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The 20 Best Songs In The Vampire Diaries
2024/04/10

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One of the reasons remains a beloved show is that the music made for a fantastic soundtrack. Inspired by the novels by L.J. Smith, followed the teen residents of Mystic Falls as they learned about the existence of vampires, werewolves, and more of the supernatural. The series initially centers on Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) before expanding to her family, friends, and the Salvatore brothers (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder). With a rich mythology, compelling family drama, and captivating love stories, had everything a young adult audience could ask for.

Although at times too literal for what was happening on screen, the songs on the show beautifully accentuated the actions and emotions of the show's characters.

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Much of the music used in the series has become iconic for the audience, calling to mind specific characters or scenes even when not watching the show. Whether it be an emotional ballad or an upbeat pop song, the music present throughout the series was selected with care and chosen to enhance the stories being told. Of all the music that is incorporated throughout the series, these are some of the best songs that are the most memorable to fans and accompany some of the most charged scenes in .

"Gravity" By Sara Bareilles

Season 1, Episode 2 "Night of the Comet"

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Sara Bareilles is an artist who is featured prominently throughout the series. "Gravity" appears in the second episode of the first season when Elena comes to see Stefan to resolve a tense moment between them that occurred earlier in the episode.

The music plays softly in the background as the two discuss Elena's worry about taking emotional risks with Stefan. As Elena and Stefan share their first kiss, "Gravity" reaches a crescendo and becomes the couple's defining song that cements .

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“A Drop In The Ocean” By Ron Pope

Season 3, Episode 1 “The Birthday”

Much of the season three premiere of s is devoted to the search for Stefan. Damon is looking for him, Elena is looking for him, and Caroline decides to attempt to distract Elena with a birthday party. At the end of the night, however, Elena learns of Stefan’s ripper past from Damon and is alone on her birthday, though Damon didn’t want her to know the truth.

The end of the episode features Stefan making a call to Elena, but not saying anything, while this song plays in the background. Stefan is only leaving a trail of bodies at the behest of Klaus, but Elena doesn’t know that, and she still tells him she loves him while Stefan holds back tears.

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The song itself is about a relationship on the verge of ending, so it makes the scene a bittersweet one since Elena is urging him to hold on while the song implies that the two won’t make it.

“Holding On And Letting Go” By Ross Copperman

Season 3, Episode 10 “The New Deal”

fandom will likely continue to debate which of the times Damon and Elena kiss is their first “official” kiss since some of them involve fear of death or one of them being compelled to forget. This song, however, plays during one of the first times that Damon initiates a kiss between the two.

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"If I'm going to feel guilty, I'll feel guilty about this."

Damon is worried about just where Stefan’s head is at in this episode, and Elena starts to feel like she should really move on from Stefan. When Damon realizes that he still can’t fully pursue his feelings for Elena because he feels guilty about wanting to be with her, “Holding On And Letting Go” plays - right before he decides he should give himself something to actually feel guilty about, and he kisses her. It’s a moment that makes some fans cheer and others groan because it extends the love triangle of Elena and the Salvatore brothers a bit more, but it also gives the audience

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in the series.

“All You Wanted” By Sounds Under Radio

Season 1, Episode 17 “Let The Right One In”

When premiered, Kayla Ewell was listed as a main cast member - and then her character Vicki was promptly bitten by a vampire. While Vicki did get to hang around for a few episodes, her character was staked pretty early on, cementing that the show could kill series regulars, making it seem like no one was safe. It wasn’t until ghosts, resurrections, and more later in the show that there would be ways for actors to keep returning.

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“All You Wanted” played over one of the most emotional sequences in the first season of the show. While Vicki’s family and friends knew she was missing, not all of them knew she was dead. This song is the soundtrack to her family and friends being notified, and it makes for a heartbreaking reveal for the characters and for Jeremy's breakdown as he realizes that Vicki isn't a vampire that he can track down.

"Never Let Me Go" By Florence + the Machine

Season 3, Episode 19 "Heart Of Darkness"

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Florence + the Machine is a band that was featured multiple times throughout the series. Among their many songs, "Never Let Me Go" stands out as the most memorable to be included on the show. As the song's lyrics and melody evoke a romantic mood, it is a perfect complement to a key intimate moment between Damon and Elena.

The song starts quietly at first and grows louder when Elena kisses Damon while they are on a trip to get Jeremy. It is a huge moment for fans of the relationship. The lyrics "" mirror . She can't help her emotional connection to the bad boy vampire and this song really highlights her complicated emotions towards him.

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“This Woman’s Work” By Greg Laswell

Season 3, Episode 7 “Ghost World”

Bonnie rarely gets huge music moments in . Huge moments, yes, because she saves everyone else on a regular basis, but the memorable scenes that stick with viewers because of the music usually belong to others. Not in “Ghost World.”

Bonnie is tasked with closing the door between the living and the dead which has allowed ghosts to attempt to end their “unfinished business” in town. While she performs the spell, “This Woman’s Work,” covered here by Greg Laswell, swells. Bonnie is proven successful as “

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” is sung, and as a bonus, the audience gets to see the ghost of Anna reunite with her mother right before they fade from sight.

“Give Me Love” By Ed Sheeran

Season 3, Episode 14 “Dangerous Liaisons”

A couple of Ed Sheeran songs are used during significant moments in , and for those who enjoy the , “Give Me Love” is one of them. The song plays while the two dance at the Mikaelson family ball after Esther invites Elena to her home for a party.

The scene features the usual chemistry between Klaus and Caroline, but this is very early on in their interactions.

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The song is absolutely a reflection of Klaus yearning to be with this woman who keeps telling him that she isn’t interested in him. While Klaus is clearly unstable, his interactions with Caroline soften him, humanize him even, for the audience, and the song helps with that.

"Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris

Season 4, Episode 4 "The Five"

When Elena becomes a vampire, Damon gets her to let loose and have some fun. "Feel So Close" plays as Damon and Elena dance at a Halloween party on campus after feeding on some of the other party attendees.

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It is a slightly forbidden scene charged with danger and sensuality because the dance occurs while Elena is still with Stefan.

It isn't a typical song to play during a Damon and Elena scene as it is an upbeat and happy tune rather than an indie ballad or soft pop song. This is an important scene because Elena momentarily embraces being a vampire, which will become a major storyline for the remainder of the series. The song's fast rhythm compliments her carefree attitude and happiness in this scene and hints at the dark path she will eventually travel in later seasons.

"Hold On" By Chord Overstreet

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Season 8, Episode 16 "I Was Feeling Epic"

Chord Overstreet's "Hold On" was included in the finale of the show as Elena wakes up from the magical coma Kai put her in. It makes her reunions with the rest of the characters even more emotional and heartwarming. The lyrics fit perfectly for all the characters getting the happy endings they deserve.

It is especially tear-jerking when Elena gets reunited with her family in heaven and Damon gets to find peace with Stefan as well. Fans can feel a sense of closure with this song, making it one of many perfect songs to end the series with.

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"All I Need" By Within Temptation

Season 1, Episode 19 "Miss Mystic Falls"

Unlike some other songs featured throughout the show, "All I Need" was not widely popular outside of fandom. It isn't a pop hit like Calvin Harris's "Feel So Close"; instead, it's an indie emotional song about being completely in love with someone. In the first season, it makes Damon and Elena dancing to this song a huge moment since Elena is with Stefan.

Later on in the series, we learn that the first time Elena admitted how attracted she was to Damon was dancing along to this song at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant.

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It is understandable why she felt drawn to him, considering the lyrics are so passionate. The significance of the Damon and Elena dance within the show's mythology cements this as one of the best and most important songs featured in the show.

“O Holy Night” By Cary Brothers

Season 4, Episode 9 “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

If there’s one thing that’s great in a genre show or movie, it’s a beloved holiday classic being used in a haunting way. To hear a Christmas carol cover played over a scene of violence and darkness is jarring.

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Both and did it on The CW with great effect.

For , “O Holy Night” is played while Klaus slaughters his army of hybrids. It’s a chilling scene that reminds the audience how monstrous Klaus can be.

"Wings" By Birdy

Season 5, Episode 22 "Home"

Birdy is no stranger to soundtrack. Her vocals and lyrics are always evocative and romantic, and her song "Wings" is no exception. As the Other Side is falling apart with Bonnie and Damon in it, this song enhanced all the emotions the characters and the audience were going through.

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There is a certain desperation in the song that matches Jeremy looking for Bonnie and everyone being upset that they are losing her and Damon to the other side. It makes the entire scene and the ending of the fifth season that much more impactful.

"Never Say Never" By The Fray

Season 1, Episode 1 "Pilot"

"Never Say Never" plays at the end of the pilot of and in the finale, making it one of the more memorable songs on the show. Its hopeful lyrics encompass the bittersweet tone of the moments it is included in.

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In the pilot, the song plays as Elena admits that she is still struggling with the loss of her parents, but is willing to open herself up to Stefan. When it is featured in the series finale, it is just after Stefan sacrifices himself to save Mystic Falls. Fans are brought to happy tears when he reunites with his best friend Lexi as this song plays in the background. It is a song that brings the series full circle and does so by highlighting such bittersweet emotions in each scene.

"Kiss Me" By Ed Sheeran

Season 4, Episode 7 "My Brother's Keeper"

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Damon and Elena's moments throughout the series are typically paired with great music, and "Kiss Me" is one of those songs that typify their relationship. The lyric "," sums up their journey on the show up to this point.

As the song plays, Elena and Damon share an intimate dance by the fireplace that quickly escalates into passion as Elena finally accepts her desire to be with Damon. Overall, the song highlights the love between the two and makes it a scene that proves.

“Eternal Flame” By Caroline (Cover Of The Bangles)

Season 2, Episode 16 “The House Guest”

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Though teen dramas are known for allowing their characters a chance to sing if there are those with vocal abilities among the cast, didn’t do it often. Only a handful of characters take over a microphone during the series’ run, and one of the first is Caroline Forbes.

Caroline jumped up on stage at the Grille to cover the Bangles’ classic “” in order to make her feelings for Matt Donovan clear. The relationship between Caroline and Matt is one of the first big ones in the show that doesn’t involve Elena Gilbert, and while Caroline might be good at taking charge in a lot of situations, she’s not always great at sharing her feelings in the early episodes.

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Singing to Matt marked a huge step for her in the show, and it also marked a departure from the way usually utilized its music.

"Colour Me In" By Damien Rice

Season 6, Episode 14 "Stay"

As Damien Rice is known for his downbeat music, it is fitting that "Colour Me In" is featured in one of the saddest moments on the show. As Liz Forbes is dying, Caroline uses her compulsion power to make her mother think about a happy memory of her teaching Caroline how to ride a bike as she passes.

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It is a way for Caroline to give her mother a moment of peace before passing away, and Damien Rice's soft singing makes the scene even harder to watch. This song being paired with Caroline letting her mother pass peacefully just really heightens the tragic nature of the scene.

“I Was Wrong” By Sleeperstar

Season 2, Episode 8 “Rose”

Damon is never completely selfless, but there are some of his actions that can be perceived that way, and a good song playing in the background helps to sell that. Sleepstar’s “I Was Wrong” includes the singer apologizing to a lover he’s wronged when their relationship sours.

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At this point in the show, Elena and Damon aren’t in a relationship, but Damon has a similar sentiment - feeling guilty for his actions where she’s concerned.

Damon decides in “Rose” to confess to Elena that he’s in love with her. It’s like he just needs to get his feelings off his chest, but he admits that he knows he can’t be selfish with Elena and that he doesn’t feel like he deserves even a chance to be with her. Damon believes Stefan deserves Elena more than he does, so he compels her to forget everything he told her, and then gives her back her necklace of vervain so that no one else can compel her.

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It’s a striking moment for fans of Damon and Elena.

“Twice” By Little Dragon

Season 4, Episode 1 “Growing Pains”

On the flip side of Damon and Elena’s scene in “Rose” is Elena reliving it in “Growing Pains.” The season 4 premiere of chronicled Elena’s transition from human to vampire, and as Elena regained her memories of being compelled as a human, the series made some different choices for the soundtrack.

Though the scene of Damon telling Elena that he loves her is remembered by Elena, it’s “Twice” that plays in it instead of “I Was Wrong,” helping to drive home the point that Elena is regaining her memories of a potential lover.

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The song is actually about someone caught between two lovers who regrets the decisions they’ve made. Elena might not necessarily regret her past decision (of choosing Stefan), but regaining her memory allows her to see her rejection of Damon in a new light.

“Ungodly Hour” By The Fray

Season 4, Episode 2 “Memorial”

makes a lot of use of The Fray’s music catalog. Some of their songs are even used multiple times in the series, and many of them play over the show’s most memorable scenes.

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For this chapter of soundtrack, The Fray’s “Ungodly Hour” is used.

It plays while Damon sits at Alaric’s grave and talks to him, lamenting the fact that his friend left him to keep an eye on the “kids” and fight with his brother without Alaric there to lean on. Unbeknownst to Damon, Alaric isn’t completely gone, and his spirit is sitting with Damon and hearing every word, making the moment all the more poignant.

"Wait" By M-83

Season 6, Episode 5 "The World Has Turned And Left Me Here

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"Wait" plays as Damon appears before Stefan after making it back from the Other Side. The song becomes louder as they have a tearful reunion, which effectively communicates how much love the brothers have for one another despite centuries of bloodshed. It is a scene that .

It is such a beautiful song that makes the audience feel hopeful about the Salvatore brothers' relationship for the rest of the season. Despite all of their differences, it is undeniable how much they missed each other and this song highlights those feelings of love and hope. The best uses of music in soundtrack are able to enhance scenes just like this.

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