Hannibal Lecter is as loved as he is hated, and from what we’ve seen in the movies and read in the novels, this is understandable, to a degree. Yes, he’s a sociopath. Yes, he has an appetite for human flesh – but does that make him a bad person? His music playlist – never mind how we got our hands on it – reveal the hidden depths of his character.
A brilliant psychologist and a gifted surgeon who catapulted into popular consciousness thanks to the 1991 movie, Silence of the Lambs, Lecter is an intelligent, erudite sophisticate. He once sat on the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra board of directors, so he obviously loves classical music. However, Beethoven is not all you will find on his iPod. His favourite songs are a celebration of his love of food, and they reveal a homely side of the cannibalistic serial killer. We wouldn’t be surprised if he hits Shuffle right before he pours himself a nice Chianti to sip on while preparing a gourmet feast of, say, census taker’s liver with fava beans.
Fattie Bum Bum – Carl Malcolm
The first track we found on Hannibal Lecter’s music playlist was British reggae artist Carl Malcolm’s 1975 hit, Fattie Bum Bum. Don’t worry, we were shocked, too. We were expecting something more along the lines of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, but, after listening to Malcolm’s song, it all started to make sense. Perhaps most revealing was the line, Hey fattie bum bum, your sweet sugar dumpling.
She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
In 1989, the Fine Young Cannibals released their album the Raw & the Cooked. There is no way such news could have escaped Lecter’s attention, because he probably thought initially that some brave souls had started a weekly cooking club or something. Any disappointment he felt at discovering FYC were actually a New Wave band surely disappeared the moment he heard their single, She Drives Me Crazy. We wouldn’t be surprised if he sings it in the shower.
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Gravy – Dee Dee Sharp
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a song by Dee Dee Sharp on Hannibal Lecter’s music playlist, and it’s called Gravy, not Balsamic Reduction. Even gourmands need a night off. Think about it: there is a lot of meat on the average human body. There are bound to be some leftovers. In the TV series, we watched him lovingly stuff, roll, rub, and roast a deboned portion of a victim’s leg. Not even two grown men could finish so rich and filling a meal. The presence of the 1962 Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hit for Dee Dee indicates that not even he wants to spend every night slaving away in front of a hot stove. Sometimes a bit of mashed potatoes, some gravy, and reheated leftovers are all he needs.
If I Was Your Vampire – Marilyn Manson
Dismembering a body is hard work, and there are times it must seem like a chore to Hannibal Lecter. In moments like those, he needs to psych himself up for the task, and what better way to do it than with music that really gets the juices flowing? Taken from Marilyn Manson’s 2007 studio album Eat Me, Drink Me, the single If I Was Your Vampire is a fine example of how the record includes references to Jesus Christ, Lewis Carroll, and Armin Meiwes. Just in case you have no idea who that is, Meiwes is the man who shot to international notoriety a few years ago, when he posted an advert online, looking for someone willing to be eaten.
Rage Over a Lost Penny – Beethoven
We expected to find some classical music on Lecter’s playlist, and when we heard Beethoven’s Rage Over a Lost Penny, Vented in Caprice, we weren’t disappointed. The piano rondo is properly known as Rondo alla ingharese quasi une capriccio in G major, Op. 129.