Rabid Hunger Games devotees have taken to YouTube to upload tracks recorded in the new genre of music they’ve spawned in homage to the books and films. They’re calling it Rockingjay.
Rockingjay is a clever play on the title of the third book, Mockingjay, and the pin Katniss wears during the Games in the first book. A mockingjay is a hybrid bird, developed by the Panem government, mix of mockingbirds and a fictional bird in the books called the jabberjay that was created to spy on rebel forces. In one film trailer, we see Katniss Everdeen give her younger sister Prim a mockingjay pin.
Rockingjays songs are created in the same spirit of the official movie soundtrack: the lyrics and spirit of the songs are inspired by events in The Hunger Games books. Some songs take words directly from the books as inspiration like Hello! The Future’s Rockingjay tribute song “No Hunger Games Can Get Me,” which recaps in song forms the trials and tribulations of Peeta Mellark.
In this case, the fans aren’t far off from what the professionals are doing. The film’s official production notes list “Rue’s Song,” crediting book author Suzanne Collins as the lyric writer — suggesting the song is entirely based on what she wrote for Katniss to sing in the book.
Other Rockinjays offer their own interpretation of “Rue’s Song,” ranging from the faithful to unexpected interpretations. Some create their own music to accompany Collins’ words while others choose to sing along to a pre-existing song.
One band, called District 13 — after the District that goes rogue in the final Hunger Games book — are even working on a Hunger Games holiday album. Hopefully that will get fans through the lull between the first film’s debut on Friday, March 23, and the release of the second film, which has not yet begun production.
-Courtney E. Smith