The Handmaid’s Tale Soundtrack is Packed with Female Empowerment Anthems

For the past few days, all I’ve been able to think about is The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m itching for new episodes, and I haven’t felt this much anticipation for a tv series in quite some time. Although I’m only three episodes in, there’s a good reason for my obsession.

The newly added Hulu series adapted from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name eerily resembles current events and brings the importance of women’s rights to the forefront. With the dystopian world set in the age of dating apps and contraception usage, as a character rightly points out, it’s hard not to draw parallels to a novel that is supposed to be simply a work of fiction.

handmaid's tale gif
If you’re still not over the fact that Samira Wiley is no longer in Orange is the New Black, you’ll be happy to hear she’s in this series.
Image courtesy of

Without giving anything away, I’d like to discuss the phenomenal use of music in the show. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack all day at work, and the songs selected to play in certain scenes of the show fit so well that I have no problem remembering just what took place on the screen. Many selections seem to bring about memories of a past life for the women in the show whose rights have been stripped from them, and most if not all can be classified as anthems of female empowerment.

alexis bledel handmaid's tale
Alexis Bledel’s “Rory Gilmore” roots are stripped away in this series, proving that she is one talented actress.
Image courtesy of

So, I figured I’d let The Handmaid’s Tale serve as my inspiration for seven songs you should know this week. Some I’ve already heard play in the three episodes I’ve watched while others I’m anxiously waiting to see how they’ll be put to use in the show.

“Heart of Glass (Crabtree Remix)” – Blondie, Phillip Glass 

Favorite lyric:
Lost inside / Adorable illusion and I cannot hide 

“Rebel Girl” – Bikini Kill 

Favorite lyric:
When she talks, I hear the revolution / In her hips, there’s revolutions

“Waiting For Something” – Jay Reatard 

SPOILER ALERT: the above scene features Jay Reatard’s song (although it’s cut from this sample), and the album cover bears an uncanny resemblance to what Alexis Bledel’s character goes through.

Favorite lyric:
Oh no no no! / They won’t get me 

“Gravel to Tempo” – Hayley Kiyoko

Favorite lyric:
Tried to stand the test / But the night is crawling through my eyes 

“You Don’t Own Me” – Lesley Gore

No, Grace was not the first person to sing this song.

Favorite lyric:
You don’t own me / I’m not just one of your many toys

“Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)” – SBTRKT

Favorite lyric:
You’re like a wildfire / You got me risin’ high

“Solidarity Forever” – Pete Seeger

Favorite lyric:
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one

Listen to all of the songs below:


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