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MUSIC A soundtrack to the book and soon-to-be TV series 'Fire and Fury'

Published 19 Jan 2018 11:23AM

Words by Skyler Hust | Staff Writer

“Fire and Fury” is a 2018 exposé book written by Michael Wolff about Donald Trump’s first 9 months in office. It reveals the corruption of Trump’s campaign staff, the utter chaos inside the White House, and, as if we needed to be reminded, the inadequacy of Trump.

“Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book,” Trump tweeted. Wolff replied: “Not only is he helping me sell books, but he’s helping me prove the point of the book.”

This book has most certainly added its share of noise and chaos to the presidency that is Trump’s, and in recent news, is set to become a TV series.

Here are some beginning possible song choices for the drama that is and will be “Fire and Fury.” For best effect, play each song whilst reading its short explanation.

1. The Fire Begins // or “The Habanera” - Accademia Secolo XXI

The Habanera, or "L’amour est un oiseau rebelle," is the famous opera piece from Carmen that you have heard before, its french lyrics shimmying and scoffing at the lawlessness and unpredictability of love. I’ll say that again: lawlessness and unpredictability. Remind you of someone?

Press play on The Habanera and imagine this: Michael Wolff approaches Donald Trump and asks if he can be a fly on the wall, to stick around for nine months in order to write about Trump’s beginnings at the White House. Trump concurs, only because he liked an article Wolff had written about him the year prior, in the Hollywood Reporter.

Everything begins safely and nonchalantly. In nine months time, Wolff conducts over 200 interviews with Trump (whether Trump knew they were interviews or not—that is uncertain) and is granted access as a witness to numerous events and behind-the-scenes conversations at the White House. But.Then.

This part is best imagined in slow motion. Trump’s eyes widen, his jaw becomes jagged in rage, his small waft of yarn-hair stands in electric shock, he walks, no, he lurches, to call his trusty lawyers. With his phone in hand, he swings between anger and parochial certainty of his safety and innocence, the occasional spike of bilious wrath sending a twitch to his left shoulder.

The song and emotion dance in harmony as “Habanera” also oscillates between steady certitude and peaks of exclamation.

Bonus scene: (still is slow motion) Trump and his lawyers hurl themselves toward the 7th-inning-stretch bazooka (a.k.a. F&F publishers: Henry Holt and Co.), but fall to the ground just before over one million copies are catapulted into the crowds of the United States and beyond.

2. The Response of the People // or “Sound” by Sylvan Esso

There are many resistance songs against Donald Trump, however, this one seems to depict a feeling that lacks in said resistance songs. Here, the people who feel tired and fed up in a withdrawn sort of way can be represented.

Trump’s term has been tumultuous, tragic, and ridiculous. From Trump bragging about using his status to grope women, to his recent comment about Haiti and African countries being “shit-holes,” any additional news about Trump’s corrupt behaviour and man-child tantrums remain frustrating yet unsurprising.

The impact this book has made along with the cacophonous reactions it has caused add so many noises to our world news that it becomes dissonant, as in this song, like an overwhelming static. Here, sound equates with the feeling that we are tired of the same evils in the news and we are tired of the same lack of change.

In “Sound,” the crackling audio pours in before Sylvan Esso begins to repeat the same verse over and over again: “I was gonna write a song for you/ Gonna sing it loud/ Gonna sing it at such decibels that/ All you’ll hear is sound and/ All you’ll feel is sound/ All you’ll be is sound.”

News of Trump’s recent negative behaviour is constantly being drowned out by even more recent news of Trump’s negative behaviour.

We live in a vortex of his racist comments and misogynist stories, a surplus of information that results in static.

3. Trump’s Reaction, Denial, and Legal Threat // or “Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba

All the facts point to “Tubthumping” being an obvious shower (or tub?) song choice for Trump, from the exaggerated repetition of “I get knocked down, but I get up again/ You’re never gonna keep me down,” to an easy parallel with his self-deceiving nature, “He sings the songs that remind him of the good times/ He sings the songs that remind him of the better times.”

The irony of these lyrics should not go unnoticed. The 90’s English band Chumbawamba was known for their anarchist politics and manifesting an irreverent attitude toward authority, this song specifically being a jab against politicians, as the term “tubthumper” is defined as a vociferous speaker.

Trump’s team hurriedly dispatched a cease-and-desist letter in an attempt to prevent
Wolff’s publisher from distributing the book. In response, they moved the release a
few days earlier.

After it’s publication, Trump chose to sing the song to remind him of the good times, also known as choosing his own reality, his response to Fire and Fury’s imminent publication being, “I consider it to be fiction.”

4. A Possible Future Trump Tweet // or “I Am A God” by Kanye West

“Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames,” Trump tweeted this past Saturday morning.

Trump’s most quoted response to Wolff’s book, “I am a stable genius,” calls for nothing other than Kanye West’s “I Am A God.” Seems self-explanatory.

Notable lyrics include: “I just talked to Jesus/ He said, “What up, Yeezus?”/ I said, “Shit I’m chillin'/ Tryna stack these millions”/ I know he the most high/ But I am a close high.”

In this song, Kanye puts himself as a very close second to Jesus himself. This might remind one of when a Trump voter claimed fervently on television that he would believe Trump’s word before Jesus’.

Maybe this song can play in irony on the television show when Trump responds to a problem by calling someone a name on Twitter, i.e. “Sloppy Steve” .

5. Nostalgia // or “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

This one is, of course, the most obvious choice. As we know, Jessie represents the U.S. between January of 2009 - January of 2017, while the Girl clearly represents Barack Obama.

We are jealous of Jessie as we don’t think he quite appreciates what he has. And what better way to compare the nostalgia and romanticism, yet impossibility, of Obama’s term than to the irrational longing for a best friend’s partner.

Scene: America on a long road trip with her family, gazing out the window at Del Tacos and deserts, rodeos and vegan hot dog shops, elbow propped and chin in hand, thinking of when life used to be good, while also hoping it might get better.

Listen to the full playlist here:


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