2020 was a strange year for a number of reasons: COVID, lockdowns, online uni, but notably one of the oddest has to be that Roxanne by Arizona Zervas was my most played song of 2020. I do sometimes wonder how Spotify works this stuff out.
I always associate books with songs and vice versa, so here are my top 4 songs of 2020 as their corresponding books.
Roxanne by Arizona Zervas
Roxana by Daniel Defoe
Aside from the namesake, Roxana by Daniel Defoe and the hit song Roxanne have more similarities than you’d think. ‘All she wanna do is party all night’ rings pretty true to the superficial gains that Roxana attempts to secure in her quest for financial independence by using the men around her. She was the OG gold digger, but she owned it.
Be Honest by Jorja Smith & Burna Boy
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence
It’s a sexy, sexy book for a very sexy song. I remember reading this for the first time and having to do a double take – Lawrence was clearly very horny. ‘Be honest, you want this’ might as well be the subtitle for the book itself.
Cherry by Harry Styles
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
There is so much nostalgia embedded into this song; it is full of intense heartbreak, sadness, and also the idea of looking back on past love. Everything that Giovanni’s Room also tackles. The two vibes of these pieces are so entwined and beautiful when placed together.
Blind Love by Lola Young
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This is a particular favourite song of mine that I discovered in the first lockdown back in March 2020. It has this intense sense of nostalgia and longing for something that once was. I think the characters in A Little Life are always chasing something they can’t quite reach in order to acquire happiness. It’s a book that seems to largely live in the past, even when its characters are in the present.