Save the Cake: The Playlist

This video is brought to you by Rebecca Ferguson.


My beta-reader friend Natster once said that sharing one’s musical tastes is comparable to “flashing your knickers at a stranger,” which can be quite humiliating if one were to do so deliberately. The initial playlist I devised for Save the Cake has its own embarrassing moments, which is somewhat to be expected when compiling music for weddings that are meant to be big, romantic, people-pleasing affairs.

As I continued to write the story, however, I realized that the story deserved two different playlists altogether – one for the insane society wedding itself, and one for those down times when Eloisa and Sean are separated from each other. This is not to say that the music reflects my own tastes, but I just went with what sounded and felt right. And in the end, isn’t that what matters?

Without further ado, here are a few choice selections from each playlist…



– Pachelbel’s  Canon in D Major, as performed by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (Karl Munchchinger, conductor): There’s a scene in the story where Eloisa slaves away in the kitchen as she imagines Hazel’s wedding, with the Canon playing in the background. Truly, no wedding is complete without the Canon.

– Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”: Most of the characters in this story are ’90s babies who were likely to have found that boom-box scene in Say Anything… romantic as all get-out – Hazel and Vinny even more so, perhaps, because it sounds like something they would have danced to at their prom. It’s also the perfect song to play while the wedding entourage enters the ballroom.

– U2, “All I Want Is You.” See above; replace references to Say Anything with references to Reality Bites.

The Frames, “Falling Slowly.” See above; replace references to Say Anything or Reality Bites with references to Once. (Though I could imagine this being a nice first-dance song for Eloisa and Sean. Or at least a nice counter-balance to the sappiness, what with the words “Take this sinking boat/ And point it home” being used to describe what this wedding has become to these folks.)

– Norah Jones, “Come Away with Me”: Great for any of the dances during the reception.

– Peter Cetera, “Glory of Love”: An early outline of the story had Vinny singing this to Hazel and forgetting the lyrics. It’s a cheesefest, sure, but who wouldn’t want a plateful of cheese for their wedding?

– Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat, “Lucky”: Less cheesy, but considering that the couple had been together for such a long time, couldn’t you imagine a more perfect song for these two?



– Stevie Wonder, “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)”: This sounds like a song that both Sean and Eloisa would adopt as a mantra… until Stevie starts asking “Don’t you wanna, don’t you wanna, don’t you wanna fall in love?”

– Rebecca Ferguson, “Nothing’s Real But Love”: Eloisa, for all her bitterness, has got to be a romantic at heart. Why else would she still agree to make the cake for a wedding that she finds to be a load of bull?

-Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto feat. Astrud Gilberto, “Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)”: Reyna Bakery is the kind of place that would have some bossa nova playing in the background for the ambience. Eloisa’s parents would insist on playing the real thing, the better to go along with the pretty cakes and the faux-Mediterranean menu.

– Roberta Flack, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”: I could imagine this playing on the radio in the bakery when Sean first shows up to buy those chicken empanadas.

– Mary J. Blige, “No More Drama”: The perfect song to freak out to when Eloisa gets sick and tired of Hazel’s constant whining – or her brother’s arrogance, for that matter.

– Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”: This would be Sean at his lowest moment, locking himself into his car and turning up this song full blast.

– Kings of Leon, “Sex On Fire” / Jeff Buckley, “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”: Spoilery non-spoilers, which is all I can say on the subject.

– James Morrison, “You Give Me Something”: A lovely song for a lovely new normal.

Love, Stella

2 Responses

  1. Hey! Nice list. I love the multi sensory approach to the reading experience. It really adds something knowing the music that your characters would like – gets right into their heads. Funnily enough, I just read a chapter of someone's book yesterday also featuring that Jason Mraz song. It's a beautiful song. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. You're welcome! "Lucky" is a nice little romantic ditty; it's a good way of capturing that moment when people fall in love and can't wait to get together again 😀 I love putting together playlists for the stories that I write – like you've said, it's a great way of getting into the thoughts of your characters, and it also says a lot about the world they live in when they hear a certain song on the radio or at a party. Great stuff. 🙂

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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