Science Fiction Film & Television

Mountain airs, mockingjays and modernity

Songs and their significance in The Hunger Games

Science Fiction Film & Television (2015), 8, (1), 75–89.

Abstract

Songs play a significant role in the narrative and thematics of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (2008), its 2012 film adaptation of the same name and ancillary media texts released to support the film. One particular diegetic composition, known as ‘The Meadow Song’, plays an important role in the novel's and film's audioscapes, serving to evoke the complex cultural associations of the Appalachia region that has transitioned into District 12 in The Hunger Games' dystopian future. Ancillary media texts, particularly the film's lead promotional single, Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars' performance of ‘Safe and Sound’ (and its accompanying music video), reinforce this connection. Additionally, the melody of ‘The Meadow Song’ plays a key role in representing the interaction of humans with the bio-engineered woodland arena in which extended combat tournament occurs (particularly through the futuristic conceit of biologically engineered birds that imitate human song). In this manner, songs represent an unusually important thematic element of the early franchise's various media texts, demonstrating how song elements can be closely integrated with plot and thematics, rather than simply serving as peripheral sonic adornments.

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Author details

Fitzgerald, Jon

Hayward, Philip