The Hunger Games, Music and The Appalachia

In the world of the Hunger Games, music and dance form a crucial part of District 12’s culture. Demonstrating this, throughout the books, Katniss introduces three songs “Deep in the Meadow” “The Valley Song” and “The Hanging Tree,” and also in Mockingjay, Katniss mentions that for being the smallest district, they sure know how to dance. These songs hold symbolism and some of the overall themes of the trilogy. In general, the writer’s inspiration could have originated from the fact that the area of District 12 is what we know as the Appalachia. This area is currently and historically known for its unique musical tendencies, which can be compared to Katniss’ district.

As explained by Mr. Walt Michael, The Appalachia is a region of unique history terrain and culture. Specially, it is a region of extreme struggle. The Appalachian Mountains are known for coal mining, and soon after these activities began, the area was known for the danger and exploitation involved in them. Moreover, historically, it was home for Natives Americans, slaves of all races, African Americans dedicated to the construction of railroad and Easter Europeans escaping war and inequality, which explains the multicultural background of the region and also the reasons for this people to take on the job of coal mining. They were the least privileged, the most in need for the job. Also, the terrain of the area made it almost impossible for them to survive on much else such as farming.

The music in the Appalachia is a result of a multicultural mixture of sound and traditions. Moreover, it is the result of the struggle known by these people. For instance, a typical song from this region is a valet, a song that tells a story. These stories represent real events or aspects of life in the Appalachia, much like the songs in The Hunger Games.

Deep in the Meadow

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your eyes
And when they open, the sun will rise

Here it’s safe, and here it’s warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet–
–and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it’s morning, they’ll wash away

Here it’s safe, and here it’s warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet–
– and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Like in Deep in the Meadow, The songs we are introduced to by Katniss represent something related to the life in District 12. Deep in Meadow in particular makes reference to a different world, a better one. It is about a world in which children don’t starve to death or a sent to die in the arena, one in which everyone is safe from harm and pain.

The lyrics of this song are easy and calming, as a lullaby. It is sung by Katniss when Rue is dying, giving her safety and peacefulness in her last breathes. Also, Katniss remembers these lyrics in Catching Fire in relation to Peeta, his kisses and sacrifices. Lastly, the symbolism of the meadow as a safe heaven is seen in the epilogue of the trilogy. Katniss and Peeta’s children are playing in the meadow, which was once a graveyard, yet with time, it bloomed. Panem was not the place it was before, and people were healing from the suffering. The world was a place closer to the one that this song illustrates. It isn’t perfect because after all, deep down the meadow is a graveyard. However, it is better and in the mind of Katniss’ children, it is that place Deep in the Meadow represents.

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