Welcome to the second edition of “Musical Inspiration” posts for On The Border! Now that the book is out there and now that some of you may have picked it up and read it or started to read it, music posts make a little more sense!

The playlist on my iPod for On The Border is well over fifty songs, and it keeps growing. Sometimes it just hits me when I listen to a song. So without further ado…

The Eagles – “On The Border”

If you didn’t notice, the title of this song and the title of my book are the same. “On The Border” is also on my “Favorite Songs” playlist, and the lyrics just always reminded me of somebody on the run from the law, or being unfairly treated by the law while they’re just trying to do their own thing.

JD McPherson – “Signs and Signifiers”

Truth be told, I am madly in love with JD McPherson’s music. I stumbled upon him through CD Baby when their monthly newsletter said he sounds like James Brown. He sounds like he’s straight out of the 1950s (try the song “Scratching Circles”), and there is only one song on his album Signs & Signifiers that I sort of don’t like (hint: it’s “A Gentle Awakening”). Heck, I actually didn’t like the above song very much for a while, but it grew on me.

Fangirling aside, this is one of the slower songs on his album, and the lyrics just fit Cassidy’s predicament:

I’ve got signs and signifiers, gossipers and liars
Twist me every way they want to go
What looks like a raging fire are your dreams and desires
Ending up like ashes on the ground.”

Gregg Allman – “Just Another Rider”

This song was actually the foundation for the sequel I wrote during last year’s National Novel Writing Month. But I hate how that turned out, and the lyrics fit for OTB anyway, so I added it to both playlists (oh yes, there’s a playlist for the terrible sequel that I will seriously edit before even considering putting it out there).

Eric Clapton & JJ Cale – “Missing Person”

Okay, so this one may work a little better for Jason’s side of the story, but since it’s about Cassidy, it works. Trust me, in the two months Cassidy and Jason are apart, Jason is trying incessantly to find Cassidy again, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

“She up and she left/Now she’s gone/She didn’t even give me a clue/Didn’t write me no notes/Send me no letters/It’s true/She is a missing person/where are you?”

Fun. – “Some Nights”

This is the most recent addition to the playlist, and every time I listen to this song, I love it just a little bit more. It’s definitely the newest song, too. I mean, just look at the artists in this post and the others… you can tell I’m living in the past.

Anyway, I like the lyrics in “Some Nights” because they feel like they describe someone who doesn’t quite know where to go or what to do with their life despite how hard they’re trying.


Stay tuned for another edition of “Musical Inspiration!” My life revolves around music, hockey, and The Simpsons, so it’s only natural that music has a very profound effect on my writing.