The 'Soundtrack'...or Musical Footnotesbasf sm90 tape

Over twenty songs are referenced in Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World. Some you may know, some you may not. Click on the section you're reading and all will be explained.

(Not to be confused with my imaginary soundtrack, which includes thousands of perfect tunes, some of which can be found on 65 80s Songs.)


Prologue and Part 1 - The Past is Right Behind You

basf sm90 tapeOver twenty songs are referenced in Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World. Some you may know, some you may not. Click on the section you're reading and all will be explained. (Not to be confused with my imaginary soundtrack, which includes thousands of perfect tunes, some of which can be found on 65 80s Songs.)


Cinnamon Toast and The Past is Right Behind You

smiley toast iStock 000017595805XSmall(Prologue and Chapters 1-8)

Begins in a nostalgic mood with some tunes from Stephen's 70s childhood and slowly drifts into the awkwardness of 1986.

Prologue - Cinnamon Toast

 pages 7-8

"I heard a rush of water in the sink downstairs, chirps of cupboard doors opening and closing. My mother. A smart little clack as she loaded the tape player on the counter with her favourite Sunday-morning music: the Velvet Underground with 'Sunday Morning'."

The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning

Chapter 1

pages 20-21

"A little smile, my mother was almost blushing. She took both Dylan's warm pink hands in hers and they swayed and bobbed to the song on the record player – 'S.O.S.', Dylan's favourite."

* If you were a kid in the 70s, this was on the turntable. Presented here with nostaligia-inducing pictures which appear to be straight from some guy's record collection. Thanks, whoever you are.

Abba - S.O.S

page 22

"When it was dark, Stanley took out his guitar. I sang with him. 'Satellite of Love' was our favourite because I liked the part about 'Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday'."

Lou Reed - Satellite of Love


Chapter 3

page 43

"Sometimes I'd be in my room, doing my Saturday-morning impression of an abandoned corpse, and I'd look up to see her sitting on the edge of my bed – shuffling through my cassettes, creaking open the little plastic cases and unfolding the lyric sheets. 'Love is a Stranger,' she read out once, in a puzzled monotone. 'Okay. So this one's about love in a car waiting to kidnap you, I guess. Well, that's interesting. But kind of sad, don't you think?'"

The Eurythmics - Love Is a Stranger


Chapter 5

page 71

"Lana lunged for the volume knob on her tape player. 'Oh, my God, this is the best song ever! He pushes his daughter down a well and then hangs himself. You'll love it.'"

* Lana is referring to this song. Big thanks to whoever posted it on Youtube.

Violent Femmes - Country Death Song


Chapter 7

page 99

"We were deep into 1986. The superpowers were still stockpiling weapons and aiming them at each other, but Sting wrote a song about it, so that was okay. I'd sing the song at Mom to bug her because it was about Russians."

* Stephen's mother is of Russian/Ukrainian descent, so I imagine this would be fairly annoying.

Sting - Russians


page 101

"We'd all just been thrown out of another Legion Hall dance in Arnottville, and Mark was reeling around the parking lot yelling at girls, while me and Stacey tried to keep him from falling on his face. You could hear music from the Legion, fuzzy and muffled like something underwater –that song I never liked about patio lanterns."

* I wasn't crazy about it myself. But if you lived in Eastern Canada in 1986, for one summer it was inescapable.

Kim Mitchell - Patio Lanterns

Part 2 - After the World Ended

basf sm90 tapeOver twenty songs are referenced in Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World. Some you may know, some you may not. Click on the section you're reading and all will be explained. (Not to be confused with my imaginary soundtrack, which includes thousands of perfect tunes, some of which can be found on 65 80s Songs.)


After the World Endedtoast smiley-500x375

(Chapters 9-13)

Hits of the era - the good, the bad, the unbearably a few surprises.

Chapter 9

page 115

"Whitney Houston was screaming on my clock radio, cutting right through a dream. She wanted to dance with somebody. To feel the heat with somebody. The word 'heat' was a high cutesy squeak. The song charged on with marching band confidence. She'd find somebody to dance with, this girl.

I hit the off button several hundred times."

Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody


Chapter 11

page 137

"We were mesmerised by this one song Lana had on a mix tape her boyfriend Adam from the city had made for her, kept rewinding it and playing it over and over: The Smiths, 'Reel Around the Fountain'. Side by side with our backs to the cold radiator bawling out the words for what seemed like hours.

'God, Lana. Why can't I live in this song?'"

The Smiths - Reel Around the Fountain


page 137

"'In England they play this stuff on the radio,' she said. 'What do we get here? The St Elmo's Fire song. 'Man in Motion', every hour on the hour.' "

* Continuing the same conversation

John Parr - Man in Motion


Chapter 12

page 145

"I wanted a tune to keep me going. I wanted bagpipes, a battle march, maybe one of Mark's Presbyterian hymns.

All I could come up with was the theme from Benny Hill.

Well, it had an okay tempo."

* On the off-chance that you've never heard it...

Yakkety Sax (The Benny Hill Theme)


page 146

"The tune was something solid and measured, rising gradually like his voice was climbing wide, stone steps. A hymn."

* The hymn is 'He Who Would Valiant Be', written by John Bunyan in 1684 as part of The Pilgrim's Progress and originally called 'He Who Would True Valour See'. Since 1908 it's been sung to the tune of the traditional song 'Monk's Gate'. (Thank you Wikipedia.) 'He Who Would Valiant Be' gets several mentions in this chapter and pops up in the next one as well. Here is a nice instrumental version for guitar.

He Who Would Valiant Be (Monk's Gate)


Chapter 13

page 157

"I curled my fingers into a stiff tangle somewhere on the neck of the guitar, swiped at the strings with my other hand. My favourite Smiths song, sounding a bit mutilated. 'I Want the One I Can't Have'"

The Smiths - I Want the One I Can't Have


Part 3 - One Long Night

One Long Night4186249-toasted-bread-with-toaster-on-white-background

(Chapters 14-18)

Most of these chapters take place at a parents-out-of-town party. Here's what it sounded like:



Chapter 15

page 190

"A radio switched on. Somebody fumbled through the stations and then Belinda Carlisle was singing 'Mad About You' on FM 102."

Belinda Carlisle - Mad About You


page 197

"The rec room had filled up. Everybody seemed happier, clumsier, drunk or getting there. A bunch of us were dancing to music from a squeaky-wheeled tape player set on the fake bar counter. It was The Cure. 'A Night Like This'."

The Cure - A Night Like This


page 200

"'Hey! It's my song. One of you dopes get in here and dance with me.'

'Me!' I said. Couldn't miss Lana's song. It had already begun – Siouxsie and the Banshees, 'Cities in Dust'."

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Cities in Dust


Chapter 16

page 210

"In the rec room, a crowd of kids were belting out the chorus to a Duran Duran song from Junior High. I wandered around trying to make sense of it all."

* The name of the song is never mentioned, but for the record, it's this one.

Duran Duran - New Moon on Monday


Chapter 17

pages 224-225

"The Pogues on the tape player joined in with a sing-along chorus fit for a rainy night in the pub, something about beer and whiskey and saying goodbye."

* Again, no title is given, but it's this one.

The Pogues - Sally MacLennane



Part 4 - The Last Days of Riverside

The Last Days of Riverside toast cnc 2

(Chapters 19-25)

A love song enjoyed by moms, the prom, some terrible radio car radio romance.





Chapter 19

page 241

"My mother told me she'd had 'a very nice time last night'. But that was all she'd say. She threw open the front door and let in a bright blast of June sunshine, humming a chipper little tune that turned out to be Steve Winwood, 'Higher Love'."

* It strikes me as a love song a mother would like.

Steve Winwood - Higher Love


page 258

"Lana and I hit the dance floor, improvised a demented tango to 'The Sun Always Shines on TV'. And for a while I didn't give a fuck what anybody thought of me."

A-ha - The Sun Always Shines on TV


Chapter 22

page 286

"Gauges and dials glowed on the dashboard. The truck was filled with the sounds of Jefferson Starship singing 'Sara'.

'I wish I was dead.'"

* Not my favourite either, but it certainly takes me back. Once upon a time, these guys were the Jefferson Airplane.

Jefferson Starship - Sara


Part 5 - The New World

The New WorldCinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E Cameron

(Chapters 26-29)

A dance hit, some light radio ruin, and the final word.









Chapter 26

page 327

"Above us, the restaurant's sound system struggled into life. Janet Jackson was telling us to wait a while, before it was too late, before we went too far. They used to play Chinese music in here when I was a kid."

* All over the radio in the summer of 1987.

Janet Jackson - Let's Wait a While


Chapter 27

page 338

"On Fridays we'd go to the campus pub and jump up and down in the little sweaty dance area to New Order and REM, the whole group leaning into each other and yelling the words to 'Bizarre Love Triangle' in a drunken slur."

New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle


Chapter 28

page 373

"I swung myself into the car and pulled onto the highway, blasting 'Fields of Fire' out the windows. Guitars that sounded like bagpipes."

This song is the last one mentioned in the book and appears on the last page. It's also the number one song on65 80s Songs.

To hear it, just click!



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