A Playlist for Severus Snape
At first glance, Professor Severus Snape is an intimidating, sarcastic, unfriendly, and stern man. But don’t be fooled; his frosty exterior hides a passionate heart and noble intentions. One of J.K. Rowling’s more complex, layered characters, he evolves from anti-hero to full-on hero during the course of her books. Which makes him worthy of a playlist in our book.
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” – The Animals
Throughout much of the Harry Potter series, Snape is painted as a villainous character. Harry himself believes the professor has nefarious intentions. Most of the Hogwarts folks don’t realize that, despite his sour attitude, deep down, Severus means well.
“Baby, do you understand me now?
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don't you know that no one alive can always be an angel
When things go wrong I feel real bad”
“Spellbound” – AC/DC
Since few people know of Snape’s noble intentions, this is the track he cranks up when he gets tired of being perceived in such a negative light.
“I can't do nothin' right
I never sleep at night
Can't even start a fight
My feet have left the ground
Spinnin' round and round
“Nobody Loves Me” – Bryan Ferry
The title speaks for itself. Severus may not seem like the kind of man who would throw himself a pity party, but every once in a while even he’s going to need a serious wallow. This song, whose upbeat tempo belies its self-pitying theme, is just what he needs in those moments.
“Bad Reputation” – Freedy Johnston
It’s safe to say Professor Snape isn’t one of the most beloved teachers at Hogwarts. His motives are often questioned and people assume the worst of him, which can’t be fun.
“I know I got a bad reputation
and it isn't just talk, talk, talk
If I could only give you everything
You know I haven't got”
“Only You” – Yaz
This melodic, bittersweet song of lost love always makes Snape think of Lily Potter, the girl who got away.
“All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
“Love Secret Domain” – The Immortal Coil
When Snape needs to go to a darker place, this track helps. A melodic interpretation of Coil’s more sinister original, this song has a dark, wistful passion to it.
“In little children's heavy heads
My dreams erupt while in my bed
Innocence is dripping red”
“Promise” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Severus is a man of secrets, one who kept his word to Dumbledore, fulfilling the headmaster’s request to sacrifice him. This tune, full of melancholy and resolution, reminds him of that difficult time.
“The vision softly fades
But there's a light that still remains
And in these walls I feel your sadness wane
But in a moment you'll feel no pain”
“Soul in Isolation” – The Chameleons
Being Severus Snape can be a lonely business. When he lets his guard down in private and allows for a true moment of vulnerability and trepidation at whether he will be successful in his role defeating Voldemort, this tune echoes his solitude and concern.
“Will I live to see his face
Will others come to take my place
In total isolation
Surrounded by fears
Too many crowds
Too many tears”
“Something I Can Never Have” – Nine Inch Nails
Severus was never able to win the heart of Lily Potter, and he's been haunted by that loss ever since. This anthem of longing and unattainability resonates with the professor.
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.