The Pop Culture Playlist: Psylocke

The Pop Culture Playlist tells the story of a character through ten tracks. Music has the ability to touch people on the deepest level, and few superheroes have faced the kind of odds that Psylocke has. Betsy Braddock grew up in a wealthy family, but all the money in the world couldn’t protect her. Starting off as a damsel in distress, Psylocke evolved into one of the X-Men’s most skilled members. Her playlist features songs that mix angst and hope together.

Perfect by Simple Plan

Hey dad look at me
Think back and talk to me
Did I grow up according to plan?
And do you think I’m wasting my time doing things I wanna do?
But it hurts when you disapprove all along
And now I try hard to make it
I just wanna make you proud
I’m never gonna be good enough for you
Can’t pretend that
I’m alright
And you can’t change me
‘Cause we lost it all
Nothing lasts forever
I’m sorry
I can’t be perfect

As part of the Braddock family, Betsy lived a privileged life in England. She was born to Sir James Braddock and expected to carry on the family legacy. But it didn’t work out that way. Psylocke joined the X-Men, choosing to fight for mutant rights. Perfect is a suitable song to start the playlist off because it feels as if Betsy is reminiscing about her father and what he would have thought if he’d still been alive.

Through a series of events, Psylocke forfeited her humanity, growing into a stone cold killer, which adds to the tragic nature of the song.

Brave by Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Brave has an uplifting tone to it and describes Psylocke’s early days as a superhero. It charts her transformation from a girl who didn’t understand her powers, to a woman who became one of the greatest fighters in the world.

Tomorrow Is Yesterday by Powerman 5000

Let yourself be tomorrow
Tomorrow is yesterday
So show me the way to get out of this world
I’ll be the one that fades away (right)
You give it, you give it
You get it, you get it
You give it, you give it
And then they take it away
You give it and they take it away
You get it and they take it away

This song presents a more confident Psylocke. After mastering her psychic powers, she wanted to move forward with her life. However, she was captured by The Hand and brainwashed into becoming their assassin. During this time, her consciousness was transferred into the body of a Japanese woman called Kwannon.

Tomorrow Is Yesterday is a song about making the most of the future. Rather than be defeated, Betsy chose to own her situation.

The Reason by Hoobastank

I’m not a perfect person
There’s many thing I wish I didn’t do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

Psylocke’s most important relationship is with Angel, and the two of them met during their time in the Hellfire Club. Both came from wealthy backgrounds, so it was only natural they gravitated towards each other.

I chose this song to describe the early stages of their relationship. Betsy and Warren started off having fun together. Eventually, they broke up and came back together again. The Reason is a reflection of their maturity, with Psylocke and Angel agreeing they were the love of each other’s lives.

Pompeii by Bastille

I was left to my own devices
Many days fell away with nothing to show
And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above
But if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?

Pompeii describes a situation that keeps on happening. I think it’s a suitable song for Psylocke because tragedy has a habit of returning to her life. No matter how hard she tries, Betsy can’t seem to find a moment’s peace.

Anthem Of The Angels by Breaking Benjamin

White walls surround us
No light will touch your face again
Rain taps the window
As we sleep among the dead
Days go on forever
But I have not left your side
We can chase the dark together
If you go then so will I
There is nothing left of you
I can see it in your eyes
Sing the anthem of the angels
And say the last goodbye

Anthem Of The Angels is the song I think of when it comes to the Dark Angel Saga. Archangel took over Warren’s body to become the new Apocalypse and Psylocke needed to make the hardest decision of her life. She was forced to kill Warren in order to save the world.

There’s a finality to the song that signifies the end of a relationship. Warren’s death left Betsy distraught, pushing her down a dark path.

Devil Side by Foxes

Run and hide it’s gonna be bad tonight
‘Cause here comes your devil side
It’s gonna ruin me
It’s almost like
Slow motion suicide
Watching your devil side
Get between you and me
So tell me what I need to do
To keep myself away from you
To keep myself from going down
All the way down with you

After Angel’s death, Psylocke adopted a cold attitude. She stopped feeling anything at all and didn’t hesitate to kill when necessary. Devil Side is good for describing her complicated relationship with Fantomex. He brought out a lot of her darker qualities, but he also helped Betsy to forget her pain.

Gods And Monsters by Lana Del Ray

In the land of gods and monsters
I was an angel
Living in the garden of evil
Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed
Shining like a fiery beacon
You got that medicine I need
Fame, liquor, love, give it to me slowly
Put your hands on my waist
Do it softly
Me and God we don’t get along so now I sing

In her period of mourning, Psylocke looked to fill the void however she could. Gods And Monsters has a reckless vibe that fit her attitude. There’s a sense of wanting to embrace chaos and let it consume everything.

Savin’ Me by Nickelback

Show me what it’s like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I’ll show you what I can be
Say it for me say it to me
And I’ll leave this life behind me
Say it if it’s worth saving me

Savin’ Me is an emotional song that describes Betsy’s relationship with the X-Men and her family. A part of her wanted to go back to the person she used to be. Through reaching out to people like Storm and her brother, Brian, Psylocke was able to heal.

Warrior by Disturbed

I am not an instrument of violence
I am a vessel of invincibility
I cannot leave this undecided
Stepping down to battle another day
Remember me for all time this
Determination is a vital part of me
Surrender now or be counted
With the endless masses that I will defeat
Come on bring it
You don’t see it
I don’t believe it
Broken down till your hope has died
Beat down till the victory is mine
Stand up and show me some pride
And now are you ready?

Warrior is the perfect song to sum up Psylocke’s life. She’s overcome every challenge that life has thrown at her. Yet violence doesn’t define her character. She’s wanted to find a way to live peacefully, which is something everyone can relate to.

Author: thecomicvault

Short story writer, comic geek and cosplayer hailing from Manchester, England. Find my pop culture ramblings on The Comic Vault.

4 thoughts on “The Pop Culture Playlist: Psylocke”

  1. This is so awesome!
    I love the work that you’re doing here!
    I would like send a list of characters with their playlist:
    Fantastic four
    Doctor Doom
    Superman
    Green Goblin
    X-men or Cyclop or Jean Grey
    Raven
    Deathstroke
    Sandman (The vertigo version, that is.)
    Swamp Thing
    Spider Jerusalem
    John Constantine
    Preacher or Jesse Custer or The Saint Of Killers
    Star Wars
    Darth Vader
    Chew

    Like

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