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Spike: A Musical Chronology

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001 —> early one morning (traditional english folk song)

1860 || William’s childhood in England

This song was first published in 1787. Canonically, William’s mother used to sing this to  him as a lullaby when he was younger (7x17 “Lies My Parents Told Me”). Of course, it became less comforting after he sired his mother, as it reminded William of his mother’s incestuous overtures toward him. In 2002, The First used this song to trigger Spike as a sleeper agent. 

002 —> op 76, no. 4 intermezzo in b flat major (brahms)

1879 || William shortly before siring, England

Brahms’s Op. 76, a collection of short piano works, was published in 1879, the year before William Pratt became a vampire (5x7 “Fool For Love). Although William’s taste in music is not mentioned, it was common in Victorian times for young women to perform piano pieces while entertaining guests. Cecily Underwood, the object of his affections at this time, would certainly have been an amateur instrumentalist. This intermezzo is chaotic and sentimental, much as William’s life - and unlife - would subsequently prove to be. 

003 —> adagio (from giselle, adolphe  adam) 

1890 || The Whirlwind visit Russia

Adam's Giselle was originally performed in Paris in 1841, but the Whirlwind (Angelus, Darla, Drusilla, and Spike) see it in St. Peterburg in 1890 (AtS 3x13 "Waiting In The Wings”). Although Spike and Angel have a rocky relationship, it is still clear that William enjoys having a family, and that, despite his newfound bloodlust, he is still incredibly passionate. This selection reflects that emotional temperament. 

004 —> ambush on all sides (classical chinese martial song) 

1900 || William the Bloody kills his first Slayer in the Boxer Rebellion

“Ambush On All Sides” appears in a compilation from 1818, but the original date is uncertain. Spike has his first experience fighting a Slayer in China (5x7 “Fool For Love”). This pipa song refers to a battle in 202 B.C.E., and while it is unlikely that a Victorian ex-gentleman would know that much about Chinese history, the obvious martial nature of the piece would surely have appealed to a vampire fresh from his greatest kill. 

005 —> merry widow waltz (lehar)

1907 || Spike and Drusilla return to England

The waltz was very popular in the early 20th century, and if there is one thing Spike and Drusilla consistently love (besides bloodshed), it’s dancing (see 7x17 “Lies My Parents Told Me”). Canon does not tell us where Spike and Drusilla were between the Boxer Rebellion and the 1940s, but it does not seem unreasonable to assume that they would choose to return to their homeland. 

006 —> my melancholy baby (al bowlly)

1935 || Spike goes to the US without Drusilla

“My Melancholy Baby” was performed by many singers, but Al Bowlly’s wistful rendition is certainly one to remember. Going on pure speculation, Spike and Drusilla may have temporarily parted ways due to a small spat or simply different interests. Perhaps Spike was in hot pursuit of a Slayer, or Drusilla insisted on hunting down “Mummy” (Darla) and he would have no part in it. Either way, Spike would often lose himself to drinking and remembering his wild lover. 

007—> la morena de mi copla (manolo escobar) 

1943 || Spike and Drusilla visit Spain

“La Morena De Mi Copla” (fittingly, a song about a mysterious brunette) was originally recorded in 1939, but would have still been popular in WWII-era Spain. Spike, at least, was certainly in Spain before he ended up on a submarine with Angel (AtS 5x13 “Why We Fight”). Whether Drusilla accompanied him or not, this fiery song would remind him of the mysterious brunette in his life. 

008 —> eri piccola cosi (fred buscaglione) 

1959 || Spike and Drusilla in Italy

“Eri Piccola Cosi” was most famously performed by Fred Buscaglione, a man who exemplified the kind of image Spike was adopting for himself - a drinking, smoking tough-guy. Spike and Drusilla were in Italy at some point during the fifties (AtS 5x20 “The Girl In Question”), and this type of music was the exciting new style at that time. 

009 —> my generation (the who) 

1969 || Spike goes to Woodstock

Spike mentions in his first appearance that he was at Woodstock, and that it was a “weird gig” (2x3 “School Hard”). While a lot of the bands that performed at Woodstock would have been right up Spike’s alley, he might have been most drawn to The Who. Being in the US made him cling even more strongly to his English roots, and for the first time he feels as if he can really identify with the current era. What better song to exemplify this sense than “My Generation”? 

010 —> anarchy in the uk (sex pistols) 

1977 || Spike kills his second Slayer in NYC

No Spike fanmix would be complete without a Sex Pistols song, and their debut album had just dropped when Spike was hunting Nikki Wood in New York. “Anarchy in the UK” perfectly describes Spike’s raison d'etre - evil and chaos for the sake of evil and chaos. He fights Slayers for the thrill and the honor, and also because he enjoys upturning the natural order of things. Most vampires flee from the Slayers; Spike runs to them. 

011 —> rock the casbah (the clash) 

1982 || Spike and Drusilla in LA

Spike mentions that he had already done the LA scene (5x14 “Crush”), so why not in the 80s, right after he hit NYC? Spike also references this song at least once (4x13 “The I In Team”). The punk scene held so much appeal for Spike that he still dresses in the fashion decades later, and the rebellious message of “Rock The Casbah” suits Spike as well as his new leather duster does. 

012 —> smells like teen spirit (nirvana) 

1997 || Spike and Drusilla come to Sunnydale

Although “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was originally released in 1991, Spike and Drusilla spent at least some of the 1990s in Prague. Spike also references this song later in the series (6x21 “Two To Go”). Buffy, whom he meets this year, is obviously full of “teen spirit”, and is as quintessentially all-American as “Teen Spirit”. This track also alludes to Spike’s overconfidence at this point in his career, after his third Slayer (the youngest yet, we assume). Unfortunately for him, things don’t quite turn out the way he expects. 

013 —> all the small things (blink-182) 

1999 || Spike is chipped

Separated from Drusilla, his fighting abilities, and perhaps even his records, Spike is set adrift. What does he have left except for the punkest music the 1999 Top 40 has to offer? Not to mention the fact that blink-182 actually performed at the Bronze (4x9 “Something Blue”), meaning that he probably heard a lot about them, despite being chained to a bathtub at the time. If Spike can wear a Hawaiian shirt, he can also legitimately enjoy the pop rock of the late 90s. 

014 —> avalon (roxy music) 

2001 || Spike and Buffy upgrade their relationship

“Avalon” was originally released in 1982, but Spike appreciates the classics. In the original draft of 6x9 “Smashed”, he set up this record at his crypt before he hoped to initiate sex with Buffy. This intimate, artsy track showcases the sentimental poet still very much alive within the undead scrapper. 

015 —> school’s out (alice cooper) 

2003 || Spike closes the Hellmouth

Shortly before his death, Spike references this song, which is really suitable under the circumstances (7x22 “Chosen”). He continues to embrace his rock roots and his dry sense of humor, but he is also disguising his very real change (as he is now ensouled) and his fear, however hidden, of death. 

016 —> the reason (hoobastank) 

2004 || Spike joins Angel Investigations

He may seem to be very much back to his old self, but the ensouling and subsequent death has changed Spike irrevocably, and his decision not to go after Buffy is a sign of that maturity. In his new corporate environment, perhaps he ends up, one way or another, hearing this song (in 2004’s Top 40) and identifying with it. He may no longer be with Buffy, but she remains the reason that he pursues the side of good. 

017 —> no more sorrow (linkin park) 

2007 || Spike rejoins Buffy in the Twilight aftermath

Linkin Park’s “Minutes to Midnight” was released in 2007, and as Spike is now separated from humanity even further by his spaceship, it stands to reason that he should rebelliously embrace it further. Besides, he is able to identify with the powerful emotions expressed here as he tries to cope with all of the changes his unlife has gone through in the past few years. 

0 18 —> sail (awolnation) 

2012 || Spike and Buffy take a spacecation

Besides the obvious relation between the song title and events, the futuristic sounds of “Sail” fits Spike’s new conception of his life. No longer content to be the Slayer’s puppy dog, but also unwilling to completely exile himself from her life again, he finally feels like his own person. He may forever be a “fool for love”, but that can be a strength, not a weakness.