Music in x0
The novel x0 contains references or links to the following nine songs which relate to the story. Note that all nine songs can be purchased together as a playlist from iTunes. Search under “x0: Lola’s Songs” at the iTunes store, and scroll on down to playlists.
“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper and Hyman Robert Andrew (1984) is one of Lola’s all time favorite songs and she frequently hums it while she prospects for oil and gas using the 3D visualization techniques on her computer. She always thought that the lyrics said “If you’re lost and you look you will find it, time after time ” which made it a great song to prospect by. It turns out that the lyrics actually say “you will find me.” But Lola still loves the song. See, hear and buy the song at Cyndi Lauper’s website. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com.
“We are the World” by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie (1985). This song was released the year that Lola and Alex were married and the Zeitmans quickly became big fans of the USA for Africa effort to raise money to fight starvation in Africa. When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, his role in both the song and the fundraising are what come to Lola’s mind after she learns of his death. See, hear and buy the song at the usaforafrica website. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. See the original video on the MTV website.
The first time that Lola learns of the complex and sometimes destructive history of oil exploration in Nigeria, the song “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield (1967) begins to play in her head. The haunting tune and veiled warnings of this forty year old song perfectly fit the troubled tone of the news article that she is reading and also describe the feelings of helplessness and anger that learning of this history produces. Learn about the history of the song. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com.
“Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd (1973) is the first song that Lola hears after she becomes a full fledged telepath. The lyrics cause her to reconsider telling friends and family about her new abilities. She also once lost $20 to a friend betting that the song was named “The Dark Side of the Moon.” It isn’t of course. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. Read the lyrics. Hear, buy and read about the song at the Pink Floyd webpage.
When Lola tries to think of a song that will provide Nwanyi with encouragement, the first piece of music that pops into her head is the late 50’s classic “High Hopes“. This song, which most people associate with an ant moving a rubber tree plant, was first popularized by Frank Sinatra, with music written by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com.
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (1978). Lola and her younger sister Summer sang a karaoke duet of this song together one night in 1988 after several margaritas. Their rendition hardly did this fine song justice and Lola has not sung karaoke since. However, when she searches her memory for a song to communicate telepathically to give Nwanyi strength and hope, it is not surprising that this is the song that comes to mind. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. Hear, buy and read about the song on Gloria Gaynor’s webpage.
“What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes (1993) is one of Lola’s all time favorite songs. She and her toddler daughter Ariel used to scream the lyrics together in the car on the way to day care Now, the song runs through Lola’s head whenever she encounters a situation that appears to be messed up beyond all repair. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. Hear, buy and read about the song on the 4 Non Blondes webpage.
“O.D.O.O“. by Fela Kuti (1989) As Lola learns about Nigeria from her co-workers, she discovers the sounds of highlife and afrobeat. At first she has trouble appreciating these genres which sound so different from her own favorite tunes, but the more she hears them, the better she likes them. She also gains an appreciation for Fela Kuti’s struggles for justice in Nigeria. She discovers that a musical about Fela Kuti’s life is opening on Broadway in late 2009. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. Read about the artist’s life.
When Lola is at her most distraught, a fellow telepath provides reassurance by singing a bit of the classic “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley (1977). The result? Lola becomes calm enough to do what needs to be done, and she is so grateful for the comfort that she sheds a tear of gratitude. Hear the song on YouTube. Buy the song at Amazon.com. Hear and buy the powerful version of this song performed by “Playing for Change.”
Finally if you like the idea of face painting for world peace, please check out these folks at “Playing for Change” as they sing and play instruments for world peace in this moving version of a song called “Don’t Worry“. This particular video isn’t specifically referenced in the book, but it captures Lola’s most fervent beliefs in a spectacularly moving fashion.
Why is music such a part of a book about telepathy?
As x0 explains: In modern society, popular music seems to have a surprising ability to transmit directly from mind to mind. One may hear a song “playing” in ones head, only to find that another person with mild receptive abilities will “hear’ the song also and start to whistle or hum it. This is frequently unsettling to people, and is often a person’s most concrete encounter with telepathy. (from “FAQ’s about telepathy at http://www.tothepowerofzero.org.)