Because the Hickey’s are a musical family, you will find mentioned in their books songs that inspire or elucidate passages. If you too are musical, consider listening to them by clicking the links to YouTube.


They are: 

From THE VERY LEAST

There is a Fountain” by William Cowper

Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison

Hearts Courageous” by Collins/Collings, a song that reminds me of my cousin Patti who inspired to write “The Very Least”

I Tried Him for Myself” by Edwin Hawkins and Gabriel Hardeman

Tutti Fruti” by Little Richard and Dorothy LaBostrie. Notice the racial composition of the performers vs. that of the audience. This was like what I experienced growing up and one reason I distrust the politics of nostalgia.

St. Louis Blues” by W.C. Handy

Someone to Watch Over Me” by George and Ira Gershwin, which I first heard when I was fifteen and snuck into the old Desert Inn casino in Las Vegas. Although at that age, I mostly posed as macho, I confess I took the song to heart and it’s still lodged there..

Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg

Men With Broken Hearts” by Hank Williams. Remember “The God that made you made them too.”


And from THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING

Union Maid” by Woody Guthrie, a favorite of Clifford and his quite feminist daughter Feliz. 

Slumber My Darling” by Stephen Foster which I suspect Clifford sings to prove his worth to Jodi. 

How Can I Keep from Singing” by Robert Wadsworth Lowry, isn’t a song one would expect at a funeral.

Luckenbach Texas” by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons makes Feliz wince.

Would They Love Him Down in Shreveport” by B. Braddock, pretty much expresses Tommy’s attitude toward the church.

Stormy Weather” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, sung by the wonderful Etta James.

Oh Sister” by Bob Dylan may be the most seductive of Christian songs.

Black Magic Woman” by Peter Green, played by a friend of Alvaro’s.

Beautiful Dreamer” by Stephen Foster, Clifford’s and my all-time favorite writer of popular songs, is the theme of the story’s most outrageous conclusion.