These Songs I Know By Heart: The Playlist | Book*hug Press

These Songs I Know By Heart: The Playlist

Today, we’re sharing Erin Brubacher’s playlist for her debut novel These Songs I Know By Heart!

Married and divorced in her 20s, looking for friendship in her 30s, and contemplating pregnancy at 40, our narrator wonders if she’s going through life out of order. But Alice, The Turtle, The Kid, and other beloveds show her that motherhood is more than giving birth, art is never finished, and love is not linear.

Through a three-day canoe trip, chance encounters, fierce female friendship, step-parenting, IVF, pandemic isolation, and quiet moments between humans, These Songs I Know By Heart weaves vignettes of everyday mythology into an absorbing and honest meditation on the connections in our lives. With razor-sharp reflection, humour, and most of all love, we are reminded that there’s no formula to life and that instead, we must celebrate what makes the small moments of our lives extraordinary.

In These Songs I Know By Heart, there’s a fictional collection of poems called Popular Songs. Each poem is titled after the singer of the song that is referenced within. So, for example, the poem that references “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is called Whitney Houston. This playlist holds some of the popular songs that are mentioned in the book, and some of the ones that would be held in that poetry collection, were it ever to be written. (There is an extra song by Sinéad O’Connor, because I love Sinéad O’Connor — and because the actual Sinéad O’Connor Popular Songs track is “Nothing Compares 2U,” but Sinéad had legitimate beef with Prince so I can’t honour her properly with that pick alone, even though her rendition of that song is now and forever fabulous. I’ve also included a reprise bonus track cover version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” just because it’s excellent.) Enjoy.

Bonus: Here’s a song I recently became acquainted with—a duet by two of the artists featured on this playlist. Lovely.

Hounds of Love by Kate Bush
I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
Escapade by Janet Jackson
Supercut by Lorde
Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
I Get A Kick Out Of You by Frank Sinatra
Dirty Old Town by The Pogues
Viennaby Billy Joel
La chanson de Prévert by Serge Gainsbourg
Abandoned Love by Bob Dylan
This Is to Mother You by Sinéad O’Connor
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Morgan Harper-Jones

Find the full spotify playlist here.


Erin Brubacher is a multidisciplinary artist. She is the author of the poetry collection In the small hours: Thirty-nine months & seven days and co-author of the hybrid, performance-based book 7th Cousins: An Automythography. Her award-winning work in theatre has taken her to contexts including the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Theater der Welt (Germany), and the Edinburgh International Festival (UK). She is driven by the desire to make meeting places: for her, art is a framework that serves to gather people who might not otherwise be in a literal or figurative room together. Erin lived in ten cities before returning to Toronto, where she makes a home with her husband and four children.

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