As much as I'm a music fanatic, I've been known to dabble in the odd TV show, and by that I mean I get lost in that TV show for at least a fortnight and it becomes my entire personality. As a Jane Austen girl at heart, Bridgerton was a natural show to obsess over, the subtle intimacy between eyes and necks and pretty words was just irresistible.
The regency era drama has become the diamond of the season for Netflix since its release in 2020, based on writer Julia Quinn's book series, remarkably clocking upwards of 625 million viewers in its first four weeks on the platform.
Like many, most of my anticipation for the next season is how on earth they will beat Kate and Anthony's incredible plot, but also what pop/rock anthems they will turn into orchestral masterpieces at their balls. Some of my favourites have been Stay Away by Nirvana, requested by Anthony Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey himself, and pop classics like Madonnas's Material Girl and Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams (yes Taylor is a pop classic, argue with the wall).
Since the recent release and immediate binge-watch of the limited series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, I can't help but wonder what songs will be remastered for the third season, centred around our favourite wallflower Penelope Featherington and youngest Bridgerton brother Colin. My eight predictions below, correlating with the usual eight-episode format, have been based on popularity, both online and in pop culture, the relevance to the storylines carrying on from the tumultuous ending of the last season and how much I would dance to it at a ball, on a scale from standing at the edge of the ballroom to dancing with a suitor (scandalously) without gloves.
If these do in fact make an appearance in season three, rumoured to be released in December this year, I will be expecting at least an invitation for the premiere, so read carefully Netflix.
Kill Bill by SZA
This song completely took over the internet for the better half of last year, gaining even more traction after the popular 'Kill My Ex' trend on Tik Tok these past months. Kill Bill, off SZA's well-awaited second studio album SOS, is based on the famous Quentin Tarantino film of the same name, in which the main character seeks revenge on an ex-boyfriend through murder. Although murder is maybe out of reach for Bridgerton's rose-tinted, prim and proper atmosphere, can you not hear the orchestra playing this song at a ball already?
In terms of plot, it all relies on whether or not we will see the return of Colin Bridgerton's bitter-ex Marina Thompson. Perhaps they are at a dinner and there are some rather tense glares across the table, SZA's chart-topper (at the top number one spot for a whopping 21 weeks) playing in the background, giving us all the context we need. I think this is less of a dance tune, and more of a tension builder, if only Phoebe Denyovr and her excellent neck-acting weren't departing for this season.
Save your Tears by The Weekend
Maybe it's just the beautiful styling of Ariana Grande's feature on this song's remix, but I can practically hear the violins playing this in Lady Dabury’s ballroom. The Weekend, AKA Abel Tesafe, has had his fair share of TV complaints since his acting and producing, alongside Euphoria's Sam Levinson, on HBO's controversial drama The Idol - perhaps a squeaky clean Bridgerton cameo is what he needs.
I haven’t gotten around to listening to the entire After Hours album yet, but this song had me, and the top ten charts for 27 weeks, in a chokehold.
Regarding the show, last season saw the heartbreaking falling apart of our favourite duo, Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope, after Eloise discovered Penelope’s secret that she was indeed (spoiler alert) famous gossip Lady Whistledown. I’m picturing a sad close-up of each character crying on their exquisite windowsills, looking off into the distance as The Weekend’s vocals are remastered in high strings.
The song might tell you to save your tears, but we all know the waterworks will be rolling once we see these two characters interact on our screens again.
The Weekend and Ariana Grande performing live at the iHeart Music Awards, via The Weekend on Youtube
Mr Brightside by The Killers
This is my first instance of ‘why hasn’t this been done yet?’ Mr Brightside is iconic here in Britain, and whilst normally heard through drunken ears in damp clubs, Bridgerton should reflect the English love for this song through pretty violins. That being said, The Killers are one of my favourite artists and their rich and meaningful discography should not be overshadowed by the popularity of this song, but on the other hand, this goddamn song has not left the UK charts for OVER 20 YEARS, so it's pretty much a no-brainer at this point.
As the resident art student rebel of the family (how relatable), Benedict Bridgerton could easily be written to be found dancing to this whilst drinking some, ahem, special tea. Benedict hopefully gets his storyline in the already promised next season, as they seem to have skipped it in favour of fan favourites Colin and Penelope (their storyline being the 4th book, Benedict's being the 3rd in Julia Quinn's series).
For a slight twist, perhaps Lady Whistledown could twist Brandon Flowers' infamous words in the voiceover, for one 'cannot come out of their cage like Benedict Bridgerton, for he is doing just fine' or you know, something a whole lot better than that.
Dreams by The Cranberries
This one I'm less sure Netflix will actually consider but, as a huge Derry Girls fan, it would be a sweet nod to Nichola Coughlan's Clare in Lisa McGee's beautifully written Channel 4 comedy, as our favourite 'wee lesbian'. Although a completely different show in almost every aspect to Bridgerton, Derry Girls' theme is a subtle link to Coughlan's past, both in her Irish roots, originally being from Galway, and the show that really rocketed her talents as an actress.
no sitcom scene is ever topping this for me i fear pic.twitter.com/fZuXYm6YFs— s. (@tedsbecca) February 28, 2023
The Cranberries themselves have encountered a little popularity within Gen Z on Tik Tok and Instagram recently with their song Sunday, and the embedded lyrics 'you're spinning me around, my feet are off the ground'. Lead singer Dolores O'Reidan's ethereal vocals match the heavenly energy of Bridgerton and I'd love to see this as the final song of the series with a close-up of Penelope as her wildest dreams come true, with her best friend Eloise and her husband Colin by her side. Although the series is named after the Bridgerton family, Penelope is really the only consistent main character as Lady Whistledown - she makes all of us resident wallflowers feel a little bit better.
PS: If you haven't already watched Derry Girls, I strongly encourage you to. It's hilarious, gorgeous, and tragically informative about a time too close to my heart and many others too.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World by tears for Fears
Although Bridgerton is not necessarily a coming-of-age programme, and this song plays very much along that wavelength, it definitely harnesses that feeling of nostalgia that I feel will be needed this season as it is rumoured to take place a couple of years in the future, to align with Colin and Penelope’s storyline in the books. English rock duo Tears for Fears has some of the most iconic and recognisable riffs of the 1980s and would definitely boost the love in the room, particularly at a ball or classic rom-com ‘coming down the stairs in a beautiful gown’ moment.
Head Over Heels was another massive hit for the band, and whilst being more direct to the show's large theme of love and romance, Everbody Wants to Rule the World could ignite an atmosphere of possibility for our greatest Bridgerton ship (there, I said it). In these past seasons, we have really only seen Penelope's clear yet hidden affection for her best friend's brother, and I would love to see this song at a pivotal moment for Colin, whose thoughts and feelings are often overshadowed by his older brothers.
I would definitely be dancing if this song came on in Lady Danbury's ballroom, and let's hope our future 'Lord and Lady Whistledown' will be too.
One Day by Paolo Nutini
This song, in terms of popularity, is less popular among a mass crowd but, despite it being a possible stretch that it will be used within the season, I strongly encourage Netflix to use it. Paolo Nutini is a Glaswegian/ Italian artist who takes inspiration from influences of R&B and indie rock/pop, gaining great traction in the 2010s with songs like Pencil Full of Lead and Candy.
He is an insanely talented lyricist, but One Day in particular, off of his 2015 album Caustic Love, catches my ear more through its composition. Simply put, it is a straight-up sensual song, and I imagine it being used similarly to the instrumental cover of How Deep Is Your Love in an especially heated scene in the second to last episode of season two.
If you've been following the excitement for Bridgerton season three on social media intensely, like myself, you may be familiar with a 'mirror scene' that many are excited about, that Nichola Coughlan herself has alluded to in interviews and on an Instagram post where she embedded the mirror emoji, we love a cryptic queen. I couldn't dance to this song like I could, to say, Mr Brightside, as I have been in many a mosh pit for that, but believe me, the tension would be great enough that an 18th-century knife would definitely struggle to cut through it.
Nutini is not so far from the Bridgerton universe, however, the actor Sam Clemmet, who played a young Brimsley in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story revealed that his best love song was Better Man, also off Nutini's album Caustic Love, revealing it is 'very close' to him and his partner. This is me crossing my fingers for a Paolo cameo as, in my opinion, he is very much up there as one of the best current love song lyricists.
Grand Piano by Nicki Minaj
Like many, I love Nicki Minaj for her beats and her consistent out-the-box lyrics. However, her slower music is often overlooked in favour for a more upbeat sound, so her songs like Grand Piano are real hidden gems. This tune closes Minaj's third studio album The Pinkprint and discusses a cold-hearted lover toying with our dear Nicki's heart.
Although an instrumental version would obsolete these lyrics, the construction and composition of the song is what would make it perfect for what I'm assuming is going to be a truly tumultuous season. Plus, the Barbs deserve some recognition in Bridgertons pop culture ('Barbs' meaning Nicki fans, not the old English insult).
I can't even FATHOM the emotions if this song was used in a dance scene. It's so beautifully melancholic and would encapsulate Penelope's feelings that her love for Colin is unrequited and hurtful, despite his current ignorance of her pining.
Nicki's actual composing and singing voice are so hidden in and between her excellent rap/pop music that this song feels awfully vulnerable to hear. Similarly, Penelope's own thoughts are so vulnerable and are obviously held very close to her chest, Lady Whistledown being her steady front, so this song would not only please the barbs but also let us see in her head a little better.
Cold Heart by Elton John and Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa has become such an elegant force in the pop industry, and this collaboration with the incredible Elton John adds only more to her reputation as a pop princess. I think the greatest persuasion for Cold Heart to be featured, however, is that it examples Bridgerton's music ideals within itself. Elton John took one of his biggest hits, Rocket Man, released in 1972, and modernised it for today's charts with a feature from our beloved Dua.
The marriage of classical and modernity is what makes the show so beautiful for a modern audience. Although the 'classic' represented in Bridgerton is much more port-modern, focusing on the aesthetic of ideas surrounding Regency-era Britain, it still makes for perfect binge-worthy entertainment.
Despite myself being rather impartial to the original Rocket Man, this remaster is spectacularly catchy. Elton John even performed the tune without Dua Lipa at his final U.K. performance at Glastonbury earlier this year, with the absolutely mental 100,000 plus people crowd singing her parts on her behalf. Watching this performance and this crowd from my sofa was quite the experience, as people danced around on shoulders and made friends with complete strangers; it was lovely to see how music really does bring people together.
Could you say a ball in some way is a festival? People gather, people drink, people dance and there is always drama, so I have a feeling this song would do well in the Bridgerton universe.
Elton John's performance of Rocket Man at Glastonbury this year (the song sampled for Cold Heart), Via BBC Music on YouTube
So, what are your season 3 song predictions/ requests? Leave them and your bets down below. Let's see if we can make a little cash off of Netflix - take that no-password sharing (and I'll see you at the premiere).