Beware, Walking Dead fan– there be spoilers here. If you aren’t caught up on Season 6, tread carefully. For a spoiler-free read, feel free to scroll past the middle paragraph and enjoy the playlist at the end of the page.
The Walking Dead is a favorite of mine for various reasons. The suspenseful plot, the character development, the moral implications and deep questions that arise out of the scenarios of a fallen society… you get the point. But the most surprising thing that I love in the series would have to be its soundtrack. Not only are there some pretty baller soundscapes that are implicitly created for the show, but the writers also have a keen taste in music, which is apparent in the artists and singles they choose to highlight.
There are plenty of songs that highlight the strange mixture of gloom and rage. Others are uncharacteristically cheery– since the good moments are fewer and farther between as we venture deeper into the show, the use of these songs are incredibly sardonic in nature. Take “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” in the recent mid-season finale, “Start to Finish.” As we’ve seen, young Sam has regressed into a very scared and nervous state after the Wolves’ attack on Alexandria. Refusing to come downstairs, he stays holed up in his room, eating the food his mother brings up to him and listening to the same records over and over. “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” is a cute song in itself–completely innocuous in nature. But paired with Sam’s extreme paranoia and the scene of the army of ants crawling through his window to eat half-eaten food on the floor, this song suddenly becomes severely unsettling. As I watched the opening scene, I found myself left with a sinking feeling and the foreboding sense that something bad was about to happen. In retrospect, I can fully appreciate how the Walking Dead writers used such a simple song and imagery to bring top-notch foreshadowing. Just as the ants only needed to find one small opening in the window to make their way towards their driving urge for food, so it is paralleled with the hoards of walkers outside the walls of Alexandria. After all hell breaks loose, the walkers certainly “tiptoe” through– windows, gardens, tulips, and everywhere else. I’d venture to even entertain the notion that the line “If I kiss you in the garden, will you pardon me?/ And tiptoe through the tulips with me” could refer to the walkers eating people and turning them into their own kind.
Plenty of these examples can be found throughout the whole series, but I’ll leave those revelations for you to discover for yourself. In the meantime, here’s a list of all the songs from Season 6. It’s been a great soundtrack, and I can’t wait to hear what haunting tracks the writers have in store for tonight’s season finale.
Featured image courtesy of AMC.