If you’ve known me for a while, finding out that Plum Upside Down has a play list might come as a shock to you. I’ve been writing since 2002 and have always claimed that absolute silence was the only way I could work. If something had to be on, it better be music only and way in the background. Lyrics distracted me.
I’m not sure what changed or why, but I do know when. It changed in Plum Upside Down, and it was before I began writing the parts where Keanan plays his guitar for Chelsea. Somehow I came across a play list on Youtube that I really liked and started having it on in the background.
I bought quite a few of the albums in that play list then somehow lost the link to it (no, I can’t find it in my Youtube history, either). At some point, I put these albums on my phone and began streaming them when I was writing.
All the People Said Amen by Matt Maher
The Ascension by Phil Wickham
Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman
How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin
It’s Time by Brian Doerksen
While I’m Waiting by John Waller
10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman
Here are two songs that I’ve truly come to love and mentioned directly in the story. They speak to me so deeply:
Hallelujah! Your Love is Amazing by Brian Doerksen
Come and Fill Me Up written by Brian Doerksen
Keanan sings The Wedding Song by Peter Paul and Mary at Allison and Brent’s wedding part way through the novel.
A recurring theme song is Take my Life and Let it Be by Frances Havergal, now in the public domain (so I was actually free to quote lyrics). This video shows a more updated version I quite like.
Rise Up Shepherd and Follow is a Negro Spiritual carol that I imagined being sung by the nurses in Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.
Here’s an actual recording of nurses in South Africa singing as they change shifts. A friend of mine has a niece who’s worked in ICU in SBAH and says this is a common sight, and it’s what I had in mind as I wrote that particular scene in Plum Upside Down.
I hope as you listen to these songs, and perhaps look up and listen to the full albums, you’ll be as challenged as I was (and my characters were!) to savor the deep love of Jesus.
Haven’t pre-ordered Plum Upside Down yet? You can remedy that right here!