Updated date:

Songs for the Great Gatsby

The Sounds of The Great Gatsby

Chapter One: "Ocean Avenue" Yellow Card In chapter, one Nick describes Gatsby in a majestic way as Gatsby is looking across to a green light at the end of a dock. Gatsby is longing for someone or something as he "stretches out his arms toward the dark water." From reading the novel, we know that this green light represents the dream of having Daisy. In "Ocean Avenue", the boy in the song says that if he could be with his young love "things would be better."

Chapter Two: "Dirty Little Secrets" The All American Rejects In this chapter, the reader meets Myrtle, Tom's mistress, and her sister. This chapter is mainly about the affair of Myrtle and Tom. Catherine tells Nick about how neither Myrtle nor Tom loves their spouses and that Tom would leave Daisy if she were not Catholic. In actuality Tom does not want to leave his wife; he just wants Myrtle to stay his "Dirty Little Secret." When Tom and Myrtle get into the fight about Daisy Tom does not want Myrtle to talk about his wife which shows that he wants Myrtle to not "tell anyone or [she'll] be another regret."

Chapter Three: "This Is How We Do" All Time Low In this chapter, Nick tells the reader about his experiences at Gatsby's big party. In the novel many people, both invited and uninvited, come to Gatsby's extravagant parties. This song says to "show off to all your friends," and Gatsby is throwing these parties in hope that Daisy will come to one and be amazed. The song talks about "trophy boys" and these could represent all of Gatsby's excessive luxuries. The song also literally represents the party and the drunkenness of the people.

Chapter Four: "When You Are Gone" Avril Lavigne In this chapter, Gatsby tells Nick about his life, but Nick does not know what Gatsby is telling the truth about and what he is lying about. At the end of the chapter Jordan tells Nick about her conversation with Gatsby at the party; she tells him about how Daisy and Gatsby had known each other before a long time ago, and that Gatsby wants to meet up with Daisy again. When Gatsby says, "he's afraid" it shows that he still loves Daisy. The song relates to the chapter by showing that Gatsby never got over Daisy and that when she is gone "pieces of" his "heart are missing."

Chapter Five: "Hanging by a Moment" Lifehouse In this chapter Gatsby and Daisy, meet at Nick's house for the first time in five years. At first, their meeting is very awkward because Gatsby is so nervous, but it eventually gets better. The song says, "I'm living for the only thing I know," this represents Gatsby's need for the approval of Daisy. He wants to have Daisy so much that he seemed to "revalue everything in his house...according to the response" of Daisy. The song also has the lyrics "you take all of me" in it; this represents the stalker quality of Gatsby, and shows that she is his life.

Chapter Six: "Unwell" Matchbox 20 In this chapter, Nick tells the reader about Gatsby's history - not the rumors or Gatsby's version, but what really happened. In addition, this chapter has many rumors about Gatsby, and a reporter even comes to Gatsby's mansion to get a story. This song represents the rumors by saying "I know they've all been talking 'bout me." In this chapter, Nick warns that Gatsby cannot live in the past, but Gatsby protests and believes that he can. The song parallels this when "soon you'll see me as how I use to be" is sung.

Chapter Seven: "I Want You To Want Me" Cheap Trick In chapter seven, we see Tom and Gatsby's conflict reach the high point. The uncomfortably high temperature coincides with the uncomfortable state of the mentality of the main characters while in the city. When Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy does not and never did love him, and that she only married him because Gatsby was too poor, Tom gets very mad and starts to yell at Gatsby. Gatsby does not understand that Daisy loved both of them at one point because he "wants her to want" him and him only, so he just pushes what Daisy says to the side.

Chapter Eight: "Let this Go" Paramore In this chapter, Gatsby tells Nick about his relationship with Daisy in Louisville, and this shows that even after Daisy does not come outside he still has to live in the past. Nick then tells Gatsby that he is worth more than the Buchanans and all of their friends put together. The song represents the fact that Gatsby will "never let this go" even after Nick tried to give him the advice of leaving Long Island, but Gatsby says that he will never leave Daisy behind.

Chapter Nine: "I've Been Watching You" Rodney Atkins This chapter is written two years after Gatsby's death, and it talks about Gatsby's funeral. Nick is disappointed that only four people show up to Gatsby's funeral, and that none of his closest friends are there. In this chapter, the reader also meets Gatsby's father. The song represents the pride that Gatsby's father had for him. In this chapter, Gatsby's father says multiple times that now he saw why Gatsby had to leave home, and that he was very proud of the accomplishments his son had made. In the song, it is reversed, but it also shows the pride between family members.


mam on January 24, 2017:

it so helpful for me thx

jelly on March 25, 2014:

It was soooooo helpful fi me n fwends fi find dis songs your my best dude love uuuuu sooooooooo muchhhhh !!!!!!!!!!

sara on December 02, 2013:

i love a lot of these songs some of them i don't know

Samantha♥ on March 29, 2012:

Thanks sooooo much!

anonymous666666 on March 01, 2011:

Great song choices, these perfectly restate the themes of the novel. However, I think Mr. Brightside by the Killers would also be a perfect song for chapter six.

Ilyaz NCHS on November 17, 2010:

thanks for the 3 songs...love them!

Dude on September 28, 2010:

Hi Mr. Williams from my 7th period at fwbhs.

a on June 22, 2010:

so this is where my students plagiarized from! great job!

dollphace esha on May 12, 2010:

thanks this was helpful

:p on May 04, 2010:

very nice


Tim McCloud on April 17, 2010:

this was very helpful i already had a few ideas but this helped me get the chapter I could not come up with a song for

Corey C on March 26, 2010:

ya paul this is awsome

Paul Pavlinich on March 25, 2010:

ya max this is going to help a lot

we stumped her

Max Bodrie on March 25, 2010:

Thanks so much this is realy going to help me get a good grade

Stephanie on March 01, 2010:

OMG this is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks

jennifer on October 15, 2009:


anonymous 2 on May 25, 2009:

this has been very helpful! thanks so much! I have been assigned to make a soundtrack for this book and you have helped me... but I've also found a bunch of other songs that describe this book.

"Living Proof" - The Downtown Fiction.

"Three Cigarettes in An Ashtray" - Patsy Cline.

"Someday" - Nickelback

Anonymous on May 22, 2009:

Thanks so much, this list has been a great help cuz my teacher in california assigned us to make a list of songs for each chapter.