[Top Ten Tuesday] – #95 – A Hero’s Journey Heard Through A Cappella

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.


This Week’s Theme:
A Hero’s Journey
Heard Through
A Cappella

Initial Thoughts:

(Recommended to be read on the blog as Reader formatting is pretty blergh).

Here’s the thing: I had brain farts as to how to make this topic satirical or “fun” like previous top ten tuesday prompts. Nothing fun really spoke to me so I’m stripping all the fun away and opening up the floor to a genre of music that’s near and dear to me.

Call me some nerdy kid but A cappella music is something I really appreciate it. I’ll be mainly highlighting collegiate level a cappella covers. For the sake of keeping things “bookish”, I’ll be featuring the 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey that outlines a template of the rise and fall of a hero’s story.

Note: The “opb.” notation will be used as a stand in for ‘originally performed by’. All songs link to the respective artist’s Spotify as it’s the only place that has a repository of recordings.

The Hero’s Journey


I. The Ordinary World

The Hero breathes an ordinary life.

Stop This Train, opb. John Mayer (Scattertones – Univ. of California, Los Angeles)

II. The Call to Adventure

News pushes the Hero into uncertainty.

Pompeii, opb. Bastille (Juxtaposition – Virginia Tech)

III. Refusal of the Call

As exciting as the journey may seem, lingering doubt heightens the perilous dangers that lie ahead.

Writings on the Wall, opb. Sam Smith (The Nor’easters (Northeastern Univ.)

IV. Meeting with the Mentor

Confidence grows as the Hero immerses themselves with a myriad of information, skills, and trinkets.

Icarus, opb. Bastille (Faux Paz – Univ. of Maryland)

V. Crossing the Threshold

The Hero steps beyond the walled world of familiarity into a abyss of unknowns.

Burn, opb. Ellie Goulding (Voices in Your Head – Univ. of Chicago)

Special World

VI. Tests, Allies, and Enemies

Challenged by trials and tribulations and the struggle in deciding friend from foe; each moment in preparation for the Hero to meet their maker.

All of the Lights, opb. Kanye West (Pitchforks – Duke University)

VII. Approach to Inmost Cave

A waning resolve forces the Hero to reflect and emerge with new qualities.

Demons & Lost and Found, opb. Imagine Dragons & Lianne La Havas (Reverb – Florida State Univ.)

VIII. Ordeal

Crisis strikes and the Hero’s greatest mental & physical fight begins.

Elastic Heart, opb. Sia (The Nor’easters – Northeastern Univ.)

IX. Reward (Seizing the Sword)

The Hero seizes the moment and undergoes a transformation.

Halo, opb. Beyoncé (Pitch Slapped – Berklee College of Music)

Ordinary World (Return)

X. The Road Back

The trek home opens the door to whether or not the Hero is able to fit into the world they left behind.

I Can’t Make You Love Me, opb. Bonnie Raitt (Pitch, Please! – Northeastern Univ.)

XI. The Resurrection

The final test challenging the Hero’s existence and resolve where they must utilize everything they’ve learned.

Maps, opb. Maroon 5 (The Vocal Company – not a collegiate choice)

XII. Return with Elixir

The journey comes to an end. The Hero arrives home, to their ordinary world, a changed person living a new perspective.

If You’re Out There, opb. John Legend (Stereotypes – Washington Univ.)


All of these songs are highly interpretive as they may/may not fit the Hero’s Journey so I could be horribly wrong…

Know that not all the tracks listed are top picks for me but they were chosen to serve the prompt.


connect: afterthoughtAn // twitter  |  anotherafterthought // goodreads


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