A Playlist for Lisbeth Salander

She’s creepy and she’s spooky, and what she does to evil men is altogether ooky, making Lisbeth Salander one heck of a memorable character. This girl is more than her tattoos (dragon or otherwise), piercings, and goth wardrobe. She lives a dark, intense life and her playlist reflects that. Brace your eardrums, because it’s going to get loud.


“Firestarter” – The Prodigy

A perfect song for the girl who played with fire. Sent to a psychiatric hospital at twelve for a violent act involving a Molotov cocktail against a man who was brutally abusive to her mother, she’s clearly not afraid to take extreme measures when fighting for something she believes in: 

“I'm the trouble starter, punkin' instigator.
I'm the fear addicted, danger illustrated.
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter.”


"Thrown Away" – VAST

Lisbeth has spent much of her life surrounded by people who view her as insane and worthless. While she rarely (if ever) shows her vulnerability, she’s certainly able to identify with the isolation, despair and simmering rage of a song like this:

“So let me in
Because I'm out
I know that I am someone
No one said I was”


"Every Day Is Halloween" – Ministry

Anybody who’s ever had a goth phase will closely relate to this song, particularly our favorite black-clad Swedish computer hacker. The lyrics speak for themselves:

“Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare
they say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?
you look so absurd, you look so obscene'
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
Why should I take the abuse that's served?
Why can't they see they're just like me
It's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world”


"Assimilate" – Skinny Puppy

The cold, electronic heart and furious lungs of industrial music make it a perfect genre for Lisbeth to embrace. And she can easily get lost in the dark, chaotic lyrics of a song like this:

“crazy world of weary thought so receive me had enough
lock me up lock me up
rot and assimilate so hot to annihilate”


"March of the Pigs" – Nine Inch Nails

Salander is obviously a Nine Inch Nails fan, particularly of the earlier stuff when Trent Reznor was working through anger issues (she can relate). She is sure to find this track particularly cathartic:

“all the pigs are all lined up
I give you all that you want
take the skin and peel it back
now doesn't that make you feel better?”


"The Great Shipwreck of Life" – IAMX

Take a bit of nihilism, set it to a catchy electro melody and insistent beat, and you’ve got a song Lisbeth will groove to:

“To the great and the petrified
We all fall down
To the slaves and the civilized
We all fall down”



"Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)" – The Raveonettes

There’s no mistaking the meaning of this song from its bold title. Considering the severely brutal methods Lisbeth has used to punish her own attackers, this is a track she has in heavy rotation. Bonus points that the band are her Scandinavian neighbors, (the duo hails from Denmark):

“They rip you to shreds
Make you feel useless
You'll never forget”


"Burn My Shadow" – UNKLE

Her music tastes may lean toward the dark and disturbing side of the radio dial, but she can still appreciate a good tune about overcoming adversity:

“I faced my destroyer
I was ambushed by a lie
And you judged me once for falling
This wounded heart will rise”



"Under Attack" – ABBA

Everyone is entitled to their guilty pleasures and Lisbeth is no different. Odds are she’s a fan of this chirpy foursome from her native Sweden. While this song is about being pursued by an admirer, it’s easy to imagine her giving the lyrics a much more literal interpretation: 

“Under attack, I'm being taken
About to crack, defenses breaking
Won't somebody please have a heart
Come and rescue now 'cause I'm falling apart”



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.