Soundtracks - Julia Quinn


Some songs remind me of characters, some of plots. Some are the melodies I had on repeat while writing. Every book has a soundtrack...

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Soundtrack for The Duke and I

  • “Take My Hand” by Dido

    I love this song. There is something about the relentless beat under the soaring melody that seems so urgent. It’s a surprisingly good song to exercise to! And I love the image of Simon taking Daphne’s hand and letting her help him heal.

  • “Mouth” by Merril Bainbridge

    This song fits for so many reasons. Sometimes I feel it is Daphne (minus the part about being famous on TV.)
    Note from JQ in 2023: Irony alert! Daphne is now TOTALLY famous on TV.

  • “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys

    This song makes me tingle. Somehow the emotion really fits the book.

  • “Pretty in Pink” by Psychedelic Furs

    I don’t care how many pink covers I get for my books–The Duke and I will always be my Pink Book!

    And now it’s green!
    Note from JQ in 2023: it’s no longer green. But it’s also no longer pink.


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Soundtrack for The Viscount Who Loved Me

  • “Cynical Girl” by Marshall Crenshaw

    Cynical girls unite! Love love love this song! It’s impossible to listen without grinning.

  • “When Heroes Go Down” by Suzanne Vega

    “I heard you say you look out for the feet of clay.
    That someone will be falling next without the chance for last respects.”

    I’m not one of those authors who “talks” to her characters, but if I were, that’s what I’d say to Kate. This whole song feels like Vega is narrating a fabulous battle of wills. If you’ve never listened to 99.9Fº (the album that features this song) I highly recommend you give it a listen. It’s brilliant!

  • “The Mind of Love” by k.d. lang

    She doesn’t spell Katharine right (she uses Kathryn) but I love how the song is about a Kathryn fighting falling in love.

  • “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon

    The theme song to the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me? How could I not?

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Soundtrack for An Offer from a Gentleman

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Soundtrack for Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

  • “Heavy Things” by Phish

    “When I tried to step aside, I moved to where they hoped I’d be.”

    Whenever I hear that line it makes me think of Penelope. And Colin, for that matter. They were both trying to carve out their own places in the world and kept finding themselves pigeonholed by society. Plus, I think that if Colin were a modern guy, he’d be a bit of a Deadhead (and by extension, a Phish fan).

  • “Legend of a Cowgirl” by Imani Coppola

    I love this song! It just screams Girl Power to me. I can totally see a modern-day Penelope singing it at the top of her lungs if she didn’t think anyone was home.

  • “Virginia Woolf” by Indigo Girls

    A wonderful song about the power of the pen, especially in the hand of a woman.

  • “Babylon” by David Gray

    I listened to this song so often while I was conceiving and writing this book. We were living in London while my husband was studying at the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and we only brought about ten CDs with us (this was 2001; no streaming yet!). David Gray’s White Ladder was one of them, and amazingly, I never grew sick of it.

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Soundtrack for To Sir Phillip, with Love

  • “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon & Garfunkel

    I think this might be the most romantic song ever recorded. And I sometimes thought of this book in my head as For Eloise, Wherever I May Find Her.

  • “Your Mother Should Know” by The Beatles

    Violet turned out to be the greatest surprise in the Bridgerton series. I had no idea when I began that she would emerge as such a wonderful and fully-realized character. I think it was in this book, however, that we first saw just how wise and perceptive she could be.

  • “Life on a Chain” by Pete Yorn

    “I was waiting over here for life to begin.”

    Doesn’t that sound like Phillip?

  • “Someday Someway” by Marshall Crenshaw

    One of my favorite parts of this book was how Phillip is such a guy. He doesn’t want to talk about things over and over (like Eloise), and the truth is, women just baffle him. Which makes the refrain “Someday, someway, maybe I’ll understand you” totally apt.

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Soundtrack for When He Was Wicked

  • “Tell Her This” by Del Amitri

    Such a beautiful, sad (and yet hopeful) song. I listened to this one a lot while I was writing this book, and it always put me in the right mood.

  • “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake

    Okay, I know this song wasn’t remotely out while I was writing this book, but When He Was Wicked is unquestionably my sexiest book, and I LOVE this song.

  • “Cut Me Down” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

    “I’ve been bought and sold
    and I’ve been hung upside down
    so you can hear me breathing.
    Do you think it’s easy?”

    I honestly can’t pick which lyrics most feel like Michael to me. It could be the above, or it could be:

    “I’ve been aching all through summer. I’ve been waiting just to fall. Cut me down.”

    Lloyd Cole and the Commotions are such an under-appreciated band. I discovered them during my gap year in England (1987-88; yes, I’m that old), and I’ve loved them ever since.

  • “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna

    If “Cut Me Down” is Michael, then “Don’t Tell Me” is Francesca, especially:

    “Tell me love isn’t true. It’s just something that we do.”

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Soundtrack for It’s in His Kiss

  • “History Repeating” by Propellerheads and Miss Shirley Bassey

    I couldn’t begin to tell you why, except it seems like a song Hyacinth would like, and it was the theme song for So Graham Norton (which I was addicted to when I lived in London in early 2001) and I know that Hyacinth would love that show.

  • “Here it Goes Again” by Ok Go

    I just think that anyone married to Hyacinth would be heard uttering, “Here it Goes Again,” a lot.

  • “Sitting Still” by R.E.M.

    Does anybody know the words to this song? Seriously. Anyone? I can only figure out about 15%, but I am fairly certain Michael Stipe sings “waste your time sitting still” a number of times, and if anyone would find sitting still a waste of time, it would be Hyacinth.

  • “It’s in His Kiss” by Betty Everett

    But of course! Plus if you do an iTunes search for “It’s in His Kiss,” I come up! (for the audiobook.)

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Soundtrack for On the Way to the Wedding

  • “Seven Nation Army” The White Stripes

    Okay, so only two of Gregory’s seven sibs were present at the ill-fated wedding, but every time I hear the line: “A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back,” I picture Gregory fighting his way to the altar.

  • “Belleville Rendez-Vous” from The Triplets of Belleville

    I watched the animated movie The Triplets of Belleville right when I was getting to work on On the Way to the Wedding, and I was so hooked by the music that I listened to the soundtrack constantly.

    A little something about the movie: Usually when I watch a movie or read a book, I can understand how someone might have thought of the idea, even if I myself could never have thought of it. With The Triplets of Belleville, I honestly don’t understand how anyone thought of it–it’s that fantastical and inventive.

    I’m still aghast that “Belleville Rendez-Vous” lost out best song at the Oscars to that boring Lord of The Rings thing.

  • “They” by Jem

    I was listening to Jem’s debut album Finally Woken pretty much whenever I wasn’t listening to The Triplets of Belleville soundtrack. I picked the first track because it reminds me a lot of the end of the On the Way to the Wedding, but the whole album is fabulous.

  • “The Impression that I Get” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

    “I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested. I’d like to think if I was, I would pass.”

    This line just always makes me think of Gregory (who did get tested, and I think he passed!)

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Soundtrack for The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown

  • “Like the Weather” by 10,000 Maniacs

    So much of this story (and indeed, the entire anthology) revolves around the weather. The winter of 1813-14 was the coldest on record in London, and the Thames really did freeze over!

  • “Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band

    This one seemed fitting, given how everyone is crashing into each other at the skating party. But more than that, I have always found this song intensely romantic.

  • “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order

    I don’t write very many love triangles in my books, but I did in “36 Valentines.”

  • “That’s Just What You Are” by Aimee Mann

    You don’t often find such deliciously bitter songs on my playlists, but this one was just perfect, considering that “36 Valentines” opens with Susannah having been jilted by the hero’s brother. Plus (and I swear I only realized this after I chose the song), they share the same last name. Susannah’s eventual love is David Mann-Formsby, and his brother (who marries Harriet Snowe) ends up with the best sort of revenge: the name Clive Snowe-Mann-Formsby.

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Soundtrack for Lady Whistledown Strikes Back

  • “Rumour Has It” by Adele

    This one would work for any story with Lady Whistledown…

  • “If I Had $1,000,000…” by Barenaked Ladies

    When Peter falls in love with Tillie, he is very concerned about being thought a fortune hunter. I’d like to think that if he did have $1,000,000 (or whatever the pound sterling equivalent would have been in 1816) he wouldn’t have bought her a monkey. But he probably would have bought her a green dress.

  • “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon

    Continuing the theme… This is one of my favorite songs of all time, off one of my favorite albums of all time…

  • “New Slang” by The Shins

    This is such a beautiful, wistful song. There is a lot that’s fun in “The First Kiss,” but there is also a lot that is sad. Tillie is mourning her brother, who died in the Napoleonic wars, and Peter is trying to adjust to life in London after years as a soldier. The words are rather poetic and can be interpreted in many ways, but the melody fits the story perfectly.

The books and the shows come together here.