”You All Everybody”
Episode: ”Pilot” (Season 1) and others
No, not a ”real” tune, but we’d be dopey to leave Charlie Pace’s greatest (and only) hit with Driveshaft off this list. Key Lost themes — community, cooperation, mystical interconnection — are compressed into a super-catchy pop-rocker with idealistic sentiments and (let’s be honest) some pretty nonsensical lyrics. Charlie sang a snippet for Kate and Jack as they trekked into the jungle to find the Oceanic 815 cockpit. Kate was impressed. Jack, not so much. Jerk.
Sawyer was inspired to sing a few verses from Bob Marley’s reggae classic as he sailed into the sunset with Jin, Michael, and Walt aboard the raft at the end of season 1. The title and refrain hit Lost‘s central themes of character redemption and finding freedom from the past — but the first verse, speaking of pirates and abduction, foreshadows Walt’s kidnapping from the raft by Mr. Friendly and the Others.
”Make Your Own Kind Of Music”
Performed by: ”Mama” Cass Elliot
Episode: ”Man of Science, Man of Faith” and others
This cheery ode to individuality is most memorably linked to Desmond Hume, who’d begin his day inside The Hatch by listening to Cass’ cheery ode to individuality and self-determination. The song reeks of the 1970s — a perfect fit for The Dharma Initiative’s post-flower-power/”Me Decade” origins and ethos. And yet, one wonders if Desmond liked the tune for being an ironic comment on his own situation. After all, he was all but trapped in The Hatch, all but enslaved to pushing that button — a man forced to sing someone else’s tune for fear of the consequences. The song was also heard during one of Michael’s Island-thwarted suicide attempts — again, another example of the song applied to a situation involving subverted will.
Episode: ”The Long Con” and others
One of the earliest clues that Lost was building toward some time-travel twist was this memorable season 2 music cue. After finding vintage radio inside Dharma’s old Arrow station, Hurley and Sayid searched the dial and tuned in to this 1939 classic by the big-band maestro Glenn Miller. Did they find a golden-oldies show (Chuck Cecil’s The Swinging Years, perhaps?), or were they receiving a transmission from across space and time?
”Walkin’ After Midnight”
Performed by: Patsy Cline
Episode: ”What Kate Did” and others
Kate is Lost‘s number one Patsy Cline fan, and a number of the country singer’s songs have popped up in Kate-centric eps, including ”Leavin’ on Your Mind” and ”She’s Got You.”
”Catch A Falling Star”
Performed by: Perry Como
Episode: ”Raised by Another” and others
It was Aaron’s bedtime lullaby, though it also evokes the visual of the castaways falling to earth from Oceanic 815 and being caught by the almighty roving parent that is The Island. Of course, season 6 used the song to creepy effect when it had Squirrel Nut Claire sing it during Smokey’s homicidal sacking of The Temple.
Performed by: Petula Clark
Episode: ”A Tale of Two Cities” and ”Not in Portland”
This was Juliet’s favorite song, though for some reason, she kept her Petula Clark disc inside a Talking Heads jewel case. Must be an inside joke — or a Lost clue to be decoded! In retrospect, the lyrics would seem to foreshadow her deadly plunge down the Jughead hole after giving up on the dream of off-Island happily ever after in 1977 America with Sawyer: ”When you’re alone/And life is making you lonely/You can always go/Downtown.”
Episode: ”Flashes Before Your Eyes,” ”Greatest Hits”
This song was a favorite of Charlie Pace’s; the faux British rocker performed this melancholy classic by real British rockers Oasis during his days as a London street musician. It’s also linked to Desmond, who came upon Charlie playing the tune during his season 2 time trip. The song, which cribs its title from a 1968 British film with music by George Harrison, speaks to regret of dreams unfulfilled and yearning for a saving love — a ballad for Lost‘s concept of needing a relational ”Constant” to survive. Could it be a metaphor for the redemptive force that is The Island, too?
Performed by: Three Dog Night
Episode: ”Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”
Personally, my favorite Lost musical cue ever, from perhaps the most underrated Lost episode ever, the Season 3 Hurley gem ”Tricia Tanaka Is Dead.” Putting the curse of The Numbers and his entire fatalistic mindset behind him for good, Hurley put his faith in Island power and jump-started a dead Dharma bus to life, revitalizing his soul in the process. As he took Sawyer, Jin, and Charlie for a joyride around The Island, Three Dog Night’s feel-good sing-along about a mystical paradise — a key track from Hurley’s forlorn, father-abandoned youth, as well — boomed on the eight-track stereo. The beach montage set to the tune gets me kinda misty too.
Performed by: Nirvana
Episode: ”Through the Looking Glass”
This bleak grunge-rocker was favored by Jack during his drug-hazed, suicidal Oceanic 6 period. He bounced to it in his Jeep while driving to the Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Home to mope and seethe around John Locke/Jeremy Bentham’s casket. ”Scentless Apprentice” — in which Kurt Cobain bellows ”Go away!” and growls about a man who reeks like a corpse — captures the essence of a soul in crisis, bucking against his destiny.
Episode: ”Through The Looking Glass”
In the season 3 finale, Charlie dove down to the Looking Glass station to disable a jamming device that was preventing radio transmissions from being sent to or received from The Island. (That rascally Ben!) The code for doing so turned out to be musical — the refrain from this 1966 Beach Boys classic. How totally coincidental and incredibly fortuitous that the person who undertook the deep-dive mission was a musician!
Performed by: Willie Nelson
Episode: ”Because You Left”
Kate isn’t Lost‘s only country music lover. In season 5, we learned that Dr. Pierre Chang — a.k.a. The Dharma Dude of Many Names — enjoyed the musical stylings of Outlaw Willie, particularly this title track from one of Nelson’s most adventurous albums. Chang’s scratched vinyl skips during the refrain ”You can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say” — a creative choice that helped bring to life Daniel Faraday’s ”skipping record” analogy of Island time travel and also spoke for Lost‘s bold decision to declare itself a true sci-fi show.
Performed by: Geronimo Jackson
Episode: ”Namaste” and others
Lost‘s other fictitious band, popular in college circles during the late ?60s/ early ?70s. (Or so we ourselves have inferred from what little info we were given about the group.) They definitely recorded one album, Magna Carta, which Hurley found in The Hatch, and their song ”Dharma Lady” was, naturally, popular within Dharma Initiative society. Is it possible that Geronimo Jackson’s Keith Strutter and other members joined The Dharma Initiative themselves? That’s our theory.
”Search and Destroy”
Performed by: Iggy and the Stooges
Episode: ”The Substitute”
When he ran away from the castaways following Juliet’s death, Sawyer barricaded himself inside his former Dharma digs, drank himself numb with imported whiskey, and shut the world out with vintage American punk. The cue was ironically preceded by one of the most memorable Smokey moments ever, in which the camera adopted his point of view as he billowed into the air and across The Island while hunting Jacob’s candidates.
Episode: ”The Variable,” ”The Lighthouse,” ”Happily Ever After”
One of Frédéric Chopin’s signature compositions, written for the piano, this classical masterpiece became the preferred sheet music for any scene involving a piano-playing child during the last 20 episodes of Lost. And there were hundreds of such scenes! Actually, there were just two. Young Daniel Faraday — a musical prodigy before he became a physics genius — was seen and heard rehearsing the piece on the fateful day his sad mother set him on his tragic destiny to become a time-travel parricide. And in Jack’s Sideways world, the dead doctor’s phantom son — actually his own wounded inner child — performed the piece during his recital. The title evokes the idea of a sudden outbreak of fantasy, which can be applied to either the Island world or the Sideways world, and the piece is known for its mysterious, ambiguous ending (or so the music scholar at Wikipedia tells us), which is fitting for Lost.