The Rules Playlist by Tracy Darnton

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The Rules a few months back, and I loved it. It was a really great read, I’ll hopefully have my review up this week, for now to celebrate the release I have a playlist from the author Tracy Darnton, I loved this idea for a post and the songs are great!


Tracy Darnton’s The Rules – A Prepper’s Playlist for the Bunker

My latest book The Rules has just been published by Stripes and I thought I’d share a possible playlist in a preppers’ bunker version of Desert Island Discs.

First off, you should know a bit about the book to understand the music choices. The Rules is a YA thriller about Amber on the run from her prepper dad. Her whole childhood was about preparing for disaster and her dad’s strict set of Rules to live by. But now Amber has to stay hidden from him – the man who taught her everything she knows about survival and staying under the radar. The Rules are kicking in again even though she’s tried to forget them. But what’s her dad got planned as the ultimate preppers’ bunker, and is the pull of the Rules too strong or are Rules always meant to be broken?

You’ve got an idea now of the nature of the story.  Now imagine you’re a prepper in the bunker and you can only listen to seven tracks. Here are my suggestions and you can use my playlist on Spotify at https://spoti.fi/3bymWzo

Going Underground – The Jam.

I was at school in the eighties, having to read the government public information booklet Protect and Survive(and Raymond Briggs’ brilliant Protest and Survive) and watch scary TV shows like Threads, showing in horrific realistic detail the effects of a nuclear war on Sheffield. I genuinely believed we might have to survive a nuclear bomb with only the kitchen table for protection. This track reminds me of that time when going underground seemed a good way to escape the nuclear arms war.

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

For the purposes of The Rules, ignore the love theme and focus on holding your head up high in this disco classic. Definitely one for the bunker Karaoke night.

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

I loved the Grease film when I was little (and didn’t know any better) and then moved onto John Travolta’s edgier Saturday Night Fever. I defy anyone in the bunker not to start tapping their feet when the Bee Gees soundtrack comes on. With her emergency medicine and first aid training, Amber would like this for another reason – with 104 beats per minute this can be an aid to the rate of chest compressions while performing CPR.

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Perfect background chorus for Amber as she arranges the stockpile or sets up a water purification system.

Every Breath You Take – The Police.

At first listen, it seems a love song but it’s rather sinister and about surveillance and ownership so perfect undertones for the relationship Amber has with her dad. The hidden dark side appeals to me.

Bunker – Dave Knud

Preppers need to stay in shape and this would be the track that the character Will listens to while working out at the gym he rigs up at Centurion House.

Ruins – First Aid Kit

And, of course, no Prepper should be without their ownFirst Aid Kit.

Anyone got any other suggestions for the ultimate prepper playlist?


Tracy Darnton’s The Rules is published by Stripes. Tracy’s last book The Truth About Lies was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and was a World Book Night titleShe lives in Bath and spends a lot of time listening to music in her basement.  

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyDarnton or Instagram tracydarnton

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