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If You Binged “The Queen’s Gambit”, Here’s Your Ultimate Beth Harmon-Inspired Playlist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Every once in a blue moon, Netflix will go and release an original series that blows my mind. “The Queen’s Gambit” is one of them. The Netflix description pitch isn’t the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard (it’s an orphan turned prodigy chess player…hold for applause) but let me tell you; this show is a triumph. An absolute tour-de-force. An aesthetically driven, dark-academia-packed wonderland that brings addiction, obsession, romance, and several very fashionable Mad Men-Esque outfits to your living room. If you’re still not convinced, have you heard it stars a hot, grown-up Dudley Dursley? It’s a must-see! 

This bopping playlist features music that will make you feel like Beth Harmon walking down a Parisian boulevard. Scattered with songs from the show’s actual soundtrack itself as well as those that emote that same “IDGAF” emotions, these retro bops will rock your November.

Below are just a few highlights:


“Yeh Yeh” by Georgie Fame

Don’t ask me why, but this song gets stuck in my head on a repeated basis. A song by one of the not-cool guys in the 1960s (no youngins wanted toe-tappers with bands like The Who on the horizon), this underrated bop will have you moving your hips and sweeping around your dorm room. Georgie didn’t get the credit he deserved back in the day, so let’s get him those Spotify streams.

“I’ve Got a Woman” by Ray Charles

Even if you don’t think you know this song, yes you do. It’s the sample on “Golddigger” by Kanye West. Ring a bell now? Yeah, I thought so. This is a late 1950s soul classic that synthesizes horns with a trippin’ drum and features one of the best voices in the history of soul music. 

“You Always Hurt the One You Love” by The Mills Brothers

This classic has been covered by a multitude of iconic musicians (Peggy Lee, Michael Buble, Ryan Gosling, you name it) and never fails to bring a tear to my eye. The song isn’t necessarily “sad” per-say, it’s just honest. The harmonies are enough to make anyone swoon. It’s a heartbreaker every time and perfectly encapsulates those moments of melancholy when Beth is going through it with whatever is plaguing her (no spoilers here!) 

“Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte

All you TikTokers definitely know this song from the trend so will be conditioned to expect the song to end after “Okay I believe you…” But guess what? There’s more to the song! If you want my opinion, “Jump in the Line” deserves its place next to the “Cupid Shuffle” at every wedding, school dance, and high school reunion.

“Mercy” by Duffy

Oh, how we’ve missed you, Duffy. This 2008 retro-pop rocker that sounds like a combo of Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin combines the organ, clavinet, keyboard, and strings with Duffy’s iconic, pop-rock gravelly voice. The melody is infectious and its triumphant emotion is quite akin to what Beth feels when she dominates male chess players on the chessboard. 

These are just a few of the high points, but if you want to hear the full Beth Harmon playlist, just click here

Hannah is a freshman at the College of Arts and Sciences. When she's not writing music or reading Jane Austen, she's likely having a Harry Potter movie marathon, hiking up the side of a mountain, or thrifting at Goodwill.
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