Rachel Zegler Brings Haunting Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Songs to Life in Teaser

E! News' exclusive behind-the-scenes look at The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes shows how Rachel Zegler and the filmmakers brought Lucy Gray Baird and the Covey's songs to life.

By Lindsay Weinberg Oct 26, 2023 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Rachel Zegler Stuns in New 'Hunger Games' EXCLUSIVE

The songbird's melodies are as pure as snow.

E! News' exclusive sneak peek of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the movie brought Lucy Gray Baird's soul-stirring songs to the big screen.

The clip from the prequel film shows nomadic singer Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler) taking the stage at the Hob marketplace in District 12 to perform "Nothing You Can Take From Me" (her reaping song) with her musical troupe known as the Covey.

"Can't take my past / Can't take my history," she sings with a twang and a guitar in hand. "You could take my pa / But his name's a mystery." 

Other scenes show Lucy Gray in a meadow in District 12 singing "The Hanging Tree," the song Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) would go on to perform in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which takes place more than 65 years after Songbirds & Snakes.

20 Secrets About The Hunger Games Revealed

And rounding out the music from the dystopian Lionsgate movie is a sneak peek of "Pure As the Driven Snow," the emotional song Lucy Gray writes about young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), her mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. 

Speaking of songs, Geffen Records will release the film's official soundtrack—The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Music From & Inspired By)—on Nov. 17, the same day the movie hits theaters.

In fact, in E! News exclusive clip above, director Francis Lawrence said that he spoke with author Suzanne Collins about the "huge musical element" in her story, inspired by the "old ballads" of Scotland, England and Ireland. 

Courtesy of Lionsgate

Executive music producer Dave Cobb also recalled how Suzanne told him "every single detail" about the feel, sound and inspiration for the songs she penned in the book.

"It's going to be fun to take all this history of the British isles music and Southern music," he noted, "and mash it all together in this dystopian way."

The melodies—which he described as "raw and rugged"—captured Rachel's interest right away.

"When I got all of the scratch recordings for the music," the Snow White star said, "I just fell in love and was like, ‘We got this part right for sure.'"

Francis added that the team was "really able to capture that kind of 1920s to 1930s sort of Appalachian quality that we all loved and we were all aiming for."

He explained, "It's a great added element to the movie and to the story."

Murray Close

See more photos from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes before it hits theaters Nov. 17:

The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Poster

Lionsgate released a first look at the dramatic dystopian movie based on Suzanne Collins' book.

Meet the Songbird

A first look at the nomadic singer Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler in Songbirds & Snakes.

Pure as Snow

Lucy Gray is assigned Capitol citizen Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as her mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games.

Star-Crossed Lovers

Chemistry is catching fire between the young pair.

Doom in District 12

The nomadic singer appears in the rural district in the prequel film.

Meet Tigris

A first look at a young Tigris (Euphoria's Hunter Schafer) who lives on to see the 75th Hunger Games as she appears in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2. 

The Weather is Looking Lucky

Lucretius "Lucky" Flickerman (Jason Schwartzman) is an on-air weathercaster for the Capitol before he is tapped to act as host of the 10th Hunger Games. 


Sejanus Plinth (Josh Andrés Rivera) and Coriolanus strike up a friendship in the Capitol's Academy. 

Haunted by the Past

Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage) is Dean of the Academy and runs the first ever mentorship program for the Hunger Games—but a past connection to the Games may prove to be too much. 

The Mind Behind the Games

In addition to being an instructor at the Academy, Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) acts as the Head Gamemaker for the 10th Hunger Games and is known for her muttations. 

Let the Games Begin

The 10th Hunger Games might look different for seasoned fans, but they will prove to be the most important for the Capitol yet. 

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