What's on Harry Potter's iPod?
With the stateside debut of the final "Harry Potter" film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," this Friday (July 15), HP fanatics are asking themselves, "What do we do now?" As for us here at Billboard.com, after sitting through seven (and soon to be eight) Potter films that featured regal yet haunting musical scores by John Williams and Alexandre Desplat (among others), we're left wondering what Harry's main jam is. The songs that pumped him up for the big Quidditch matches, or gave him the strength to face He Who Shall Not Be Named -- or at least what he listened to while trudging through his Defense Against the Dark Arts homework.
We're putting aside the fact that in J.K. Rowling's books, Harry was born in 1980, not pinning down his musical choices to any specific era. Read on to hear a choice (and telling) selection of songs from the iPods of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy, or at least what we imagine them to be.
The series' title character copes with not only puberty, but brushes with death and the dark side (ie, Voldemort) looming around every corner he turns. Add that on to the fact that Potter's still sorting out his parents' death, his rough childhood with the Dursleys, and, well, the fact that he's the most famous wizard in the world, and he's got a hefty chip on his shoulder. And we expect his musical tastes reflect that, with plenty of moody, and at times completely brooding, rock through the decades. Here's a selection of five from his iPod.
David Bowie, "Fame"
Selected lyric: "Fame makes a man take things over / Fame lets him loose, hard to swallow / Fame puts you there where things are hollow"
My Chemical Romance, "I'm Not Okay"
Selected lyric: "What will it take to show you that it's not the life it seems?"
Pulp, "Common People"
Selected lyric: "I want to live like common people / I want to do whatever common people do"
Jay-Z, "99 Problems"
Selected lyric: "I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one"
Smashing Pumpkins, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
Selected lyric: "Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames / And what do I get for my pain? /
Betrayed desires and a piece of the game"
Hermione's defining characteristic ("one of the boys") may share a name with a Katy Perry album, but we don't envision the most studious Hogwarts student to be a big mainstream pop fan. Perhaps dance music brings a jolt to her late-night study sessions, but in her jams, we think Hermione looks for strong female musicians with something to say. For her deep-down insecure side, we see a softness for singer-songwriter types, a la Ani DiFranco. And of course, her complicated relationship with Ron and her Gryffindor pride ("Gold Lion") slips into her playlists. Here's a selection of five from her iPod.
Ani DiFranco, "Not a Pretty Girl"
Selected lyric: "I am not a pretty girl / That is not what I do / I ain't no damsel in distress / And I don't need to be rescued"
Sleigh Bells, "Straight A's"
Selected lyric: "Ain't no sleep, we want straight A's"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Gold Lion"
Selected lyric: "Gold lion's going to tell me where the light is"
Robyn, "Hang With Me"
Selected lyric: "When my patience's wearing thin / When I'm ready to give in / Will you pick me up again? / Then I guess you can hang with me"
Tegan and Sara, "Here I Am"
Selected lyric: "Strong as any man / The only woman / She said here I am"
Ron may not have as much to brood over as Harry, but as the series progresses, he's got his own set of problems. Ron starts off as a bit more immature than his best friend, the Chosen One, and he certainly sees himself as misunderstood, even forgotten about among his siblings. We imagine he finds solace in heady, at times more obscure rock. Songs about longing are common for Ron, echoing his more-than-a-friend status with Hermione and his violent bouts of jealousy. Here's a selection of five from his iPod.
Radiohead, "House of Cards"
Selected lyric: "I don't wanna be your friend / I just wanna be your lover"
Weezer, "Smart Girls"
Selected lyric: "Never get enough of those smart girls"
John Lennon, "Jealous Guy"
Selected lyric: "I was trying to catch your eyes / Thought that you were trying to hide"
Arcade Fire, "Rebellion (Lies)"
Selected lyric: "Hiding from your brothers underneath the covers"
Arctic Monkeys, "This House Is a Circus"
Selected lyric: "This house is a circus, berserk as f--k"
Draco may seem, at first, as evil as any of the Death Eaters, but he's mostly misguided by daddy dearest (which he has to realize, at least on some level). We imagine Hogwarts' biggest bully puts on his meanest, cockiest mug with a helping hand from swag-heavy rappers and over-the-top punk and industrial noise. Here's a selection of five from his iPod.
Kanye West, "Monster"
Selected lyric: "Gossip gossip / N--gas just stop it / Everybody know I'm a muthaf--king monster"
Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
Selected lyric: Don't know what I want but I know how to get it / I wanna destroy the passerby"
Nine Inch Nails, "The Hand That Feeds"
Selected lyric: "Just how deep do you believe? / Will you bite the hand that feeds?"
Lil Wayne, "A Milli"
Selected lyric: "Motherfucker I'm ill!"
Everclear, "Father of Mine"
Selected lyric: "Father of mine / Take me back to the day / Yeah, when I was still your golden boy / Back before you went away"
(Additional reporting by Devon Maloney, Sarah Maloy and Alec Bojalad)