List of songs based on poems
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This is a list of songs of any genre that take a significant portion of their lyrics from poems or poetic works. This is not intended to cover poetry readings with musical backdrops, songs that allude to poems, or works always intended to be songs.
- 1 Rachel Bluwstein
- 2 Robert Burns
- 3 Federico García Lorca
- 4 George Gordon Byron
- 5 Ronny Someck
- 6 Emily Dickinson
- 7 Pablo Neruda
- 8 Edgar Allan Poe
- 9 Christina Rossetti
- 10 William Shakespeare
- 11 Hannah Szenes
- 12 Phillip Brady
- 13 William Butler Yeats
- 14 Patrick Kavanagh
- 15 Miscellaneous
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- "I Know to Speak Only of Myself"
- "Date, half a date (Peguisha, Chatzi peguisha)"
- By Hanan Yovel, Dorit Reuveni & Danny Katz
- "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"
- "Wild Nights" was also featured as part of Adam's composition Harmonium
- The album No Promises by Carla Bruni includes three poems by Emily Dickinson
- "I Felt My Life With Both My Hands"
- "I Went To Heaven"
- "If You Were Coming In The Fall"
- Luciana Souza's album Neruda is a collection of jazz arrangements of the works of Pablo Neruda (translated into English).
- Many of Pablo Neruda's works are featured on the album Quilapayún Chante Neruda
- "Under the Greenwood Tree" by Donovan
- The album When Love Speaks features several of Shakespeare's works set to music:
- "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" performed by Rufus Wainwright (Sonnet 29)
- "No more be grieved at that which thou hast done" performed by Keb' Mo' (Sonnet 35)
- "The quality of mercy is not strained" performed by Des'ree (The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, scene 1)
- "The Willow Song" performed by Barbara Bonney (Othello, Act IV, scene 3)
- "Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly" performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Sonnet 8)
- "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" performed by Bryan Ferry (Sonnet 18)
- Two pieces of Shakespeare's plays were set to music by Loreena McKennitt:
- "O Mistress Mine" by Emilie Autumn- Album: A Bit O' this & That (Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene III)
- "Double Trouble", a song from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban soundtrack, has rearranged lyrics taken entirely from Macbeth (Act IV, scene I)
- "Notes of Memory" by Maeve Garvan, Patrick Cross, David Kaneswaren and James Corballis
- The album Now & In Time to Be features the works of Yeats performed by various artists.
- The poem "Down by the Salley Gardens" was based by Yeats on a fragment of a song he heard an old woman singing. Yeats' words have been recorded as a song by many performers.
- The song A Bad Dream by Keane is based on the poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"
- "Those Dancing Days Are Gone" and "Before the World Was Made" are both performed by Carla Bruni on the album No Promises
- "Song Of Wandering Aengus" was performed by Donovan, Judy Collins, Chris Thompson and many more.
- Loreena McKennitt has set two Yeats poems to music:
- "Stolen Child" (Also set to music by The Waterboys, although mostly spoken)
- "The Two Trees"
- "The Song of a Wandering Aengus" is set to music by Caroline Herring
- The poem On Raglan Road was put to music when the poet met Luke Kelly of the well-known Irish band The Dubliners in a pub in Dublin. It was set to the music of the traditional song "The Dawning of the Day" (Fáinne Geal an Lae).
- "The Little Man Who Wasn't There", from poem "Antigonish"
- "I Am Stretched on Your Grave" is a translation of the Irish poem "Táim Sínte ar do Thuama"
- "Strange Fruit" by Lewis Allan (Abel Meeropol)
- "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas
- In addition to the works listed above, Loreena McKennitt has adapted the following poems to music:
- Donovan has set many poems to music in addition to the ones already mentioned:
- "Do not stand at my grave and weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye was translated into Japanese and set to music under the title "Sen no Kaze ni Natte" (I Am the Thousand Winds)
- "Unpretty" by TLC
- "Suzanne", poem and song both by Leonard Cohen
- "Ballad of the Landlord" by Still on the Hill, from poem of the same name by Langston Hughes
- Luciana Souza's album The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs features the poems "Argument", "Imber Nocturnus", "Sonnet", and "Insomnia" by Elizabeth Bishop
- The poems "True Stories" and "Bluejays" by Margaret Atwood are featured as songs on the album True Stories by Andrew Rathbun
- The poem "Lost Sister" by Cathy Song is featured on the album Jade by Andrew Rathbun
- Theodore Roethke's poem "The Waking" has been recorded by Kurt Elling on his album Nightmoves.
- Kate McGarry performs E.E. Cummings' poem "I Carry Your Heart" on her album If Less Is More... Nothing Is Everything
- The lyrics of the song "How Fortunate the Man With None" by Dead Can Dance are from John Willett's translation of Bertolt Brecht's poem "Die Ballade von den Prominenten"
- Charles Baudelaire's poem "Paysage" was turned into a song by the group Les Colocs
- The album No Promises by Carla Bruni also includes works by W. H. Auden, Dorothy Parker, and Walter de la Mare
- John Adams' Harmonium begins with a setting of "Negative Love" by John Donne
- Annie Lennox performed part of "Live With Me and Be My Love" by Christopher Marlowe (later borrowed by Shakespeare) for the album When Love Speaks
- Paul Verlaine's "Dansons La Gigue" is performed by Patricia Barber on her album Verse.
- The album Music Through Heartsongs is a collection of poetry by Mattie Stepanek, performed by Billy Gilman
- ((William Blake)) "Poison Tree" and "The Fly" and (John Keats) "La Belle Dame Sans Merci have been recorded by Max Heineg
- John Denver performed The Box
- Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Ozymandias has been recorded by Jean-Jacques Burnel
- Max Dunn's poem "I Danced Before I had Two Feet" was turned into a song ("I Danced") by the band Violent Femmes
- Thrice adapted E.E. Cummings' poem "Since feeling is first" into their song "A Living Dance Upon Dead Minds"
- Geraghty, Des (1994). Luke Kelly: A Memoir. Dublin: Basement Press. pp. 38, 39. ISBN 1-85594-090-6.
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