The 'Bridgerton' Soundtrack Is Filled With Classical Covers of Modern Hits

Yes, that was a 'Thank U, Next' string quarter cover you heard.

bridgerton netflix soundtrack
(Image credit: Liam Daniel)

The first season of Bridgerton is filled with mysteries. There's the matter of gossip columnist Lady Whistledown's true identity, the question of whether Anthony will ever stop being so uptight and just let his sister live her life already, guesses of how long it'll take for Daphne's confusing baby bangs to grow out, and, of course, Eloise and Penelope's quest to uncover how, exactly, one becomes pregnant. Most head-scratching of all, however—for this viewer, at least—is the all-consuming task of puzzling out which 21st-century songs are being covered by the 19th-century orchestra at each fancy ball and garden party throughout the Netflix series' eight episodes. Because yes, that really is Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish you're hearing in the background.

Once identified, the juxtaposition of songs like "Bad Guy" playing over the extremely buttoned-up social interactions of Regency London is easily one of the most charming aspects of the show (besides the gorgeous dresses, the feminist take on Georgian England, the Duke of Hastings' face, etc.). According to showrunner Chris Van Dusen, the choice to sneakily drop contemporary music into the decidedly noncontemporary setting was meant to reflect Bridgerton's fresh take on the period romance genre as a whole.

"It really goes to the idea of making this feel different than your other period shows. Whether it's music or the world of the show, the scripts, the sets, the costumes; it all comes back to infusing things through our own unique modern lens and making things feel relatable to whoever's watching," Van Dusen told Oprah Mag. Mission very much accomplished!

To help you bring a bit of Bridgerton's magic into your own life, here are all of the modern-day pop songs featured in the show, and the scenes in which they can be heard (in case you missed them the first time around). All the classical covers are now available to stream, along with another compilation of Emmy-winning composer Kris Bowers' score for the show—just in time to get your 2021 Spotify Wrapped off to an impeccable start.

stream the Bridgerton covers here

stream the Bridgerton score here

"thank u, next" by Ariana Grande

This Vitamin String Quartet cover of Grande's 2018 earworm plays in the first episode of Bridgerton's first season. It's playing in the background of the first ball of the social season, as Anthony is thank u, next-ing every suitor that even looks Daphne's way.

"Girls Like You" by Maroon 5

Another cover by Vitamin String Quartet featured in the show's first episode, Maroon 5's 2017 song plays when, after being spurned by Anthony on Daphne's behalf, all of the Ton's eligible men shift their focus instead to Marina Thompson.

"In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Toward the end of the second episode of the season, Daphne and Simon dance together at a ball as the first official act of their plot to improve Daphne's social standing and shift attention away from Simon. Vitamin String Quartet's take on Mendes' 2018 Grammy-nominated track plays behind this momentous occasion, during which it becomes exceedingly clear that their fake courtship won't stay fake for long.

"bad guy" by Billie Eilish

By the series' third episode, Daphne and Simon's plot is well under way, with the pair having established a witty rapport and taking pleasure in hamming up their apparent connection. Case in point: Simon's faux-jealous outburst at another man asking Daphne to dance, as Vitamin String Quartet's cover of Eilish's 2019 Grammy winner playfully labels him the bad guy in the situation (duh).

"Love Yourself (Short Reprise)" by Sufjan Stevens

If a movie or TV show is a tearjerker in any way, it must include at least one Sufjan song on the soundtrack. That's just how it is; I don't make the rules. In Bridgerton's case, "Love Yourself (Short Reprise)" is one of just two modern songs that made it into the show without being covered by a string quartet. It plays in the fifth episode, as Daphne and Simon take a very big step in their lives together.

"Strange" by Celeste

Bowers is responsible for this cover of the 2019 song by British singer-songwriter Celeste. It also plays in episode five, during a particularly—ahem—climactic moment in Daphne and Simon's relationship.

"Wildest Dreams" by Taylor Swift

Duomo's cover of this song, off T.Swift's 2014 album 1989, is featured in the sixth episode of the season. It plays while Daphne and Simon truly live out their wildest dreams—in the garden, on the steps of a mausoleum, on a library ladder, and pretty much anywhere else they both happen to be.

"The End" by JPOLND

This, the other non-string quartet-ified current-day track to appear in Bridgerton arrives at the end of episode six. The song, which has a swingy melody but intense lyrics, plays during one of the series' most controversial moments, which has sparked an important discussion about consent and demonstrates the fundamental disconnect between Daphne and Simon.

Andrea Park

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.