On 1st September I was waking up to tweets about James Sirius Potter coming to Hogwarts, tumblr posts showcasing J.K. Rowling’s tweets and fan responses, thousands of people playing along that Tuesday was the start of a new term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Throughout the day I listened to each film score, I engaged other fans about returning to their houses or which house they desired to be sorted into, I made graphics for playlists that were already spinning in my mind, etc. etc. so on and so forth.
Like many other children, Harry Potter and the wonderful world that Rowling created was a big part of my childhood. Where I found I didn’t belong in real life, I did belong on the pages. While most of the kids my age had started reading the series in 2002 at the age of six or so, I was actually 11 when I read the first book. How magical is that? Then the second, then the third. Zoe’s article, The Boy Who Lives On, described something similar to my story. For me as well, Harry Potter became the thing that taught me many lessons as I got older. Even now that I’m an adult, I continue to learn from the tales of The Golden Trio; from the things I wasn’t keen to before to the adults I didn’t previously care for/admire.
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit theaters here in the states my friend – and fellow Potterhead – Gabby and I attended the midnight screening. We waited in line with our ridiculous hallows symbols drawn all over, our tree-branch wands, and an abundance of snacks and Harry Potter coloring books. We cried when the film got sad, we cried when it was over. And when the second installment came out, I cried through that. It was like a part of my childhood was ending.
But that’s the thing – J.K. Rowling and the film stars are continuing the very thing that gave me so much. They engage fans, they play along. There’s going to be a musical. There are going to be (at least) three films set in the wizarding world. There is a new generation of fans and more to come. Harry Potter has been immortalized with ink and paper – a place to always welcome me home.
It was with that in mind and in heart that I created Home and Train Ride, two playlists inspired by the first day of term using songs and covers from the eight film scores. And here they (plus two of my favorites) are, for you: