While the new Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes fans back to the world of Panem, it is in many ways a very different kind of film to the previous entries in the franchise.


Not only is it set 64 years before the earlier movies – at a time when the brutal Games weren't quite as established as they later became – it also sees music take on a far more central role, with star Rachel Zegler often heard singing during the film.

This new musical component was something that long-time franchise producer Nina Jacobson found both "daunting and exciting" – as she explained during an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com ahead of release.

"It made me reflect on how important music has always been to the movies," she said. "I love that you're finding the origins of something like The Hanging Tree [a song also heard in the originals] and you're seeing a side of life in District 12 that you never knew about or saw in Katniss's story.

"But at the same time, it requires that the music be amazing and that it feels like it belongs in a Hunger Games movie.

"And with Dave Cobb, who we met and brought on to produce the music, as soon as I started to hear his songs, they stick in your head – you can't kind of shake them, and they haunt you in a really powerful way."

Meanwhile, director Francis Lawrence explained why the specific style of country music had been chosen for the songs, revealing that it harks back to the source novels by Suzanne Collins.

"I think a lot of it is that when Suzanne sort of created these stories in the first place, District 12 is in basically what would be West Virginia in the United States, and the kind of Appalachian mountains – that kind of cold mining territory," he said.

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"And the sort of genre and even subgenre of country music that we've got in this movie very much feels like it comes from that world.

"The orchestration, the instruments used, the style of singing, the kinds of songs – these ideas of, like, stories, poems, ballads that have been passed down from England, Ireland, Scotland through generations and then turned into songs and played on people's porches.

"That's very much of that world, which is District 12, and I think that's why it blends so nicely into these movies."

In line with the film's launch, a soundtrack album has been released, featuring several tracks sung by Zegler - in addition to an original song by Olivia Rodrigo.

Read on for the full tracklist.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes soundtrack

The full list of songs featured in the soundtrack can be found below:

  • Can't Catch Me Now performed by Olivia Rodrigo
  • The Hanging Tree performed by Rachel Zegler
  • Wool performed by Flatland Cavalry
  • Nothing You Can Take From Me performed by Rachel Zegler
  • The Garden performed by Sierra Ferrell
  • The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird performed by Rachel Zegler
  • Bury Me Beneath the Willow performed by Molly Tuttle
  • The Old Therebefore/Singing at Snakes performed by Rachel Zegler & James Newton Howard
  • Burn Me Once performed by Bella White
  • District 12 Stomp performed by The Covey Band
  • Nothing You Can Take From Me (Boot-Stompin' Version) performed by Rachel Zegler & The Covey Band
  • Cabin Song performed by Billy Strings
  • Lucy Gray (part 1) performed by Rachel Zegler
  • Pure As The Driven Snow performed by Rachel Zegler & The Covey Band
  • Winter's Come and Gone performed by Charles Wesley Godwin
  • Keep On The Sunny Side performed by Josie Hope Hall & The Covey Band
  • Lucy Gray (part 2) performed by Rachel Zegler

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes score

In addition to the aforementioned soundtrack, the film also features a score penned by James Newton Howard – who previously worked on the original Hunger Games films.

You can find the titles of all the tracks featured in the score below:

  • The Dark Days
  • Anthem: Gem Of Panem (Instrumental)
  • Coryo In The Capitol
  • Assigning The Mentors
  • Meet The Mentor
  • Gamemaker
  • Sejanus
  • Hunger Is A Weapon
  • Strategy
  • Department Of War
  • The Arena
  • Saving Snow
  • Ideas Firing
  • Happy Hunger Games
  • Mercy
  • Seize The Opportunity
  • Cut The Feed
  • Open The Gate
  • Powerful
  • Afraid Of Water
  • Drone Attack
  • Inside The Duct
  • Under The Flag
  • Planting The Cloth
  • Rainbow Of Destruction
  • Get Her Out
  • The Sound Of Snow
  • Your Life Has Just Begun
  • You Are Safe
  • Trust Is Everything
  • I Can't Stay Here
  • Cabin In The Rain
  • Lucy?
  • The Woods
  • Change Of Plan
  • Passed The Tests
  • Snow Lands On Top
  • Three Solos For Yuja
    (i) Friendship
    (ii) Rue's Farewell
    (iii) Victor

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is released on 17th November 2023. Check out more of our Film and Sci-Fi coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what’s on tonight.


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