Back in 2008, Twilight shook the world with the first movie in the franchise being released to massive commercial success. In 2012, The Hunger Games repeated its young adult predecessor’s success at the box office while also getting quite a lot of love from critics. Both movies developed into franchises with millions of fans praising almost every aspect of the book adaptations.
One aspect of both of these franchises that has been particularly noted for contributing to their success is the soundtrack. With some songs even performed by the actors themselves (Robert Pattinson’s “Let Me Sing” and “Never Think” and Jennifer Lawrence’s “The Hanging Tree”), both movie franchises feature some of the best songs of their time.
The Hunger Games: “Silhouettes” By Of Monsters And Men
“Silhouettes” by Of Monsters and Men was one of the four songs on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that was actually featured in the movie. Most songs on these soundtracks were chosen separately from the movies simply because they wouldn’t fit into the atmosphere and narrative.
The song itself is eerily dark both in its atmosphere and themes which perfectly fit the subject matter of the world of Panem and particularly the spirit of revolution and rebellion.
Twilight: “Possibility” By Lykke Li
Perhaps one of the most well-known scenes from Twilight: New Moon also happens to be the one featuring one of the best songs from the entire franchise – “Possibility” by Lykke Li.
The song plays during the scene where Bella is missing Edward and feeling depressed. To show just how much time passes, the scene is presented in an arc shot as Bella looks out of the window and seasons change outside.
The Hunger Games: “Yellow Flicker Beat” By Lorde
Though some songs didn’t get into the movies while others did, there is even a third group of songs that were featured in the end credits – and Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” is one of them (featured at the end of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1).
The song was the lead single from the soundtrack for the movie and its lyrics refer to Katniss’ rise as the symbol of rebellion. “Yellow Flicker Beat” was praised by critics and nominated for the Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards.
Twilight: “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” By Iron & Wine
One of the most beautiful songs from the first Twilight movie, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine plays during the scene where Bella and Edward are dancing at the prom.
But even though it sounds beautiful and plays during such a heartwarming moment, the lyrics actually talk about someone finding a lost love who – now that he’s found her – becomes trapped and grounded, unable to experience her youth. And that fits Bella’s situation perfectly.
The Hunger Games: “Abraham’s Daughter” By Arcade Fire
Playing during the closing credits of the first movie, “Abraham’s Daughter” by Arcade Fire was actually one of the two songs that the band had contributed to the soundtrack. “Abraham’s Daughter” was the one that resonated with the fans the most and is often remembered as one of the best in the franchise.
The song was written specifically for the movie and played with its dystopian themes. The Biblical storyline of Abraham having to sacrifice his son to God was taken as the basis for the song’s story – but in this case, it was an alternate reality where Abraham had a daughter and this daughter was Katniss.
Twilight: “Rosyln” By Bon Iver And St. Vincent
“Rosyln” by Bon Iver and St. Vincent is a surprisingly mesmerizing yet twisted song that plays in several consecutive scenes closer to the beginning of Twilight: New Moon. The song itself is about a girl named Rosyln who is thinking about suicide – and someone trying to save her. The song starts playing when Bella prints out a picture of Edward and leaves it in her room as she goes to school.
Edward finds the picture while she is away. When she arrives home, she sees Edward waiting for her and that’s when the song stops playing. What happens next, however, is closely connected to the song – Edward and Bella go for a walk in the woods and he breaks up with her, making her fall into an almost endless depression.
The Hunger Games: “Safe & Sound” By Taylor Swift Feat. The Civil Wars
Right now, it seems that Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound” featuring The Civil Wars could have been a bonus track on either one of Swift’s latest albums because of just how similar the atmosphere is.
The song was released as a single for the soundtrack and was featured during the end credits of the movie. It is sung from the point of view of Katniss who is addressing it to her little sister Prim and makes a promise to keep them safe and sound even though she knows she probably won’t be able to.
Twilight: “Supermassive Black Hole” By Muse
Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” is one of the most recognizable songs from all the Twilight installments – and it also plays during an iconic scene in the first movie.
The song wasn’t actually written for the movie and was released way back in 2006. It was used in the baseball game scene which shows Bella bonding more with the Cullens which is both fun and exciting to watch.
The Hunger Games: “Elastic Heart” By Sia Feat. The Weeknd
Though it wasn’t in the movie, “Elastic Heart” by Sia feat. The Weeknd is arguably one of the best, if not the best, song from all The Hunger Games soundtracks. Released as one of the singles from the soundtrack, it reached high spots on various charts.
The song sounds very energetic, but where the lyrics are concerned, it becomes even deeper. It’s about staying strong which is exactly what Katniss Everdeen is all about.
Twilight: “A Thousand Years” By Christina Perri
“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri joined the collective soundtrack of The Twilight Saga only with Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, yet it feels like it has been there all along thanks to its theme of the fear of falling in love.
The song was initially heard during the end credits of Breaking Dawn – Part 1, but was then re-recorded with vocals from Steve Kazee and played in the final tribute scene of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 which was the perfect ending for the franchise.