The ballads of Lucy Gray Baird

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Thu Nov 30 2023
Photo Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate

Written by Ray Kirsch

This piece contains spoilers from “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.” The piece is based on the movie, less than the book.

Lucy Gray Baird, the District 12 tribute in the 10th Hunger Games, wooed the Capitol audience through a special method: singing. Lucy Gray was a member of the Covey, a group of nomads in Panem that made money for their musical performances. What better way to celebrate Lucy Gray than making her a playlist? Here are some songs that remind me of Lucy Gray, especially her evolution in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Smile by Wolf Alice

Don't call me mad / There's a difference, I'm angry

At only 16 years old, Lucy Gray was reaped and managed to survive the Hunger Games. She wasn't expected to win; she wasn't even in people's top lists of tributes. She was angry for being reaped and even more angry for Coriolanus Snow, her mentor, for not putting any faith in her potential survival. She's angry, and she has every right to be.

mad woman by Taylor Swift 

No one likes a mad woman / You made her like that 

Lucy Gray completes her reaping by yelling “you can kiss my ass” to the Capitol after singing a song. Everyone is shocked, but it can't come as a massive surprise. Lucy Gray was furious only because of the reaping and the system that had been hurting the Districts for years. 

Teeth by 5 Seconds of Summer

Every little lie gives me butterflies / Something in the way you're looking through my eyes / Don't know if I'm gonna make it out alive

Coriolanus Snow is supposed to be on Lucy Gray's side—he is her mentor, after all. Snow is playing his own form of games as a mentor, as his family is not doing well with money and needs the Plinth Prize. However, Lucy Gray can look right through him and see his lies. She knows he did not believe in her chances of surviving the Hunger Games, making her uneasy about it as well.

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

I don't like your little games / Don't like your tilted stage / The role you made me play of a fool

Under the direction of Snow's advice, Lucy Gray quickly learns about the importance of wooing a crowd in order to gain donations while in the Games. The more she sings and puts on a show with Snow, the more likely she'll be able to get the donations to survive. 

you should see me in a crown by Billie Eilish 

You should see me in a crown / Your silence is my favorite sound

When Lucy Gray is surrounded by the snakes in the arena, there is a deafening silence where everyone is waiting to see what will happen. The snakes are supposed to be killing her, but they are instead sliding around her body without trying to kill her. Ultimately, Lucy Gray shocks everyone again by surviving and winning the Games.

Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene by Hozier

In leash-less confusion, I'll wander the concrete / Wonder if better now having survived

Lucy Gray wins the 10th Hunger Games, to everyone's surprise—but especially Snow's. She and Snow find themselves in a momentary blissful paradise in District 12, where Lucy Gray sings with the Covey and Snow does his job as a Peacekeeper until they meet each other in secret. Lucy Gray is still recovering from the Hunger Games, though, so she is always keeping her eyes open.

love is embarrassing by Olivia Rodrigo

I give up everything / I placed my bets and it's not worth anything 

After Snow kills one of the District 12 people that are planning to secretly escape Panem, Lucy Gray and Snow plan to run away after the murder is plotted on Sejanus. Lucy Gray has to give up her entire Covey life, even if it means leaving her chosen family alive and alone in a cabin with Snow.

Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

You only know what I want you to / I know everything you don't want me to 

While Snow thinks he is all strategic and planned, Lucy Gray is more intuitive than he gives her credit for. She recognizes his red flags and his lies, and she is prepared to run away, even from him. In a sense, she is still in a game herself—the game between her and Snow. 

exile by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver

You're not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now? 

After realizing that Snow is a little (a lot) unhinged and that she can't go back to Panem, Lucy Gray makes a run for it and manages to escape Snow (and his guns). She disappears, losing her home of District 12 and realizing that the only person she really has, after all, is herself. 

Can't Catch Me Now by Olivia Rodrigo

You'll see my face in every place / But you can't catch me now

Although it is not explicitly stated in the movie, it is heavily implied that Lucy Gray manages to escape Snow and Panem. Snow is upset, eventually returning to the Capitol and managing to hold his grudge all the way to Katniss Everdeen's own Hunger Games. Still, Lucy Gray's presence manages to stay, with her music staying alive through “The Hanging Tree” and her legacy living through poison and Katniss.