Listen to Arcade Fire’s Hunger Games Anthem

Slate's Culture Blog
March 2 2012 11:04 AM

Did You See This? Arcade Fire’s Hunger Games Anthem

katniss
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in a new clip from The Hunger Games.

Last month, when the tracklist for the Hunger Games soundtrack was released, I wondered if the Arcade Fire tune, "Abraham's Daughter," was the same "Abraham's Daughter" written by Septimus Winner during the American Civil War. It seemed plausible: Winner's song is about someone who is tired of city life, headed to battle, possibly to "die a martyr"—and all those things also describe Katniss Everdeen, the hero of The Hunger Games. And Arcade Fire are clearly students of American music; if nothing else, I figured, the song's title must be a nod to the tune by Winner, who also wrote "Ten Little Indians" and "Listen to the Mockingbird," among other American classics.

Now the song has been released, and... guess not? Win Butler spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the song; here's what he told them:

There’s something in the story of Abraham and Isaac that I think resonates with the themes in the film, like sacrificing children. So we made a weird, apocryphal, alternate-universe version of that, where it’s as if Abraham had a daughter—kind of a metaphor for Katniss.
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Butler added that they tried to write less of a "pop song" than an anthem, one "that could be playing at a big sporting event like the Games" in the story. I'd say they succeeded—and managed to write a pretty good pop song at the same time. But judge for yourself:

Meanwhile, a new clip from The Hunger Games was uploaded to the movie's official YouTube page (now re-designed as "Capitol TV Productions") last night; watch it below.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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