I watched the film The Exorcist (1973) when I was in high school. My uncle also saw it when he was in high school — only it was in theaters where they passed out barf bags to the audience. The movie is a horror classic for a reason; whether or not you believe in angels and demons, and regardless of the 1970s special effects, the film rings true in a way that haunts you long after it’s over.
I picked up The Exorcist book, which came out two years before the movie, in a thrift store last year. And it’s without a doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read (and I read a lot, a lot). Not only is the writing brilliant, but the subject material grabs you and makes you think and continues to linger in your mind (much like the film, only this time you provide the visuals).
My favorite character is Father Damien Karras. In addition to his ongoing crisis of faith, he is conflicted, skeptical, and terribly lonely. There is so much we don’t know about him, but it’s clear that he has a troubled past and present. At several points in the novel, he goes running, and I found myself wondering what he might listen to on these runs. I didn’t think it would be very upbeat or fast (like your average running playlist) but more reflective and — well — somewhat sad. So, I made him a playlist with music that was popular in the early 1970s when the book was released. To me, each song embodies what we know about Karras, his struggles and his desires.
- Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) – The Temptations
- Tired of Being Alone – Al Green
- Wild World – Cat Stevens
- Lonely Days – The Bee Gees
- Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
- Riders on the Storm – The Doors
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
- I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
- Let It Be – The Beatles
- Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Evil Ways – Santana
- It’s Only Make Believe – Glen Campbell
- Suspicious Minds – Elvis
- Time of the Season – Zombies
- When I Die – Motherlode
Give the playlist a listen on Spotify.