The song “All I Want” by Kodaline refers to Holden’s feelings toward Phoebe near the end of the book. For example, when Holden is delusional, he thinks he is going to die of pneumonia and says, “… so finally what I figured I’d do, I figured I’d better sneak home and see her, in case I died and all” (Salinger 156). Holden’s one wish before he dies (or so he thinks) was to go see his kid sister Phoebe. Holden has a very close relationship with his sister, and they are both very fond of the other.
This mindset is displayed by the members of Kodaline when they sing ’cause if I could see your face once more/ I could die a happy man I’m sure” (Kodaline). While “All I Want” is admittedly about a romantic relationship and not one of a sibling nature, that longing to be with someone is a perfect description of Holden’s attitude toward Phoebe. His one and only “dying” wish is to say goodbye to one of the only constants in his life; Phoebe was the one who was right alongside Holden after Allie’s death, and that traumatic event brought them closer together.
Not only does “All I Want” represent Catcher in the Rye, but a song by Green Day does as well. “Basket Case”, a song by Green Day, perfectly encompasses Holden’s mental state. While the song itself matches Holden for the most part, one part specifically portrays him to the tee. Take, for example, Holden’s constant whining and complaining. In Catcher in the Rye, Holden says “I don’t much like to see old guys in their pajamas and bathrobes anyway. Their bumpy old chests are always showing. And their legs.
Old guys’ legs, at beaches and places, always look so white and unhairy” (Salinger 7) when he went to go visit his elderly teacher Mr. Spencer. Holden made the conscience decision to see his teacher, yet when he gets there all he wants to do is leave. He constantly complains about how frail and weak Mr. Spencer looks (he is sick when Holden sees him). This bellyaching is reflected by a line from Green Day. They sing, “Do you have the time to listen to me whinel About nothing and everything all at once” (Green Day).
Holden seems to find the most trivial issues to complain about, such as old men’s bare chests and legs; because his complaints are not about anything important, they are the “everything and nothing” he complains about. He is also shown throughout the book to be extremely social, and he is seen avidly seeking out attention– he would complain to anyone about anything. While this song represents Holden’s mental instability, a song by Ed Sheeran pertains to a different aspect of Catcher in the Rye. “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran is a song about a longing love; it is a desperate plea for a companion.
This pertains to Holden’s desire to connect with any girl he meets. In Catcher in the Rye, for instance, Holden drinks a tad too much and decides to call Sally. He says, “I was too drunk, I guess. So what I did, I gave old Sally Hayes a buzz. ” (Salinger 150). This shows that Holden is too afraid to reach out to anyone while sober, which is seen when he wants to call his family or friends but ultimately decides he’s “not in the mood” earlier in the novel. Once he drinks enough, however, all his inhibitions are gone and he tries to find a girl to give him love.
Sheeran displays this exact attitude toward romance when he sings “Maybe tonight I’ll call ya/ After my blood turns into alcohol” (Sheeran). Sheeran depicts a man too afraid to talk to the potential love of his life until booze is added into the mix– so much booze, in fact, that he claims his blood is more alcohol than actual blood. In the novel, Holden mentions multiple times his ability to hold copious amounts of liquor, so to get drunk enough to want to call Sally must have been a feat for him. While “Give Me Love” represents Holden’s drinking and inner desires, a song by 30H! sheds some light on Holden’s love life and his relationships.
“Starstrukk” is a song by 30H! 3 that reflects Holden’s intimate relationships (his lack thereof). While Holden’s roommate Stradlater is talking about his date for the night, Holden’s childhood best friend and crush Jane Gallagher, Holden begins to get very excited at the prospect of saying hi to her. He says “Jane Gallagher. Jesus. ‘I couldn’t get her off my mind. I really couldn’t. ‘l oughta go down and hello to her, at least” (Salinger 32). He never actually goes down to see her, but she frequently pops into his head throughout the novel.
This shows that Holden has a fear of intimate relationships; he very clearly wants to talk to lane– maybe even date her– but something in his head tells him to chicken out right before he does. 30H! 3 describes Holden’s problems when they sing “I think I should know how to make love to something innocent without leaving my fingerprints/Out/ Now/L-o-V-e’s just another word I never learned to pronounce/ How do I say I’m sorry ’cause the word is never gonna come out/ Now/L-O-V-e’s just another word I never learned to pronounce” (30H! ).
Holden’s hesitance when it comes to romantic relationships will possibly never let him say that he loves someone, but he has no shame in that. While he is a bit conflicted, Holden ultimately chooses the infantile path and refuses to even go on a date; when he takes Sally to the movies, he ends up hating her by the time the date is over. “Starstrukk” refers to Holden’s habit of shying away from relationships in Catcher in the Rye, and a song by Marianas Trench correlates with a different habit of Holden’s.
Finally, “Cross My Heart” by Marianas Trench refers to Holden’s compulsive lying in Catcher in the Rye. For example, in the book while Holden is on the train to New York, he meets Mrs. Morrow, the mother of one of his classmates at Pencey. They talk for a while until Mrs. Morrow asks Holden his name. He says, “Rudolf Schmidt,’I told her. I didn’t feel like giving her my whole life story. Rudolf Schmidt was the name of the janitor of our dorm” (Salinger 54-55). Giving a false name was completely unnecessary; the two were having pleasant small talk while waiting for their stop.
There are also many other incidents in Catcher in the Rye where Holden lies. “Cross My Heart” has a line where Marianas Trench sings “Lie just a little lie/ Just a little lie/ Just a.. ” (Marianas Trench). This sheds light on Holden’s constant lying– just one little lie after the other. Not only does his fibbing damage his (barely there) relationships, but it also damages his mind because he bottles everything up. “Cross My Heart” displays one of the attributes that might have led to Holden’s break with reality in Catcher in the Rye.