Tania Chandler has put together a playlist of songs that she listened to while writing her latest novel All That I Remember About Dean Cola. The songs featured below all appear in the novel, and the rest of the songs on Tania's playlist are about memory, long lost love, and staying young forever.
Listen to Tania’s playlist on Spotify.
Leonard Cohen — ‘Suzanne’
Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ is important to the story. It’s included twice in the playlist only because I prefer Nick Cave’s version with Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen.
Nashville Session Singers — ‘Mama Hates Diesels’
‘Mama Hated Diesels’ is Sidney’s mother’s favourite song. I’m not sure if it’s sad or just corny. It’s a song my parents listened to when I was a kid, but I couldn’t find the version they had. It has stuck in my memory because, well, it’s hard to forget.
Sidney remembered her mother’s record collection. Some rock’n’roll, but mostly truck-drivin’ albums. Faye’s favourite country tear-jerker to blubber over was ‘Mama Hated Diesels’: some Australian guy singing about the suicide of a single mother jilted by a trucker; she’d been flaggin’ diesels down on the highway. It must have reminded her of Sidney’s dad, Billy. Faye had his name tattooed above a rose on her ankle. Billy had been a truck driver. Faye had met him at the truck stop where she’d had an after-school waitressing job. He hadn’t done anything romantic like dying with the lights on the hill blinding him; he’d just knocked her up and never come back. (p28)
Roxette — ‘It Must Have Been Love’
‘It Must Have Been Love’ is playing at the pub when Dean Cola returns to town.
It’s funny how little things stick in your memory, like the start of that Roxette song over the sound system. The drum machine and synthesiser sleigh-bell effect. Whispers on pillows, winters on the ground — something like that. (p273)
Taylor Swift — ‘Back to December’
There’s a reference to a Taylor Swift song because Aubrey, Sidney’s teenage next-door neighbour, is a Tay Tay fan. As is my daughter, and, while I was writing Dean Cola, that’s what we listened to every day in the car on the way to and from school. Those songs helped me get inside the head of a lovesick teenage country girl.
Tom Waits — Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)’
I added to the playlist ‘Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)’ the day I submitted the manuscript. So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear / And your tears cannot bind me anymore.