• Devin Gackle

Songblog: Stay With Me (Inspired by The Hunger Games)


"Stay With Me" written by Devin Gackle, Spring 2012

I wrote this song my freshman year of college after finishing The Hunger Games trilogy (I graduated from college earlier this year, if that gives you any idea how long ago that was). I believe it was in April.

If you have read The Hunger Games, or even seen the movies, and were paying attention, you might get where the title of the song comes from. But I'll explain anyway.

There's a moment in Catching Fire where Katniss is trying to fall asleep, and she asks Peeta to stay with her. His response is "always." (So there's a part of the song where the lyrics are "Stay with me always").

Basically, this song is a ballad to the "starcrossed lovers" (yes, stars are mentioned in the song, but not in a cheesy way). The first verse and first chorus are from Peeta's point of view, and verse two and chorus two are from the point of view of Katniss. The line "Stay with me always," brings them together.

In the Peeta parts, I try to get across his humanity- how he doesn't want the games to change who he is, how he wants to show the capitol they don't own him, how much he cares for other people. And obviously, how much he loves Katniss. He makes it his mission to keep her alive. A friend of mine jokes about how useless Peeta is (i.e. he gets injured all the time and slows people down), but to me Peeta is more than just a character. He is the voice of reason. He is a reminder of humanity- when District 13 is trying to decide whether or not to give the Capitol a Hunger Games, he is the only one to ask "If we do that, what makes us better than them?" (Not in those words exactly, but you get the idea). He is there to give us hope; and hope is partially what this song is about.

In the Katniss parts, I include the uncertainty of her feelings for Peeta, but how, despite that, she is drawn to him. She doesn't trust easily, but she feels safe with him. I try to include things that are significant to her, like her nightmares, the dandelion that made her believe she could survive, and of course, fire. Her uncertainty and her instinct to survive, to fight back mix with what she feels for Peeta; there are moments where her mental state is also uncertain, and as a reader you might question what is real right along with her. That, of course, makes it harder for her to trust, but in the end she is still drawn to Peeta, and he is still drawn to her.

They need each other to survive. That fact remains whether they're together or not.


Lyrics:

It's too late to turn back

I try to ignore the things I don't understand

They don't own my soul and I'm trying not to let it change who I am

They say that all is fair in love and war

But who's standing up for the weak and the poor

This world isn't worth fighting for without you by my side

Even if you've had enough, it's when things are worst that you can never give up

Tell me, do you believe in love at first sight

A love that conquers grief and keeps us both alive

I know that even if we're far apart, we still see the same stars at night

I need you to comfort me

It's been so long since I have had a night of rest

I try to escape the nightmares but nothing could make me forget

You see beauty in broken things

You find hope through the suffering

The dandelion in the spring gives me the fire I need to survive

Even though they try to keep us apart, I'll always remember feeling safe in your arms

Tell me do you believe that all of this real

In a world that deceives, I fear what it conceals

It all seems lost when I look at first glance, but with you there's still a chance that time can heal

Stay with me

Stay with me

Stay with me

Stay with me

Always

Always

Tell me do you believe that all of this real

In a world that deceives, I fear what it conceals

It all seems lost when I look at first glance, but with you there's still a chance

Tell me, do you believe in love at first sight

A love that conquers grief and keeps us both alive

I know that even if we're far apart, we still see the same stars

Yeah, we still see the same stars at night