Lamb to the Slaughter Playlist


“Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl is a short suspenseful story. A good way to capture the variety of feeling it gives would be through a playlist.

Hans Zimmer’s masterfully orchestrated piece “No Time For Caution” wonderfully matches the first half of the story. The song starts off calm and quiet, just as the short does. In the story Patrick Maloney comes home acting different than usual. He is ominously quiet on top of that whenever his wife, Mary Maloney, would suggest something he would just firmly deny it. His eerie behavior builds tension which is reflected by how the unsettling organ starts to play 50 seconds into the song. The suspense further develops when Patrick asks Mary to sit down since he want to talk to her. This part of the story leaves the reader in a sense of curiosity, but at the same time conveys feelings of anxiety. Past the halfway mark, the song drastically picks up, amplifying those feelings. After Patrick finishes speaking Mary and the killing is about to happen, the audience is left clueless as to why this is happening. On top of that, the preexisting tension has severely thickened. The song and the story simultaneously reach their climaxes before the killing happens and then, silence as the song ends. Zimmer’s work and the tempo of the song incredibly blends with the short story, portraying an intense overflow of emotion within the reader.

“My Mind” by Shag is a nostalgic trip using the sounds of mid 20th century jazz. This song not only captures the feel of the current time, but also the sudden shift in mood after the killing takes place. The upbeat melody and tone of the song synchronize excellently with the grocery shop scene and all the false innocence that Mary tries to portray. Not only does the sound fit the rest of the story, but the lyrics as well. The line “Maybe it’s all in my mind.” is repeated multiple times throughout the song. This does a good job at representing Mary’s changed mentality after the incident. She tries her best to forget that she killed her husband, in an effort to just move on with her life with her baby. Any bad thoughts she does get of the incident are “…all in her mind”.


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