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From The Ashes Playlist

Sometimes reading the book isn't enough. During this recurring blog segment, Book Interrupted members share songs that made their playlist and why.

This playlist was inspired by the book From The Ashes by Jesse Thistle. Book Interrupted read this book in Season 1, and it seems only appropriate to revisit it since Thistle has another coming out, Scars And Stars, available for preorder now. Listen to the full Spotify playlist here or watch it here on YouTube.

What's on your playlist?

Hurt by Johnny Cash


“I first chose this song because of its opening lyric:

“I hurt myself today,

To see if I still feel”

But after reading all the lyrics I realized it’s a more than appropriate song pick for From The Ashes. Many of the lyrics seem to speak to specific parts of Thistles story. Someone could tell me that Jesse Thistle wrote this song and I’d believe them because From The Ashes and Hurt are brothers of the same sick mother and within each, the tale of the treachery of addiction is told. From The Ashes is more than that, but Thistle’s struggle with addiction is a major part of the piece and Johnny Cash’s Hurt seems to exemplify that part of his story perfectly.”

Blackbird by Emma Stevens


“I heard this song on CBC in 2019 and loved it ever since. Emma Steven’s sings Blackbird entirely in Mi'kmaw. Emma is, 16, from Eskasoni, N.S. Canada. The cover was produced by the school's music teacher Carter Chiasson using translated lyrics from the Mi'kmaw language teacher Katani Julian and her father. We spoke during the From the Ashes Book cycle about indigenous languages and why it’s so important to preserve them. Katani Julian touches upon her and her father’s translation in this article: Meet the N.S. teenager who sang Blackbird by The Beatles entirely in Mi'kmaw

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman


“I chose this song for the ashes playlist because the first time I heard this song, something strange happened within me. I was just a little kid, but when I heard this song, I also heard the storytelling for the first time - I felt emotion evoked by music and understood someone else's truth. The music made sense to me in a way that used my inner wisdom instead of my left-brain. It was wonderful! Similarly, reading this book changed me for the better. It's one of my favourite songs and favourite books.”

You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind) by Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq


“Sometimes you got to take a stand

Just because you think you can

You got to run”

I heard this song on CBC radio and it really stuck with me. It made me think about Jesse Thistle and his standing up for himself against his battle with addiction.”

Sweet Sublime by Ruby Waters


I heard this song on the radio, and immediately fell in love with Ruby Waters. I could listen to her all day. Why did I pick this song for the playlist? It speaks for itself. I dare you not to love this song. Here's just a taste from the last verse:

“Look at this beautiful mess I made baby

I cleaned it up but you and I both know it made me”

My Doorbell by The White Stripes


“I adore The White Stripes. I adore Jack White. And this one’s got it. It’s loud and clangs in that messy way The White Stripes do or did. It all around kills. Plus, it kinda made me think about poor little Jesse Thistle, (the author,) waiting for those parents to come around.”

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