl. But it's her eyes, nobody that young should have eyes that old and sad. But she does, and she needs a place to stay. They leave her alone at first, wondering what will become of her. Then one night they hear her singing this to a child sick with fever, slow and sweet rocking her back to sleep in the gloom of the infirmary. Mother Mary.)

"Apocalypse Please," Muse.
(The quiet, strained looks. The Incident they don't talk about. The sickness, the beautiful, twisting madness. The boy becoming the father of the man. The city on fire above and in blackout darkness. Watching a young man burn and change.)

"You Can't Always Get What You Want," The Rolling Stones.
(Hurt and healing. The dancer goes away and becomes a great star. The boy becomes a man and starts building his life in books. A young woman's husband dies and so she thinks her heart as well. Then one night she brings fresh clothes to a new face...

It's a girl who has never known want but has known hurt placing a white rose on a grave before she leaves for boarding school. "I hope you're proud of me Mama." And it's the girl growing into womanhood getting closer to that fateful night in the park.)

"Because the Night," Patti Smith.
(She is cool and cerebral, he is earthy and impulsive. She is flame red hair and stillness mistaken for coldness, he is dogged decency and courage mistaken for ignorance. Together they are a chemical reaction, and they are a man and woman alone in a New York City loft one summer night lying exhausted on the floor. He offers to go to out and get some coffee ice cream. She accepts.)

"Open Your Heart," Madonna.
(Eighties gloss, and sheer eighties pop fun. It blasts from a boom box as The Builder and The Dancer fix up the club as it gets close to opening. They end up dancing together on top of a table until the tape ends.)

"You're So Cool," (True Romance OST)
(The season ends, but not without magic. Catherine and Vincent walk hand in hand down the shore, stopping to stuff their pockets with seashells. The surf washes over their toes and the sun dips down with a rare green flash. She can arrange anything he believes, and she sees he finally has the courage to accept, everything.)


The Flame and The Bow

Third season playlist


"Seven Devils" Florence + The Machine
(An act of great love tragically opens the door for a great evil. Gabriel is coming.)

"Top of the City" Kate Bush
(Confusion, regret, not saying what you needed to in time, long nights looking out the window at the dancing lights of the city, thinking, wishing.)

"The Stolen Child" Loreena McKennitt
(A mournful lullaby from a mother who knows she won't see her child grow up, but her love is for always.)

"Song of Sophia" Dead Can Dance
(A primal, keening wail of grief. Holding her body against yours for the last time, the pitiless night stretching out around you.)

"Outside Chance" The Turtles
(A taunt, a helpless chase. A rebuke as sharp and cold as Snow.)

"Have a Little Faith in Me" John Hiatt
(But what is this? In the dark and howl of misery a ray appears. A ray red as blood, a ray as bright as copper, and just as firm and true. A wary huntress starts down the path of her destiny.)

"Step By Step" Jesse Winchester
(Putting it together, pulling together allies, stringing the bow and aiming it straight at the devil's heart.)

"Sign O The Times" Prince
(A decade turns, an addict finds his music again, friends are lost, friends are found, it's a frightening new world. Let's have each other's backs.)

"Crazy Love" Ray Charles and Van Morrison
(Raspy, morning coffee blues and smiles. A barren rose bush blooms. She has made him live again.)

"As" Stevie Wonder
(It's waking up with Jessica and letting her go. It's loving Mary for good. It's Olivia and Kanin naming their next child Stephen. It's Brooke catching Michael's eye at Winterfest and joining him at his first teaching assignment the following autumn. It's Diana and Vincent entwined in blankets on her roof, the stars laughing around them.)

"7" Prince
(Like gold through the fire he is stronger for his sorrows. They all are. His Catherine is in his heart and his memories. She is in his son, grown lanky tall and carrying his little sister on his hip. She has has her mother's fiery hair and her father's enigmatic smile. She is Miranda, born from a Tempest of loss and despair made right. She is the dawn of the new day, and her brother is its promise. Life will not abide not continuing on and on and on...)

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