Music Magic: The Songs That Inspired War Witch (Part 7) – “Concrete Angel” Christina Novelli

This week in my ongoing series, we get into some less specific areas. Much of what I’ve shared so far has been about how music inspired specific characters, or the overall themes of the novel. From here on out, I wanted to touch on some of the songs that helped me shape some of the more vague aspects of the story, not just with the first book, but for the series as a whole.

First up is a song that touched on on the overarching relationship between Ramora and Chara. Not just where they begin, but also in how it alludes to where they are going in the future.

There will be spoilers here for those who have not read the book, so now you know.

The first time I ever heard Christina Novelli, I was awestruck by the power of her voice. It is, to put it simply, almost inhumanely beautiful. While she generally works in the trance genre of music, there’s no denying that she has a voice that could do anything.

That has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to say it. She’s an amazing vocalist, and that deserves to be noted.

As for the song itself, I happened across it as I was looking for something else entirely and was immediately taken to my own inner world. I’ve long know the whole story of the War Witch Saga, from how it would begin, to how it will end. Almost every major story beat and plot twist along the way has already been explored, not just in my mind, but in the extensive notes I have.

It was surprising to me, then, to hear a song that so perfectly encapsulated the entire relationship between Ramora and Chara, from the first moments they meet, to how the series ends. Sung with such grace and skill by Christina Novelli, it was impossible for me to not add this to the playlist of music I frequently listened to as I wrote.

Not just because it’s an awesome piece of music, either, but because, to my eternal surprise, there were lyrics in the song that worked perfectly as actual hints to the future of these two characters. The biggest way this helped me was in reminding me of the foreshadowing I would need to do, and to do with as much a subtle touch as Ms. Novelli sings.

Let me breath you in, and breath the words in your mouth,
inside your shivering, the silence shouts so loud.
I just want to, I just want to stay around,
while my heart beats I promise I won’t let you down.

Considering that Ramora is a mute, Chara travels with her at first to be her voice, and the unspoken love the two have for each other, I’m sure you can see how these lyrics really hit me. More over was the way it so perfectly spoke to the way Ramora remains haunted by the events of her childhood, and Chara’s initial desire to do anything to help her.

If I’m somewhere else it doesn’t mean that I don’t see,
that you don’t trust yourself, that’s why you don’t trust me.
It makes me crazy,
when you’re crazy, you, you don’t speak,
you think you know me,
but what you know is just skin deep.

Again, touching so perfectly on the relationship between Chara and Ramora. As the story develops, Chara begins to doubt Ramora, something often fostered by Rakiss, but even in that doubt, she does understand what lies at the heart of Ramora’s seeming reluctance to be open about things. She knows that there is so much about her friend she doesn’t know, and she knows that even if they were to part ways, they would still be together.

Of course, there’s that line about not speaking. For Ramora, who communicates only in sign language, not talking is far easier than it would be for most. Every time she does share something, she has to think about how to do it, which means when she doesn’t want to say something, not doing so is simple. It’s far easier to be quiet about things, when you can’t blurt them out in a moment of anger, or hurt.

Then, of course, there is how the lyrics switch to reflect Chara’s own sense of doubt. Just as there is much Ramora has never shared, so too is there much Chara has never shared. She fears what Ramora would think of her if she ever say past the surface, and really knew her.

So much conveyed in such simple lyrics, speaking volumes about characters that are worlds away from the writer and singer, yet touch so deep. This kind of thing fascinates me. How two different people, so far removed from one another, can touch on a similar idea, in vastly different ways.

It’s twisting your mind,
I’m not getting through,
cause I don’t see it like you do,
There’s nothing to find,
you’ve got no excuse,
I’m over getting over you,

Naturally, we must touch on the way Rakiss affects their relationship. The way he literally twists Chara’s mind, creating walls between the two women, not letting their true emotions get through, until finally, Ramora has no choice but to let go, and move on. She had believed there was love there, but now finds there’s nothing, and gives up on what they might have shared.

If you keep building these walls,
brick by brick towers so tall,
soon I won’t see you at all,
til the concrete angel falls,
I knew who you were from the start,
but now I don’t know who you are,
soon there’ll be nothing at all,
til the concrete angel falls.

Finally, we come to the way it reflects on their future. So much about this I can’t say yet, as to not spoil future story develops, but believe me, this says more than you can imagine about where they are going, and what the future holds for these two.

So, let me say this instead. Remember these words, for they will define these two women in every way as we look ahead to rest of this series. These words will haunt them.

Next week, the ways in which Esteban influences everyone around him, and the ways Rakiss ruins every life he touches.


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