Literary Mixtape: Lady Chatterley


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: D.H. Lawrence’s most controversial heroine, the lovely Lady Chatterley.

In D.H. Lawrence’s most scandalous novel, the eponymous Lady Chatterley, also known as Connie, is a woman on the verge. Her husband has been paralyzed by a war injury (not that he ever paid any emotional or intellectual attention to her anyway), and her ensuing frustration leads to an affair — and a profound awakening — with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. But it’s not only a sexual awakening in the strictest sense — what Connie learns with Mellors is the way the mind and body intersect to create a whole person, not “all mind” like her husband or purely physical like Mellors’ wife. Here’s what we think she’d consider her headstate, have her affairs, and find a little ecstasy to.

Stream the mixtape here.

“Flower” — Liz Phair

We’ll just get started off strong with a song to indulge all of Connie’s basest desires, from back when Liz Phair was a girl power goddess.

“S&M” — Rihanna

To listen to while reading 50 Shades of Grey, of course. Which you know she’d be doing, secreted under her blankets at night.

“Somebody That I Used to Know” — Gotye

Come on, if Lady Chatterley was watching her step in a brownstone in Brooklyn, she’d definitely have this song on repeat right now — all that confused yearning would speak right to her girlish soul.

“Strange Desire” — The Black Keys

The Black Keys are an incredibly sexy band, and we think they’d make our Connie shimmy in her seat more than once.

“First Love” — Adele

Sure, Clifford’s not truly her first love, but she still needs some gorgeous lady crooning to soothe her feelings.

“Like a Virgin” — Madonna

For post-gamekeeper bliss.

“Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” — The Smiths

All lady intellectuals love the Smiths, so why should Lady Chatterley be any different? Now, if she could just figure out exactly what it is she wants…

“Cosmic Love” — Florence + The Machine

This song would mean one thing during all of Lady Chatterley’s intellectual, pointless conversations about love before she experiences it — and quite another thing after.

“Trophy Wife” — The National

It’s not a bad gig.

“Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl” — Broken Social Scene

We don’t know, but pretty much everyone we know had their sexual awakening to this song, so it’s not too much of a stretch to think Connie might too.