Simon and Daphne at the ball in Season 1 of Bridgerton

We Can’t Stop Humming These 10 Modern Songs ‘Bridgerton’ Turned Into Classics

If there’s one thing we love more than the lush costumes and ornate scenery in the Netflix series Bridgerton, it’s the music.

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At first listen, the show’s music sounds like any other Regency-era drama: lots of strings and classical music. Take a closer listen, however, and you’ll find very modern pop music hidden in some of the most pivotal scenes in the series.

Much of the orchestral and classical score in Bridgerton consists of original music composed and produced by Kris Bowers. Pop songs from artists like Madonna, Harry Styles, Rihanna, and Billie Eilish were also covered by string quartets, Bowers himself, and the composer’s friend and fellow musician, Dunno. The result is a delightful listening experience from start to finish, and soundtrack albums for both season 1 and season 2 were well-received by critics and listeners.

There’s something so fun about deducing hidden meaning from the modern music used in certain scenes. Read on to see which 10 songs we liked best in Bridgerton’s first two seasons, with our favorite song sitting pretty at number 1.

10. In My Blood by Shawn Mendes performed by Vitamin String Quartet

Season 1, episode 2 was called “Shock and Delight” and it delivered on both promises. Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Duke Simon Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) have convinced the Ton that they are courting, but it’s clear to viewers that their relationship is much deeper than their ruse. In this scene, the couple dance together at the ball and call each other by their first names for the first time, which is surprisingly intimate for the times. The chemistry between these two actors is palpable, and the song choice makes the scene all the more poignant.

9. Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift (Cover by Duomo)

An orchestral version of Taylor Swift’s familiar song Wildest Dreams was featured in Season 1, episode 6, entitled “Swish,” and audiences are still clutching their pearls all these years later! The song played during a 3-minute montage in which the newly-married Daphne and Simon consummate their union all over the grounds of his country manor. And we do mean all over the grounds—inside, outside, on the library ladder …. Is it hot in here, or is it just this scene?

8. Material Girl by Madonna performed by Kris Bowers

Season 2, episode 1 returned with a reminder of everything we love about this show. We meet the Sharma sisters, Kate (Simone Ashley) and Edwina (Charithra Chandran), who are searching for a rich and (hopefully) handsome suitor for the latter with help from Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh). While at the ball discussing their prospects, a string of Madonna’s iconic song sets the perfect tone for this Regency “meat market.”

7. Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande performed by Vitamin String Quartet

We’re heading back to Season 1, episode 1 for this excellent use of Ariana Grande’s Thank U Next. Daphne is making her debut at the first ball of the season, and this is the song that plays as her brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) leads her around the room to survey her prospects. As each suitor approaches her and the older ladies of the Ton look on, Ari’s song about using and losing boyfriends (on purpose!) fits perfectly.

6. bad guy by Billie Eilish performed by Vitamin String Quartet

Season 1, episode 3, “Art of the Swoon,” utilized one of our favorite Billie Eilish songs to create drama around a potential love triangle. Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is trying to set Daphne up with her nephew, Prince Friedrich of Prussia (Freddie Stroma), and Simon is getting pressure to propose or move on. His jealousy reaches new heights when Daphne dances with the Prince at a ball while bad guy plays, leading us to question whether Daphne wants a nice, solid guy like the Prince, or a bad guy like Simon. Stupid question, if you ask us!

5. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus performed by Midnite String Quartet)

After keeping fans on the edge of their seats all season, Season 2, episode 8 finally gave us the climax to the Kate and Anthony romance we’d been waiting for. The couple takes to the dance floor at a ball for “one last time,” but their heated eye contact and intense chemistry say otherwise. Sure enough, by the end of Miley’s ballad about always wanting her lover, Kate and Anthony have shared a much-anticipated kiss. Cue the fireworks!

4. Stay Away by Nirvana performed by Vitamin String Quartet

The second season focuses on Anthony Bridgerton, so it makes sense that the opening montage features snippets of the eldest son performing his Viscount duties … and a few other things. As Anthony deals with family business, goes on dates with high society ladies, and hooks up with at least one sex worker, an up-tempo version of this iconic Nirvana song plays in the background. The song was frenetic in its first form, but the string version by the Vitamin String Quartet makes it even seem more harried.

3. Sign of the Times (Stripped) by Harry Styles performed by Steve Horner

It wasn’t easy for showrunners to obtain the rights to Styles’ hit song for Season 2, episode 6, “The Choice,” but it was, in fact, the perfect choice for this scene! “Sign of the Times” plays as Anthony and Edwina prepare to get married, while Anthony can’t keep his eyes off her sister, Kate. In retrospect, lyrics like “Just stop your crying, It’s a sign of the times, We gotta get away from here” suit their failed wedding ceremony perfectly.

2. Dancing On My Own by Robyn performed by Vitamin String Quartet

Robyn’s song Dancing On My Own perfectly sums up the sickening feeling of watching your ex dance with a new flame at the club. It’s been featured in many shows over the years (Hello, Girls!), but its use in Season 2, episode 4 of Bridgerton might be the best of the bunch. In this scene, Kate and Anthony share a dance for the first time while Kate struggles with the feelings she has developed for him even though he’s courting her sister.

1. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrisette performed by Duomo and Tomas Peire-Serrate

There are a lot of songs about messy relationships but few are as perfect as Alanis Morrisette’s You Oughta Know. This song plays as Anthony mopes in a bathtub, thinking about how he has a duty to marry Edwina but he really fancies Kate. Kate, meanwhile, is off on a horseback ride, thinking similar thoughts about duty versus passion. In Season 2, episode 5, the string version of the song hits all the right notes. As a special treat, we’re including the video of Morrisette herself performing the orchestral version backed by feat. Duomo and Kroma Strings. Bow to the real queen, people.

All of these incredible songs have us super excited for the upcoming Season 3 of Bridgerton, which premieres on Netflix on May 16, 2024. We’ll be watching—and listening!

(featured image: Netflix)


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Author
Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.