A Magical Playlist for Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived

Harry James Potter is one of fiction’s most beloved wizards. Over the course of JK Rowling’s blockbuster series, we follow him as he transforms from neglected orphan to lauded hero. While honing his wizarding skills, he’s not only burdened with saving the world from great evil (no pressure), but must also deal with the emotional ups and downs of growing up. Harry can be vulnerable, impulsive, and temperamental, but ultimately his integrity and bravery trumps all. His playlist reflects this emotional roller coaster, as well as the thread of magic that runs through his life. 

"I Am A Wizard” – Harry and the Potters
Well come on, would you be able to resist a song about your life by a band you named themselves after you? We didn’t think so. The lyrics are even an early biography for the kid:

“I'm a lonely boy 
I live beneath the staircase 
My cousin is real fat 
He makes my life a sad state 
The Dursleys are my guardians 
They are so mean and evil 
If only I had some magic powers 
Surely I could make them tremble”

“Magical World” – Ian McCulloch
On this song, the former Echo and the Bunnymen frontman sings of feeling lost and alone, which reflects Harry’s state when we first meet him, before he discovers his special powers and is sent off to Hogwarts: 

“Swept out in the wind
It's me as castaway

And all I want to know is
Is it really such a magical world…?”

“Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” – The Smiths
He’s British, he’s an orphan, and he deals more than his share of trouble and strife—of course Harry Potter is going to be a Smiths fan. This is one he plays when he’s feeling particularly sad and wistful, and especially when he’s missing his parents.

“Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale” – a-Ha
It’s not long before Harry’s life takes on strange, exciting, and epic proportions, particularly when he begins a new chapter at Hogwarts. He is sure to identify with the lyrics of this Norwegian trio’s new wave song: 

“I'm living a boy's adventure tale
Can't escape if I wanted to
Living a boy's adventure tale
I may be dreaming but I feel awake.”

“Friend or Foe” – Adam Ant
You know Harry is a good guy, and we know that, too, but he still collects his share of enemies. At one point, even the Ministry of Magic turns on him and tries to paint him as deceitful and attention-seeking. Which is when he’d have this song in heavy rotation: 

“I tried and I tried
But still you say that I lied
Nobody's perfect 
So leave me if you object.”

“It’s A Kind Of Magic” – Queen
In need of a little inspiration? Harry turns to this song. Eddie Mercury’s soaring vocals paired with a sweeping melody and lyrics that reference magic can make anyone believe the impossible: 

“There can be only one,
This rage that lasts a thousand years
Will soon be done,
This flame that burns inside of me,
I'm hearing secret harmonies
It's a kind of magic.”

“Winner Takes it All” – Sammy Hagar
Harry’s going to need a song to get his energy up before a tough competitive event, whether it’s a quidditch match, a Triwizard Tournament, or a face-off with the nefarious Voldemort. This is one that gets him pumped:

“First the mind, then the soul
And when the heart gets pumped up for the goal
There's no defeat, you'd sooner die
It's man to man as we stand eye to eye.”

“Here’s Where The Story Ends” – The Sundays
We all need good moping music. When The Smiths isn’t enough for Harry, he can turn to this bittersweet tune from The Sundays, which hits him particularly hard when he’s being ostracized:

“People I see, weary of me
Showing my good side
I can see how, people look down
I'm on the outside.”

Additionally, when they sing about a “little souvenir of a terrible year,” he thinks of the invisibility cloak he takes with him after he defeats Voldemort.

“Magic” – The Cars
Harry’s relationship with Ginny Weasely had its false starts and its interruptions from dark and destructive forces (it happens), so they certainly earned their happy ending. And this song has a special meaning for our now-grown-up wizard, particularly when The Cars sing, “it’s magic when I’m with you,” on the chorus. 
What other tunes do you think Harry would have on his playlist?

Margarita Montimore

Margarita Montimore

Margarita writes upmarket fiction and is represented by Victoria Skurnick at Levine Greenberg Rostan. She also transcribes and pokes fun at her old journal entries at The Diary Project. When not wrangling her ever-growing book and movie collections or feeding squirrels and chipmunks, she dreams of the day time machines are built so that she can return to the 1980s. Follow her on Twitter at @damiella.