Gilmore Girls & music go hand in hand, from the theme song to the town troubadour to the LaLaLa’s that underscores every moment in Stars Hollow. Whether it’s just a melody or a pop hit, the cherry on top of the emotional gut-punch of a pivotal scene has always been delivered with music. It’s no surprise then that throughout A Year In The Life when big things are happening, the songs that are played are ones that will stay with you for years to come, and make you emotional while you’re buying groceries or driving to work.

Needing to justify my third rewatch with more than “it feels safe and happy and comfortable and I want to go there,” I started looking up the music and making a playlist, which I present to you here.

Check out the playlist on Apple Music here or keep reading to learn more!

(spoiler alert: proceed at your own risk, I talk about the context of the scenes in which the songs were playing)

  • Live in Love played during the “We’re Back” trailer and will forever bring up memories of joy and nostalgia in my cold, dead, heart.
  • Sam Phillips’ How To Dream is of course the source material for all the LaLaLa’s and will instantly transport you to Stars Hollow!
  • THE TOWN TROUBADOUR! He sings Winterglow as Lorelai & Rory do the Stars Hollow tour.
  • Lorelai plays Genius of Love to annoy Luke & it’s adorable
  • Time plays as we collectively mourn Edward Herrmann/Richard Gilmore and will forever make you cry.
  • Bye, Bye, Blackbird is said to be one of Richard’s favourite records, causing instant tears and making you wish for comic relief from all these feelings that are coming to the surface, much like Lorelai.
  • Hep Alien does their best rendition of I’m the Man for Rory & Paris, who just looks confused.
  • The Town Troubadour is back to sing Valley Winter Song as Luke and Lorelai reunite to walk Paula Anka, dressed adorably AS LUKE!
  • End credits roll over Dolly Parton’s Here You Come Again, giving you time to regroup before Spring.
  • The William Tell Overture & Chopin pieces are both used in Kirk’s short film A Second Film By Kirk!
  • Lonesome Street plays as the Gilmores take Manhattan.
  • Takin’ Care Of Business underscores Luke’s real estate hunt lunch with Emily & the Shark.
  • Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers are on the TV in “Swing Time” at the Gilmore House when Rory moves back home.
  • Lorelai & Rory are strutting around town in their beach outfits and making Dewey & Brandon carry all their stuff while Bubbles plays.
  • You Bring The Summer is another staple background song.
  • Violet’s Stars Hollow Musical audition song is A Cock-Eyed Optimist from South Pacific. The Sutton Foster version isn’t out in the world yet (her later ballad Unbreakable isn’t either but I really need it to be) so the Julie Andrews version will have to do.
  • The girls need the help of Nancy Sinatra’s Boots while they’re on their paper route and confused about the east side vs west side situation.
  • Carole King returns are Sophie and briefly plays I Feel The Earth Move for the musical advisory committee but Taylor hates it.
  • Abba’s Waterloo seeks to make us feel some happiness after Summer has destroyed all of our hopes and dreams.
  • The Life & Death Brigade show up to get Rory out of her funk and their fun starts out in Stars Hollow. With A Little Help plays as they wander around town and take in a screening of Kirk’s film.
  • When Logan, Rory & the boys show up at this Tango Club, Gotango is playing and #TeamLogan gets a lovely dance moment.
  • Then Robert buys the club and makes it a Rosemary Clooney all the time kind of club.
  • At her new house in Nantucket, Emily Gilmore turns on the most superior Gypsy revival and listens to Some People.
  • My favorite song of the entire thing is Sam Phillips’ Reflecting Light, it plays during Luke & Lorelai’s elopement/wedding and it’s simply perfect.
  • Lastly, we can’t forget about Where You Lead, which played over the closing credits of Fall and has been synonymous with Gilmore Girls ever since the pilot!

Listen to all these songs on any streaming service or download them from your preferred online music store (or whatever ~legal~ other methods you like) and make a playlist so you can go to Stars Hollow for a break and some joy (or tears) whenever you need to!

If you want more, read our A Year In The Life episode recaps for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall.