Literary Mixtape: The Lorax


If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Dr. Seuss’ most environmentally friendly creation, the Lorax.

The Lorax, the eponymous hero of Dr. Seuss’ environmentaliest book, is one of our favorite of the good doctor’s characters. The small fellow who speaks for the trees “was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy.” As well he should — the children’s book tells the story of how the Lorax tried to keep the Once-ler from destroying the countryside, particularly all those nice Truffula Trees, in the service of making his silly little Thneeds. The book is short, but the Lorax has become a folk hero of sorts for the green set, and if he were around today, here’s what we think he would pop out of stumps, knock on factory doors, and fight for the trees to.

Stream the mixtape here.

“Casey Jones” — The Grateful Dead

Well, the Lorax would obviously be a Deadhead. After all, all the Deadheads we know have at least one Lorax t-shirt mixed in with their tie-dye.

“In Our Talons” — Bowerbirds

Not only is this song so pretty that even a grumpy, mossy old guy like the Lorax would melt, but it has a message he’d probably agree with: “It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth.”

“Money” — Easy Star All-Stars

We’re pretty sure the Lorax would be all over an album entitled Dub Side of the Moon, not to mention this song, which definitely is mocking all makers of Thneeds.

“Don’t Go Near the Water” — The Beach Boys

Everyone loves the Beach Boys, but the Lorax would have to sing this song sadly to the Humming-Fish when he has to send them away from their now-polluted pond, to “walk on their fins and get woefully weary in search of some water that isn’t so smeary.”

“Idioteque” — Radiohead

Another go-to band for any self-respecting environmentalist-leaning stoner type, this is the song the Lorax might listen to when he had almost run out of hope.

“Náttúra” — Björk

This song was written specifically to support sustainability and eco-friendly options for Iceland. The Lorax would be all over that. Plus, we’re pretty sure Björk is his dream girl.

“Even Flow” — Pearl Jam

If the Lorax has one piece of clothing, it’s a faded button down flannel.

“Big Yellow Taxi” — Joni Mitchell

Because they paved paradise and put up a Thneed factory.

“For What It’s Worth” — Buffalo Springfield

Everybody’s favorite protest song would probably have been useful to the Lorax — if he had any friends to incite. We guess the Brown Bar-ba-loots aren’t into music.

“The Trees” — Rush

Rush speaks for the trees too. We think they’d get along.