Friday, April 1, 2011


SONG #6: "Across the Universe" by Rufus Wainwright.

One of my favorite covers. If you haven't heard it, it's really beautiful, and the video (featuring a baby Dakota Fanning!) is amazing as well. I absolutely love the original Beatles song (I have every Beatles song memorized, including the ones in German. Thanks Mom!) and the cover gives it a sunnier feel, which worked well for IS. It's a little more intense but at the same time more joyous. It's definitely a different feel from the original, but the song is strong enough to be able to withstand anything anyone does to it, I'm pretty sure. The version from the movie Across the Universe is also beautiful.

One of the reasons this version really worked for me is the passion and the level of insistence in it. "Nothing's gonna change my world" is an ambiguous statement--is it a peaceful statement, a refusal of something, or a regret?--and this version puts a lot of power behind that line. So I hear a refusal in it. I'm not going to allow anything to change my world. And that works very well for Chase.

The thing is that Chase's world isn't exactly normal, which is why I chose the passage I've chosen for this song.

I mentioned in the last post that there's a turning point here, and it's the shift to the romantic/sexual/whatever part of the book, when things get less simple for Chase. Except that lack of simplicity isn't just about the girl next door.

It's just a little thing. And this whole element is in little things. But it's worth confirming, I think.

Some reviewers have mentioned that there are weird moments between the siblings. That there are times that relationships seem uncomfortably intimate, and almost...incestuous. I picture them kind of whispering this, with a sad little glance my way, like, poor hannah didn't notice this.

So let's just say that yes, I noticed it, and that this isn't the kind of thing I would do accidentally. Full stop.


Limitless undying love which
shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world


We're quiet, lying in the sand, watching the stars, while Lucy crawls slow circles around us. I drop a few more notes.

I say, “Can I ask you something?”

She exhales. “Of course, Chase.”

“What's the deal with you and Noah?”

She laughs. “What's the deal with
you and Noah?”

--p. 95

Playlist so far:

1) "Turn Up The Sun" by Oasis
2) "Island in the Sun" by Weezer
3) "Just Like Heaven" by Gatsby's American Dream

4) "Bigger Than My Body" by John Mayer
5) "New Soul" by Yael Naim
6) "Across the Universe" by Rufus Wainwright


Janelle Alexander said...

Love that song! And the video!

Interesting excerpt too..... *ponders*

Frxnk said...

Cool cover and baby Dakota Fanning is kind of adorable.

K.V. Briar said...

Very cool song :) Interesting passage. I'm stoked for the book! My fiance has always been totally creeped out by Dakota (something about how she seems like a forty year old in a tiny little girl body, ha ha) but I think she's so cute.

Lisa Eckstein said...

This is one of my favorite Beatles songs. I'd probably heard that cover before, without knowing who it was by, and I agree it's a really nice version. Cool video, too.

I loved the almost-incestuous moments. Sometimes they did make me pause and think, "Are siblings really like that?", but yes, some siblings sometimes are like that.

Liana said...

hmmmmm... this post definitely made me more interested in the book. ;)

hannah said...

That's what I like to hear.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Rufus Wainwright is a god. I don't think I've heard a song by him that I didn't like. Reading about the 'almost incestuous' relationship will give me a little something extra to think about when I read IS.