This is a list of songs that retell, in whole or in part, a work of literature. Albums listed here consist entirely of songs retelling a work of literature.
- Krokfjord, Torgeir P. (2005-04-21). "Interview with Kamelot (Roy Khan)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved 2022-07-01.
- Welton, Benjamin (September 14, 2015). "NILE, MORBID ANGEL & 6 Other Heavy Metal Albums Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft". Metal Injection. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
..."Cometh Down Hessian" mimics the narrative plot of Lovecraft's "The Hound," which deals with the hideous consequences of grave robbing.
- Toland, Michael (March 28, 2019). "Q&A: Michael Moorcock Plays Hawkwind". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Freeman, Phil (December 22, 2010). "Michael Moorcock, Epic Science Fiction Master and Hard Rocker". Gizmodo. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Heller, Jason (April 2016). "Silver Machine: Hawkwind's Space Rock Journey throughout Science Fiction and Fantasy". Clarkesworld. No. 115. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
- Peacock, Tim (September 10, 2021). "'Dust And Dreams': How Camel Found The Promised Land". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
Perhaps influenced by his new surroundings, the song cycle Latimer conceived was for a concept album evoking the spirit and themes of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer (and later Nobel) Prize-winning 1939 novel, The Grapes Of Wrath... ...Inspired by these universal themes, Latimer penned Dust And Dreams: an introspective masterpiece, which... ...was based primarily upon evocative instrumental music... ...Fans thirsting for Camel at their virtuosic best, however, were rewarded by the album's four fully-fledged songs. The stirring "Go West" reflected the Joad family's optimism as they arrived in California, but by the time Dust And Dreams hit the elegiac "Rose Of Sharon" ("What we gonna do when the baby comes?"), their hopes had fallen apart at the seams. Elsewhere, the seven-minute "End Of The Line" and the dramatic, shape-shifting "Hopeless Anger" contained flash and flair redolent of mid-70s Camel classics The Snow Goose and Moonmadness.
- Dahlstrom, Tyrell (March 11, 2019). "Virgin Steele: A Retrospective (Part 2)". Death Metal Underground. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Inglis, Sam. "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds". Sound on Sound. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
…It turned out there was an agent who represented the estate of HG Wells, and we convinced the estate that we wanted to be true to the story in creating this musical interpretation, and we did a deal. That was 1975, and the whole writing, orchestration, scriptwriting, paintings, recording sessions, everything to do with it, took the better part of two and a half years, between early '75 and June '78. "I still have the original book with all my underlinings and scribbles about things that motivated me to compose something or to chat to the guys that were the lyricists, or our scriptwriter. The truth of it was that I somehow thought I was going to do an instrumental album, no guest artists, no roles being played, virtually all instrumental, no paintings, no script, and a budget that was in one ballpark. And it turned out to be quite the opposite."
- Houle, Zachary (3 December 2013). "The Alan Parsons Project: I Robot (Legacy Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
The group's 1976 debut Tales of Mystery and Imagination was focused on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and, for a follow-up, the duo turned their attention to science-fiction author Isaac Asimov's 1950 book of short stories, I, Robot. Although Asimov was encouraging of the project, the book was already optioned to a film and television company, so Woolfson had to fudge the concept a little by making a set of songs that was more generally about the relationship between man and machine, and, though the group used the title of Asimov's book, they had to drop the comma for copyright reasons. And, thus, I Robot was born.
- Marshall, Colin (February 27, 2018). "Hear Rick Wakeman's Musical Adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, "One of Prog Rock's Crowning Achievements"". Open Culture. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Paul, Andrew (February 23, 2016). "With Leviathan, Mastodon helped usher in a golden age of heavy metal". AV Club. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Chaplinsky, Joshua (May 4, 2012). "White Whale, Holy Grail: Moby Dick and Mastodon's Leviathan". LitReactor. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Pementel, Michael; Kaufman, Spencer (August 31, 2019). "15 Years Ago, Mastodon's Leviathan Took Fans on a High Seas Metal Adventure". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
Speaking to the Leviathan's concept, Dailor shared, "We had the big idea about the Moby Dick thing, which we all we excited about for the aesthetics, and the ability to do our own concept album that was based off this amazing piece of literature."
- Bennett, J. (December 1, 2013). "Mastodon's 'Leviathan': The Story Behind the Cover Art". Revolver. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
At one fateful point during the time when Atlanta's Mastodon were gathering ideas for what would become their 2004 breakthrough album, Leviathan, drummer Brann Dailor found himself on a hellish 30-hour plane trip with nothing to pass the time except a copy of Moby-Dick. He already had a water motif in mind for the disc—Mastodon's previous record, Remission, was fire-themed—but before he read Herman Melville's 1851 maritime classic about Captain Ahab's hunt for the "salt-sea mastodon," Dailor admits that his ideas for what eventually became Leviathan were "pretty fucking vague."
- Mardell, Oscar (August 2019). "Sage of Discord; Or, Melville at 200: A Revenge Tragedy in 24 Sections" (PDF). 3:AM Magazine. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
Perhaps my favourite attempt to make Melville "sin" again is the Moby-Dick-inspired concept album Leviathan by the American metal band Mastodon. Far more than any scholarly analysis, Leviathan is sensitive to the anger and disillusionment which permeates virtually every page of Melville's whaling epic. The album has inspired a surprising amount of critical discourse, almost all of which has focussed on its lyrics; what has not been properly acknowledged, however, is how close the album's rhythms come to the anarchic time signatures of early jazz, whose initial listeners were the first to recognise in Melville an apocalyptic vision of their own era.
- Stavans, Ilan (July 29, 2014). Latin Music: Musicians, Genres, and Themes. ABC-CLIO. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-313-34396-4. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Dome, Malcolm (April 15, 2016). "Hawkwind: The Machine Stops". Retrieved September 6, 2022.
It's a concept, based on the EM Forster short story The Machine Stops, which might have been written close to 90 years ago, but which has a contemporary dystopian parallel. And that mirrors the way Hawkwind sound. They offer a strong whiff of the style through which they have forged their reputation, with the odour of a modern psychedelic groove. While others might have played fast and loose with the basic story, this is not the case here.
- Hayashida, Caleb. "Moby Dick or The Whale". Caleb Hayashida Music. Caleb Hayashida. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
- Mahani, Hazem. "Album: Moby Dick or The Whale by Caleb Hayashida". Rock Era Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
- Michael, Justin (31 January 2006). "MUSIC: INSPIRED BY A WORLD OF THE IMAGINATION". Sight Magazine. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
- Hart, Ron (April 11, 2018). "Iron Maiden's 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' at 30: Artists Reflect on Then-Controversial Metal Classic". Billboard. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
Two years later, Maiden would ignore the jeers and double down on the digital experiments with their seventh album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, released 30 years ago on April 11, 1988. It was the first time we heard actual keyboards on a studio recording of theirs, used to supplement the record's concept, whose roots derived from Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel Seventh Son, which Harris had been reading at the time. And while some metal purists in the press accused the group of becoming Genesis, Seventh Son was largely celebrated as a high watermark in the Iron Maiden lexicon; its lean into progressive rock served as the basis for some of the most revered songs in the band's canon like "The Clairvoyant," "Moonchild," "Can I Play With Madness" and the album's epic title cut.
- Rocher, David (March 7, 2002). "Rebellion - _Shakespeare's Macbeth: A Tragedy in Steel_". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Leidolph, Christer. "Mike Rutherford - Smallcreep's Day". Genesis News. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
Smallcreep's Day can actually be called a concept album. It tells the story of a factory worker who does his work every day without actually ever realizing what kind of product he helps to manufacture. He embarks on a journey of discovery into the factory and into himself, into his life, and meets lots of interesting people and new emotions. The story is inspired by Peter Currell Brown's book of the same title that came out in 1965.
- Allardice, Lisa (19 December 2011). "Winter reads: The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico". The Guardian. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
- "Happy Anniversary: Mike Oldfield, The Songs of Distant Earth". Rhino Entertainment. December 5, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
20 years ago today, Mike Oldfield released a concept album based on a sci-fi novel by Arthur C. Clarke, one which the author not only approved of but, indeed, enjoyed enough to compose a few words for the liner notes… …In his liner notes, Clarke – who confessed that he'd been particularly impressed with the soundtrack for The Killing Fields – wrote, "I was delighted when Mike Oldfield told me that he wished to compose a suite inspired by (The Songs of Distant Earth)…and now, having played (the album), I feel he has lived up to my expectations. Welcome back into space, Mike: there's still lots of room out here."
- Marshall, Colin (April 21, 2015). "Hear Orson Welles Read Edgar Allan Poe on a Cult Classic Album by The Alan Parsons Project". Open Culture. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Little, Michael H. (April 1, 2015). "Graded on a Curve: The Alan Parsons Project, Tales of Mystery and Imagination—Edgar Allen [sic] Poe". The Vinyl District. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Clement, Keith (January 5, 2018). "Rebellion - A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear". Metal Heads Forever Magazine. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- Pardes, Deborah (2002). Songs Inspired by Literature, Chapter One (Media notes). San Francisco, California: The SIBL Project. MM-1005.
- Martens, John W. (July 19, 2016). "Out of the Mire". America: The Jesuit Review. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
It is a psalm that inspired Bono and the other members of U2 to write the song "40," a meditation on Psalm 40, for their 1983 album, "War."... ...Bono had said earlier in the conversation with [Eugene] Peterson: "Why do we need art? Why do we need the lyric poetry of the Psalms? Why do we need them? Because the only way we can approach God is if we're honest through metaphor, through symbol. Art becomes essential, not decorative."
- Grimm, Beca (June 23, 2017). "Flashback: David Bowie's Failed Attempt to Adapt George Orwell's '1984'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
Bowie wanted a televised musical – or so he told William S. Burroughs in a 1974 Rolling Stone interview. His album Diamond Dogs, which dropped that same year, featured the straight-forward "1984," with lines like, "They'll split your pretty cranium, fill it full of air/ And tell that you're 80, but brother, you won't care," highlighting the novel's revisionism themes and totalitarian government. Other tracks like "Big Brother" and "We Are The Dead" double down on the artist's fascination not just with Orwell's futuristic society, but Surrealism and Dada (which makes his timely interview with the post-modern author all the more fascinating).
- Bulger, Adam (January 24, 2020). "Struggling With Rush's Ayn Rand Influence". BTRtoday. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
The 20-minute epic "2112" relates a dystopian science fiction story so similar to Rand's novella Anthem Peart felt obligated to acknowledge the influence.
- Daly, Joe (September 24, 2014). "Chris Motionless on writing Reincarnate". Metal Hammer. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
Lyrically, Chris prefers writing songs through the eyes of characters from movies and literature, as on the song Abigail, a single from their 2010 debut, that he wrote about the Salem witch trials from the perspective of the John Proctor character in The Crucible.
- Brouwers, Josho (1 October 2015). "Heavy metal Iliad". Ancient World Magazine. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
The song, as befitting a musical rendition of Homer's epic, is nearly 29 minutes in length and, as indicated in the title, consists of eight distinct parts (though this doesn't include the prelude and part VII consists of two parts in itself, so it's actually ten parts). The song focuses on the confrontation between Achilles, the Greek champion, and Hector, the Trojan leader, and follows the story in Iliad books 12 through 22.
- McPadden, Mike (April 7, 2015). "'Toys in the Attic' Turns 40: Ranking The Songs On Aerosmith's Classic Album". VH1. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
It's certainly one of the most "Aerosmith" of all Aerosmith anthems: a peacocking take on the Biblical creation myth that recreates the fall of humanity as the inevitable byproduct of just how tempting a certain "sweet and bitter fruit" is by its nature, and how just one taste ignites a particular form enlightenment to the point of madness.
- Dolen, John (May 1, 1994). "CELEBRATING THE NEW CROP OF GREAT MUSIC-MAKERS". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
Not too many other rock bands mention Jean-Paul Sartre or go head-to-head with T.S. Eliot. (Compare Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and their Afternoons and Coffeespoons. Eliot: I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Dummies: Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline/Someday I'll wear 'jamas in the daytime.)
- McCracken, Edd (March 9, 2015). "A Simple Tale About Man Who Hates An Animal: MOBY-DICK in Pop Culture". Book Riot. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
MC Lars uses the power of hip-hop to pry open Ahab's inner monologue. For a man who skilfully leapt between narrative styles, if rap had been around in the 1850s, Melville would probably have used it. Choice couplets include: "Call me Ahab, what, monomaniac /Obsessed with success unlike Steve Wozniak"; and "The first one to stop him gets this gold doubloon/Now excuse me while I go be melancholy in my room!"
- "The stories behind Ice Nine Kills' Every Trick In The Book album". Metal Hammer. November 4, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
- Martinez, Rozanna M. (September 23, 2016). "By the book: Ice Nine Kills' songs inspired by classics". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
Every song was based on a different novel," Ice Nine Kills frontman Spencer Charnas said. "It was a different creative process because the material, the basic outline of everything, was already there and it was our job to step in and give our own spin on those classic stories. I think the most difficult element of that was making sure to respect the source material, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that these were classic stories for a reason so we better do them justice.
- Sagal, Ajay (December 4, 1994). "The Poet and the Rock Star: All He Wants to Do Is Write Some Poems ... And Now, Thanks to Sheryl Crowe, Many of Us Can Recite at Least One ... Until the Sun Comes Up Over Santa Monica Boulevard". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
...Bill Bottrell, a record producer, had stopped by Cliff's, a used-book shop in Pasadena, and picked up a bunch of poetry books, including one of the 500 copies of "The Country of Here Below." He brought it to a sort of informal weekly meeting he attended, called the Tuesday Night Music Club. One of the members, a singer/songwriter named Sheryl Crow, had written a song titled "I Still Love You." She liked the music but was unhappy with the lyrics. Bottrell showed her Wyn's poem, and bam--like that--American poetry took one giant step into the mainstream. Crow changed some of the words in "Fun," added a refrain and came up with "All I Wanna Do," which sailed to the top of the Billboard charts, where it remained in the No. 1 position for weeks.
- "Hannah Fury: The Thing That Feels". Muruch. November 8, 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
"Let It Show", "I Can't Let You In", "And Your Little Dog Too", "All Is Not Well", and "It Was Her House That Killed Nessarose" are the songs based on Gregory Maguire's novel about Elphaba, the so-called Wicked Witch... ...The lyrics are heavy with references to the novel, so I'm not sure how they translate to those who haven't read it. I suspect that the otherworldly vocals and harmonic music are enough to carry the songs even if you are unfamiliar with the strange characters Hannah sings about.
- Harlitz-Kern, Erika (April 3, 2016). "Songs by Metallica Inspired by Literature". Book Riot. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Krovatin, Chris (August 20, 2020). "Thy Horror Cosmic: What Is Metal's Obsession With H.P. Lovecraft?". Kerrang. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Rosenthal, Elizabeth J. (2001). His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John. Billboard Books. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-8230-8893-5. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Green Carnation: The Acoustic Verses". Sputnik Music. March 15, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- Daly, Joe (February 25, 2019). "Anthrax's Scott Ian takes us inside his insanely rare Stephen King collection". Metal Hammer. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Horning, Nicole (2018). Metal Music: A History for Headbangers. Greenhaven Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-5345-6526-5. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Adler, Sam (March 7, 2014). "Music and Literature: Books that inspired rap and hip-hop". USA Today. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
Through a straight retelling of George Orwell's Animal Farm, Dead Prez lays the classic story bare, setting the scene with lines like "Under the leadership of Hannibal, the fattest pig in the pack." But rather than just use the story, Dead Prez embodies the book's spirit. Their chorus "This is the animal in man, this is the animal in you" reveals how fine the line between man and beast is.
- Matthews, Dylan (February 27, 2015). "Remember Leonard Nimoy with "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," his greatest musical moment". Vox. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
The song — essentially a musical recapitulation of the plot of The Hobbit, but with much better choreography — was originally released as a single in 1967, and it grew into an internet phenomenon long before streaming video became ubiquitous.
- Greene, Andy (December 13, 2012). "Ramble On: Rockers Who Love 'The Lord of the Rings'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- Pardes, Deborah (2003). Songs Inspired by Literature, Chapter Two (Media notes). San Francisco, California: The SIBL Project. MM-1006.
- Nyren, Neil (January 30, 2020). "Carl Hiaasen: A Crime Reader's Guide to the Classics". www.crimereads.com. CrimeReads. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Kuba Shand-Baptiste. "10 songs you didn't know were inspired by literature". The Guardian.
- Carter, Caitlin (April 18, 2014). "10 Musical Compositions Inspired by Gabriel García Márquez: Radiohead, Shakira and more". Music Times. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- Cocking, Lauren (21 February 2018). "Our Top 11 Book Recommendations Featuring Mexico City". culture trip. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Ramirez, AJ (31 October 2011). "All That Glitters: Led Zeppelin - "The Battle of Evermore"". PopMatters. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Dome, Malcolm (August 21, 2014). "Ten Songs Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft". www.loudersound.com. Louder. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Wagner, Wendy N. (4 July 2011). "When Wizards Rock". Fantasy Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Schaefer, Julia. "Album Review: The Divine Comedy - Office Politics". www.thecorefm.com. 90.3 RLC-WVPH FM Piscataway. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
Irish chamber pop outfit the Divine Comedy have always been something of an English major's band in my eyes. Never mind the name they cribbed from Dante's epic - their 1993 debut album Promenade featured songs inspired by Fitzgerald short stories ("Bernice Bobs Her Hair"), Wordsworth poems ("Lucy"), and Chekhov's plays ("Three Sisters").
- Allen, Jim (March 12, 2012). "Hive Five: Literary Songs Not Written by the Decemberists". MTV News. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Melanie Martinez – Birthing Addicts (2013 EP Version), retrieved 2023-08-25
- Heller, Jason (November 8, 2012). "Blue Öyster Cult's "Veteran Of The Psychic Wars" is even bigger than the movie that inspired it". AV Club. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
BÖC had previously worked with Moorcock on the 1980 song "Black Blade"—a reference to Elric's soul-drinking sword, Stormbringer.
- "Hawkwind". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. March 3, 2020. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "Brave New World". The Iron Maiden Commentary. 30 May 2000. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
- Dillon, Cathy (March 8, 2014). "Word for Word: How a classic crosses over into song". The Irish Times. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
Vega, a former English major, has often been inspired by literature, not least in her song Calypso, which she included in her set at the Olympia. The song is an airy ballad with a mournful guitar line, written from the point of view of the sea nymph who helps Odysseus after he is shipwrecked in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey: "A long time ago / I watched him struggle with the sea / I knew that he was drowning / And I brought him into me."
- Vedantam, Shankar (September 17, 2018). "The Cassandra Curse: Why We Heed Some Warnings, And Ignore Others". Hidden Brain. National Public Radio. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Hilton, Robin (October 4, 2016). "Watch The Dandy Warhols' Take On 'Catcher In The Rye'". All Songs TV. National Public Radio. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Dadamo, Giovanni (10 July 1974). "The Madcap Speaks". The Syd Barrett Archives. Terrapin. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
Q: Some of your songs seem rather obscure, like Chapter 24 on Piper. Syd: 'Chapter 24'... that was from the 'I Ching', there was someone around who was very into that, most of the words came straight off that.
- Long, Siobhán Dowling; Sawyer, John F. A. (2015). The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works, and More. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8108-8452-6. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Spooner, Catherine (2004). Fashioning Gothic Bodies. Manchester University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-7190-6401-2. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Fairweather, Andrew (February 3, 2016). "Charlotte Sometimes: The Redoubled Subject". New York Public Library. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Gersen, Hannah (August 31, 2015). "How the Brain Forgets: On Penelope Farmer's 'Charlotte Sometimes'". The Millions. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Farmer, Penelope (June 9, 2007). "The Cure(d)". rockpool in the kitchen. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
The lyric to the song was on the record sleeve. Not only was it about confused identity, much of it consisted of quotes from the book. The title of the instrumental track on the B side, what's more, was another quote from the book.
- Farmer, Penelope (June 12, 2007). "The Cure(d): Robert Smith for ever..." rockpool in the kitchen. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
Then he told me the story of how he'd come across the book in the first place. 'My elder brother used to read to us at bedtime,' he said, 'I was about twelve or so and he was still reading books to us. Your book was one of them, it never got out of my head. Once I got into music I wanted to make a song about it. That's how it happened.'
- Barnes, Stuart (May 2012). "Robert Smith: More Than Meets the Lancome Eye" (PDF). VLAK: Contemporary Poetics & the Arts (3): 148–155. ISSN 1804-512X. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
- "Kaiser Chiefs on "Child of the Jago"". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11.
- Daniels, Neil (2014). Killers: The Origins Of Iron Maiden 1975-1983. Soundcheck Books. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-9575700-2-3. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "Iron Maiden". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. June 18, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Prince, Jeff (May 19, 2015). "Robert Earl Keen Ponders Your Questions, Prepares For Billy Bob's". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
Keen has read many of the English romantic poets such as Shelley, Keats, and Byron. "I wrote this song sort of based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem," he said. "He was one of the more fantastic rock stars. You have to think of those poets as rock stars, and they did rock star stuff back then. Coleridge was like the Jim Morrison of the bunch. You could not contain the guy."
- McGinnis, Ray (April 27, 2019). "#906: Courage by The Tragically Hip". Vancouver Pop Music Signature Sounds. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
It was MacLennan's final award winning novel that earned his place in the song title "Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)". The song included lines from The Watch That Ends The Night, where MacLennan states "There is no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and the human tragedy, or the human irony, consists in the necessity of living with the consequences of actions performed under the pressure of compulsions so obscure we do not and cannot understand them." The Tragically Hip stated MacLennan's thought this way: "There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do. And, yeah, the human tragedy consists in the necessity of living with the consequences under pressure."
- Sutherland, Steve (March 5, 2019). "Jefferson Airplane: Crown Of Creation". Hi-Fi News & Record Review. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
The album's title is taken directly from The Chrysalids. 'Your work is to survive. Neither his kind, nor his kind of thinking will survive long. They are the crown of creation, they are ambition fulfilled – they have nowhere more to go. But life is change, that is how it differs from rocks. Change is its very nature.' And the title track quotes liberally from its text. The book has 'In loyalty to their kind they cannot tolerate our rise – in loyalty to our kind, we cannot tolerate their obstruction'. The song goes: 'In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds...'. It's strident, punchy, fist-in-the-air Airplane in all their righteous indignant fury and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
- Korn, Mike. "Interview with Mike Scalzi of Slough Feg From 2005". Music Street Journal. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
[Scalzi:] I'd rather talk about real history and mythology. MSJ: That segues pretty neatly into two more songs I had questions about. "Eumaeus the Swineherd" and "Curse of Athena". Are those songs strictly about Homer's Odyssey? [Scalzi:] Absolutely, yeah. One of the newest infatuations I have is The Odyssey. Anybody who wants to read where the songs come from, open up the Odyssey and turn to the chapter about Eumaeus the Swineherd. Odysseus returns to Ithaca after being gone for 20 years and he returns disguised as a slave. Athena puts a curse on him because the suitors are trying to marry his wife Penelope and he has to win her back. Odysseus is welcomed into the humble home of Eumaeus the Swineherd who has no idea who he really is.
- Döing, Laura (16 August 2019). "Rammstein: Just what's in those lyrics?". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
Not all of the horror comes from Lindemann's pen. Some of the frontman's lyrics are inspired by classical German literature, exemplified by the most prominent poet in the language, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe's famous ballad Erlkönig, for example, translated: Who rides so late through the night and the wind? It is the father with his child. He holds the boy safely in his arms; he holds him tight, he keeps him warm. The mood, rhythm and content of Goethe's poem are echoed in Rammstein's "Dalai Lama": An airplane lies in the evening wind / On board is a man with a child / They sit safely, sit warm / And are lulled into falling asleep. In Goethe's poem, a ghostly apparition, the King of the Elves, whispers seductively to the child and seeks to abduct him into his realm. At the end of the ballad, the son dies in the arms of his father on horseback. In the Rammstein song, the "King of the Winds" endeavors to claim the boy, who finally dies in his father's arms, held too tightly in anticipation of an airplane crash.
- Irizarry, Katy (August 15, 2018). "11 Metal Songs Inspired by Dante's 'Inferno'". Loudwire. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
There is perhaps no song that portrays such a detailed and comprehensive retelling of Dante's 'Inferno' as this one. Not only does it follow the epic format with 16-and-a-half minutes of music, but it takes the listener on a musical journey to each layer of hell, just as Dante did for his readers.
- Cotterell, Joel (April 9, 2013). "This Is Armageddon: The Dawn Motif and Black Metal's Anti-Christian Project". Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory. punctum books (1): 98. ISBN 978-0-615-75828-2. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Koenig, Sara M. (November 15, 2018). Bathsheba Survives. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 108–110. ISBN 978-1-61117-914-9. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Stam, Robert (February 18, 2019). World Literature, Transnational Cinema, and Global Media: Towards a Transartistic Commons. Routledge. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-429-76739-5. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Johnson, Dan (13 September 2009). "Thrice: Beggars". PopMatters. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
From humble musings on human nature, Thrice licks into the next track "Doublespeak", an obvious homage to Orwellian realities where insidious totalitarian hegemony controls consciousness.
- "The Cure: Beyond The Hits". The Quietus. June 12, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
'The Drowning Man' is a perfect example. Drawing lyrically from Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, specifically the fraught mental state and accidental death of the character Fuschia and the reaction of her devastated brother Titus, Robert Smith's anguished vocal rises and fades into distances like air bubbles in murky water, his skittering guitar and the spare rhythm section work of Simon Gallup and Lol Tolhurst an audio portrait of utter desolation.
- Åkerlund, Pauliina (March 30, 2015). "Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Album Review)". Cryptic Rock: Your Entertainment Odyssey. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
The beautiful and melancholic "Edema Ruh" was inspired by fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss' group of strolling musicians and actors from his books Kingkiller Chronicle, called the Edema Ruh.
- Encabo, Enrique (January 29, 2019). Sound in Motion: Cinema, Videogames, Technology and Audiences. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-5275-2729-4. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Unterberger, Richie. ""The Doors"—The Doors (1967)" (PDF). www.loc.gov. National Recording Preservation Board. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Matteoli, Alessia (23 November 2010). "Absynthe Minded – Envoi". AAA Music. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
Inspired by a Hugo Claus poem, Envoi surprises the listener with its upbeat sound choruses and violin; its magical atmospheres and the ability to set you dreaming of your summer crush.
- House, Silas (September 1, 2005). "Nickel Creek – It's about the music". No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
...And they're performing songs that sound more like poetry than money, especially the one about Joyce's heartrending character. "Eveline" is one of fourteen tracks on their new album, Why Should The Fire Die?
- Flory, Tyler (April 23, 2013). "Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)" as a Romeo and Juliet teaching tool". City Pages. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Smith, Eric (March 18, 2013). "Gatsby's American Dream: The Most Literary Band You've Never Heard Of". Book Riot. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
The song fifth song on Volcano, Fable, is one of the catchiest on the record, and retells the story of Lord of the Flies. "We came here on a plane, Just a bunch of little boys. Dance around the fire, then we strike him down. We'll burn the island down. Kill the pig pig, kill the pig pig…"
- Toase, Steve (October 1, 2020). "The unsung influence of poetry on Iron Maiden". Kerrang. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
- Max, D.T. (April 10, 2011). "Kate Bush's Rewrite: Reason to ReJoyce?". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
Kate Bush... ...has gotten permission to quote some part of Molly's famous soliloquy in the reissue of a song first released in 1989 as "The Sensual World" and now appropriately renamed "Flower of the Mountain." "Flower of the Mountain" is a phrase in the soliloquy, the most famous part of which goes: "And first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."
- ""A Man of Genius Makes No Mistakes": A Joycean Playlist Just in Time for Bloomsday 2015". Flood Magazine. June 16, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
Kate Bush's musical homage to James Joyce and Ulysses's Molly Bloom was a twenty-two-year journey in the making. Originally planned as a musical interpretation of Bloom's last speech in the novel, Bush had to alter the lyrics after Joyce's estate wouldn't allow her to use his words. That track became 1989's "The Sensual World," but in 2011 (after the Joyce estate finally realized how amazing the singer-songwriter is) she was granted a license and rereleased the track in its true form as "Flower of the Mountain." It is more than worth the wait... ...True to its name, the entirety of "Rejoyce" is Jefferson Airplane's psychedelic four-minute retelling of the story of Ulysses. Grace Slick sets scenes from the novel against one of the world's grooviest bass lines.
- Dunston, Tyler (November 16, 2019). "Kate Bush Steps Out of the Pages of James Joyce and into The Sensual World". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
For the opening, title track of The Sensual World, Bush had originally planned to take an excerpt of Molly Bloom's final soliloquy from James Joyce's Ulysses — a continuous, un-punctuated mass of text — and put it to music. However, unable to get the rights from the Joyce estate, she wrote her own version of Molly Bloom's speech, incorporating elements of the original text while making something that was her own. (In 2011, the Joyce estate actually did grant Bush's request, and you can hear another version of the song, which quotes Ulysses verbatim, on the 2011 record Director's Cut.) The song unfolds from Bush's words. It is rhythmically punctuated by Bush singing, "Mmm, yes," evoking Molly Bloom's repetition of yes near the end of the book. Adorning these words, Davy Spillane plays the uilleann pipes, a traditional Irish instrument, the melody adapted from a Macedonian dance. By recontextualizing language in song, Bush gives form to a piece of text by Joyce that is, by its nature, formless (insofar as it lacks punctuation). Bush characterizes this form in terms of moving from text to the real world: "Stepping out of the page into the sensual world."
- Lines, C.J. (January 6, 2018). "Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein… with Metal!". Medium. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Gotrich, Lars (April 1, 2015). "Viking's Choice: Sharpless, 'Franz Kafka (Home Movies Cover)'". All Songs Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Rooksby, Rikky (2001). Inside Classic Rock Tracks: Songwriting and Recording Secrets of 100 Great Songs from 1960 to the Present Day. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-87930-654-0. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- "Older, wiser, angrier Offspring". San Francisco Examiner. September 26, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Conradt, Stacey (August 13, 2012). "11 Songs Inspired by Literature". Mental Floss. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- "Thyfring". Voices from the Darkside. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
'The Giant's Laughter' is pretty much Patrik's English interpretation of Swedish Poet Esaias Tegner's brilliant poem "Jätten" (the giant). The words paint a fairly depressive view of nationalism and a "lost struggle"… ah, read it damn it
- Romano, Will (September 1, 2010). Mountains Come Out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-61713-376-3. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Simpson, Dave (17 August 2001). "Haunted house music". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
And now comes Haunted, a rock album from Mark's sister, Poe (real name Annie), started long before the book was published. Just as disturbing as House of Leaves, Haunted uses tape recordings of her father's voice, discovered after his death in 1993, to exorcise memories of their difficult relationship.
- Biancotti, Deborah (April 2, 2012). "The Weirdness in House of Leaves". Weird Fiction Review. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
House of Leaves (Pantheon Books, 2000) is a cluster of stories told more in their metatext than text, a book that took ten years to write and has given rise to another book (The Whalestoe Letters), an album (Haunted, by Danielewski's sister, Anne – known as Poe), and an author with a reputation for being so 'experimental' his next book, Only Revolutions, was shortlisted for the US National Book Prize despite being practically incomprehensible to any but the most dedicated reader. House of Leaves is a cult classic, reviled by some and adored – fiercely – by others.
- "History of Godot". Theatre Network. September 25, 2008. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
- Bierman, Bryan. "Hidden Gems: John Cale's "Animal Justice" And "Sabotage/Live"". MAGNET. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
...the EP closes with strikingly beautiful ballad "Hedda Gabler." Loosely based on the Henrik Ibsen play of the same name, the song features Cale's voice in fine form, and the slow meditation is a welcome resolution to the previous madness...
- Barkan, Jonathan (June 10, 2016). "Go Behind-the-Scenes in Ice Nine Kill's 'Carrie'-Inspired "Hell in the Hallways" Music Video (Exclusive)". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
The video is a reimagined version of Carrie, the now infamous story from author Stephen King.
- Endeacott, Robert (July 1, 2014). Peaches: A Chronicle Of The Stranglers 1974-1990. Soundcheck Books. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-9575700-4-7. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (October 22, 2010). "Elton John and Leon Russell: The Union". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Zemler, Emily (February 17, 2009). "Rapper MC Lars Shares His Favorite Book". Spin. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
But one of my favorite [pieces of literature] is Hamlet, and I have that song about Hamlet on the new record, "Hey There, Ophelia,"... ...so I have to give props to that as well.
- Huler, Scott (March 11, 2008). No-Man's Lands: One Man's Odyssey Through The Odyssey. Crown. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-307-40978-2. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Adler, Sam (April 12, 2014). "Books that inspired punk". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Paulson, Dave (September 7, 2014). "Kenny Loggins talks 'Winnie the Pooh'". The Tennessean. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Moore, Rick. "Behind the Song: Kenny Loggins Talks About Pooh Tunes". American Songwriter. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
- "Lenny Sasso Goes Rogue for Circa Survive on Rockstar Disrupt Festival Tour". Chauvet Professional. August 14, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
It's altogether fitting that Circa Survive drew inspiration for their breakthrough debut album "Juturna" from the novel House of Leaves. Like the powerful Mark Z. Danielewski story, which breaks down literary barriers with its wildly unusual layout (some pages have only one or two words) and multiple storylines, the progressive five-piece band from the Philadelphia area has set its own course weaving in and out of musical lanes to create a unique sound.
- Rivkin, Julie; Ryan, Michael, eds. (January 23, 2017). Literary Theory: An Anthology (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-71838-4. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Feldberg, Sarah (January 16, 2009). "A sort of homecoming for Meg & Dia". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
- "CDs: Country, jazz, rock albums in offerings". Saskatoon StarPhoenix. 14 December 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Courrier, Kevin (December 30, 2008). Artificial Paradise: The Dark Side of the Beatles' Utopian Dream. ABC-CLIO. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-313-34587-6. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- "MONKS OF DOOM". Trouser Press. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
Seattle's C/Z Records got the consolation prize in the Monks' post-Rough Trade sweepstakes, a five-song EP entitled The Insect God. Although it draws direct inspiration from Edward Gorey's book of the same title ("an admonitory tale of temptation, hapless greed, abduction and unspeakable ritualistic practices"), The Insect God is in many ways a lighter, not to mention more concise, outing.
- Caffery, Adrian (11 May 2014). "Tori Amos to play Birmingham's Symphony Hall". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Cummings, Tony (30 March 2008). "Edison Glass: Long Island music graduates become thinking man's rockers". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
On 'Time Is Fiction' the band display their characteristically poetic lyrics by making use of Victor Hugo's triumphant fictional character Jean Valjean from the Les Miserables classic to ask "Will good overcome religion? It's a battle between grace and pride. . . Will grace overcome what was done."
- Bradshaw, Calum (20 July 2018). "Killing an Arab: The Cure try to reclaim their most controversial single". New Statesman. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
The song draws its inspiration from the central action of Albert Camus's novel L'Étranger (The Stranger), which follows a protagonist who murders an Algerian man on a beach after a love dispute involving the victim's sister.
- Young, Alex (November 29, 2008). "Rock History 101: Patti Smith's "Land"". Consequence. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
In this album without a home, "Land", a nine-minute epic with three distinct movements, somehow sticks out as just plain odd. It tells the story of Johnny, a boy who is physically attacked and possibly raped, and the subsequent Surrealist journey he experiences. Smith based Johnny on the character Johnny in William Burroughs' The Wild Boys.
- Silverman, Ed (April 11, 2019). "The Strawbs will celebrate 50-year history in New Jersey". NJArts.net. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
And the band's biggest hit — the infectious and ultra-radio-friendly "Lay Down" — has a clear spiritual vibe derived from the 23rd Psalm.
- Ollison, Rashod D. (May 11, 2006). "The Elefant evolution". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
The danceable lead single, "Lolita," is part homage to Vladimir Nabokov's infamous character and part autobiographical.
- Wagner, Jeff (2010). Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Bazillion Points Books. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-9796163-3-4. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- "The Top Iron Maiden Songs With A Military Theme". www.forces.net. British Forces Broadcasting Service. 8 January 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Presley, Nicola (30 June 2013). "William Golding's legacy: His enduring influence on popular culture". www.william-golding.co.uk. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
Lord of the Flies has provided inspiration for music by a wide range of artists. Most notable, perhaps, is Iron Maiden's song, 'Lord of the Flies', released in 1996 on their album 'The X Factor'... ...The 'I' of the song is most likely to be Jack with lines such as 'Who cares what's right or wrong/it's reality/killing so we survive'. The chorus alludes to the division between the boys: 'Saints and sinners/ Something within us/ To be lord of the flies'. Here, the dichotomy of good against evil in the novel is divided as 'saints and sinners', although just like the book, the writer acknowledges that there is the potential for evil within all of us: 'we don't need a code of morality'.
- Ceron, Ella (May 9, 2016). "Watch the Dreamy New Music Video For Ruth B's "Lost Boy"". Teen Vogue. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
- Catlin, Roger (August 4, 1993). "HE THAT SINGS A LASTING SONG ... MAY HAVE YEATS TO THANK". Hartford Courant. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
Yeats is the hottest new name among pop music publishers, yet precious little is known in those circles about him. Still, there is some indication his work has been surfacing in rock albums during the past few years. "I've put Yeats to music before," Mike Scott says in press materials accompanying the Waterboys' new album, "Dream Harder," which includes a Yeats lyric called "Love and Death." "Van Morrison and Bono have done it, too, among others. Wouldn't it be great to do an album of different artists interpreting Yeats?" Scott enthuses. "I love his poetry, and if a poem jumps up at me and I feel the music, I just do it; I don't argue. I grew up in a home full of books and poetry, and it doesn't seem strange to me."
- Schaefer, John (September 18, 2012). "The Master And Margarita, And Music". New Sounds. WNYC. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
- "Lucy". Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
- "MARTIN EDEN (1979)". BFI. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
- Jackson, MD (May 3, 2013). "Vinyl Albums, KLAATU and the Warrior at the Edge of Time". Amazing Stories. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- Fadel, Leila; Harrell, Phil; Guevara, Milton (May 20, 2022). "Where is 'Harry's House' anyway? Harry Styles explains". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved August 19, 2023.
- Weingarten, Christopher R. (August 2003). "Thrice". CMJ New Music Monthly. p. 39. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- Hart, Ron (September 19, 2022). "Anthrax's Charlie Benante Reflects on Polarizing 'State of Euphoria' for Its 30th Anniversary Reissue". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Slethaug, Gordon (2014). Adaptation Theory and Criticism: Postmodern Literature and Cinema in the USA. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 202. ISBN 9781623560287. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
...in 2000, the French singer Alizée came out with her much celebrated video "Moi Lolita" that has a basis in Nabokov's novel in the depiction of an underage Lolita, her encounter with a slightly older man who gives her money, and the pink dress she wears, which is exactly as Humbert describes it in his first important encounter with Lolita.
- "Moon Over Bourbon Street, 12"". www.sting.com. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- "Hip-Hop 101 With MC Edgar Allan Poe". Wired. June 19, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- Gillan, Ian. "Questions & Answers". Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Irizarry, Katy (July 23, 2018). "10 Macabre Rock + Metal Songs Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe". Loudwire. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- Howard, Tom (23 July 2019). "Every Libertines song ranked in order of greatness". NME. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- Hackett, Steve. "The world behind the wardrobe". www.hackettsongs.com. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
I've read many books by CS Lewis... and I've often wondered about the man behind the work and the world around the man. I wrote my song Narnia because of the impact he had on me...
- "Ice Nine Kills film a twisted take on 'Animal Farm' in "Nature Of The Beast"—watch". AltPress. March 28, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- de Jong, Cor (18 May 2018). "Pop en literatuur (13): The Nits en Nescio". Lebowski Blog (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
- Smith, Rosa Inocencio (September 9, 2016). "Track of the Day: 'Nice, Nice, Very Nice' by Ambrosia". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
- Fox-Bevilacqua, Marisa (January 14, 2015). "An Unlikely Tribute: How Cult U.K. Band Joy Division Found Inspiration in Auschwitz". Haaretz. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
...Joy Division's greatest enigma may have been its name — a reference to the brothel at Auschwitz as depicted in the book "House of Dolls" by Ka-Tzetnik 135633 (Yehiel De-Nur)... ...it was Curtis' sense of compassion that enabled him to come up with the relentless lyrics of "No Love Lost," about a sex slave's forced sterilization or abortion: "In the hand of one of the assistants, she saw the same instrument which they had that morning inserted deep into her body, She shuddered instinctively. No life at all in the house of dolls. No love lost. No love lost." The song also contains a spoken-word part entirely lifted from "House of Dolls." In "So This Is Permanence," Curtis' handwritten notes for the song begin with the heading "House of Dolls."
- Draper, Jason (February 18, 2020). "How 'November Rain' Became One Of Rock's Greatest Ballads". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
- Dombal, Ryan (April 15, 2016). "Revisiting the Magnificent Excess of Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion Video Trilogy". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
- Brouwers, Josho (6 May 2017). "Symphony X's Odyssey". Ancient World Magazine. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
- Hogan, Marc (December 20, 2011). "Lana Del Rey Plays a 'Hood Lolita in 'Off to the Races'". Spin. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
"Lolita gets lost in the 'hood."... ...this self-description she gave to a Guardian reporter remains a pretty good way of approaching her music as Lana Del Rey. Especially if you keep in mind that, as critic Nitsuh Abebe pointed out in a Pitchfork column, Del Rey appears to be talking about the actual literary Lolita, from Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel, rather than the term's much broader common usage. "Off to the Races," the latest track to emerge from Del Rey's upcoming full-length debut, interprets the 'hood-Lolita angle fairly literally, with results that are intriguing if unlikely to end many arguments... ...the studio version of a song Del Rey has been performing live cleverly combines tropes straight out of Nabokov with those straight outta gangsta rap, though its reach may outstretch its grasp. "Light of your life, fire of your loins," Del Rey purrs, just like Lolita's Humbert Humbert, mixing the old-school Hollywood glamor of her vocal with mixtape-ready nods to cocaine and Riker's Island…
- Watson, Elijah (October 23, 2017). "I listened to all of Insane Clown Posse's albums, and now I understand". Daily Dot. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- Duncan, Lesley (23 March 2016). "Poem of the Day: Oor Hamlet by Adam McNaughtan". The Herald. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- Crain, Caemeron. "Thanks for All the Fish: A Perfect Ten from A Perfect Circle". Retrieved August 27, 2022.
The lead singer, Keenan, talks about, in his song, that, like in the play, he feels he must separate himself from his mother to 'keep me from killing you', similar to the plotline of the play.
- Caffrey, Dan (November 21, 2008). "Instant Indie Classic: Lagwagon – Let's Talk About Feelings". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
The album's standout track is "Owen Meaney", the closer that describes the fall of John Irving's title character from A Prayer For Owen Meaney... ...Like the novel, the song is told from the viewpoint of protagonist John Wheelwright as the death of his pint-sized friend causes him to question his faith.
- Armstrong, Sam (November 23, 2015). "Acquiring The Taste Of Prog Icons Gentle Giant". udiscovermusic. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
Indeed, the only thing blatant about Acquiring The Taste was the group's refusal to compromise... ...choosing to open the record with 'Pantagruel's Nativity', a seven-minute excursion built around primitive Moog and Gregorian chants, and taking for its inspiration series of 16th-century French novels written by François Rabelais, was hardly a moderate start. (In fact, the song seems to have been so perplexing to some that it's mis-spelt as 'Pentagruel's Nativity' on the original A-aide label.)
- Power, Martin (April 5, 2018). Nailed to History: The Story of Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-85712-776-1. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Smith, Rod (October 9, 2006). "Infinite Variety". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
At first, album-opening rocker and undeclared diptych "Pattern Recognition" reads like more of the same new thing. Sneaky guitars wriggle around bassist-turned-guitarist/singer Kim Gordon's anxious vocal like electric snakes as she coos and yelps through a skeletal synopsis of William Gibson's latest novel.
- Horning, Nicole (December 15, 2018). Metal Music: A History for Headbangers. Greenhaven Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-5345-6527-2. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- Davis, Allison P. (March 8, 2016). "Teens Have So Much to Learn From This One-Hit Wonder". The Cut. The New Yorker. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
"Popular," a '96 sprechgesang/alt-rock hit, stands out because the video, by Girls director Jesse Peretz, is particularly good. The plot: A high-school cheerleader two-times some quarterbacks at the advice of her nerdy, manic teacher, who appears to teach only one subject, Inappropriate Advice for Teenage Girls 101. The teacher is played by Nada Surf's lead singer, Matthew Caws, who recites actual text from Penny's Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity, a 1964 teen advice book by Gloria Winters.
- Thompson, Dave (August 18, 2015). Go Phish. St. Martin's Publishing Group. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-250-09497-1.
- Zaleski, Erin (December 6, 2017). "Johnny Hallyday, We Hardly Knew You!". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Ollison, Rashod D. (February 7, 2008). "The 'Real' deal". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Donaldson, Scott (2007). Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life. Columbia University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-231-13842-0. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- Smith, Rosa Inocencio (September 17, 2016). "Track of the Day: 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Iron Maiden". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 626-line tale of a cursed sailor's sin and redemption is a lot to take in... ...Luckily, bass player Steve Harris's lyrics provide a pretty straightforward summary, and the music—shifting from shouted lyrics and frantic guitars as Death descends on the mariner's ship, to a spooky, atmospheric section that recalls a glassy sea—helps to dramatize the mariner's story.
- Burdge, Anthony; Burke, Jessica (2007). Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Taylor & Francis. p. 540. ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- "Greatest Hits: The 23 best PJ Harvey songs". Treble. October 10, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
'The River,' in contrast to '50 Ft. Queenie,' is a song that's best shared a little once newcomers dive a little deeper into Harvey's catalog. It's not an outlier per se, but it feels like a genuine haunting in a way that few of her other songs do. That's in part because it's based on a story by Flannery O'Connor, famed for her own uniquely macabre storytelling, and part of it is due to the very sound of the song.
- Butler, Andrew M. (October 16, 2012). Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the 1970s. Liverpool University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-78138-922-5. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Buhler, Stephen M. (2007). "Musical Shakespeares: attending to Ophelia, Juliet, and Desdemona". In Shaughnessy, Robert (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Popular Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 157. ISBN 9780521844291. Retrieved October 25, 2023.
The song deftly combines materials from Shakespeare's play, Zeffirelli's film, West Side Story, and youth-oriented pop. When Knopfler's 'lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsuss serenade,' he interrupts Juliet's own rendition of the Angels' 1963 hit 'My Boyfriend's Back' - and apparently Romeo is no longer the boyfriend. Despite their present estrangement, Romeo persists. Though he claims to 'forget the movie song,' Romeo echoes words prompted by the Zeffirelli version of the play and by the musical: he insists 'it was just that the time was wrong,' suggesting that for this pair there will not be another 'Time for Us'; he also asks Juliet to remember another song, one that announces 'There's a place for us.' Knopfler adds further complexity to the lyrics by having Romeo repeat this Juliet's words back to her: 'I love you like the stars above, I'll love you till I die.'
- Harrington, Richard (April 20, 2001). "Knopfler's Soundtracks and Stories". Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
But on the title track of his recent album, "Sailing to Philadelphia," Knopfler's done a dramatic turnaround, in essence condensing Thomas Pynchon's 773-page novel, "Mason & Dixon," into a pop song in which Knopfler plays astronomer Jeremiah Mason to James Taylor's surveyor, Charles Dixon… …"It's a massive book [reduced to] four verses of a song, a two-minute take on a two-ton book," says Knopfler, who first read Pynchon's 1997 novel on one of his many transatlantic flights between London and Nashville. Knopfler's song -- which actually clocks in at 5 1/2 minutes -- addresses the more personal elements of the Mason-Dixon line while underscoring one of Knopfler's ongoing obsessions. " 'Mason & Dixon' is about America, which is one of the most fantastic stories of the last millennium and one that continues," he says. "When Mason and Dixon were in America, it was a turning point because there was the beginning of the rumbles of independence, a very exciting and interesting time. . . . America was a colony of England at the time and then it turned around and colonized the world with its music and films and a great many other things…
- Sperounes, Sandra (March 12, 2010). ""He's got more of a twisted mind ..."". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
For Billy Talent, Maxxis shot Saint Veronika, a dark, twisted clip starring a family of sock puppets. The song, and the video, are based on Paulo Coelho's novel, Veronika Decides To Die, about a 24-year-old woman who tries to kill herself. Maxxis admits he was slightly stymied by the concept — until he buried his face in a pillow in a fit of frustration. "You know when you close your eyes and start seeing colours and things?" he says. "I just started visualizing immediately this sock family in this old farmhouse and a sock girl running away from it."
- Rincón, Alessandra (August 7, 2018). "Regina Spektor Gives Chilling Performance Of 'Samson' On 'Late Show'". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
- Calhoun, Scott (February 8, 2018). U2 and the Religious Impulse: Take Me Higher. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-350-03255-2. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Homan, Sidney (May 15, 2019). How and Why We Teach Shakespeare: College Teachers and Directors Share How They Explore the Playwright's Works with Their Students. Routledge. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-000-01165-4. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
- Adamian, John (February 9, 2018). "Al Stewart brings his 'Year of the Cat' tour to High Point". Yes! Weekly. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
- Fitchett, Alistair. "The Field Mice \ Biography". LTM Recordings. Retrieved March 1, 2001.
So Said Kay was written about the movie Desert Hearts, and by association therefore also Jane Rule's 'classic lesbian novel Desert of the Heart on which the movie was based; which essentially means that So Said Kay was a song of a film of a book, which is quite some going when you think about it. You don't need to know either film or book to appreciate the song, but the understanding of the source material certainly lends the song a particularly eloquent quality, makes it work so beautifully as their ultimate sexual political commentary.
- Craig, Alison (27 June 2020). "We've ranked every Strokes song from worst to best". The Forty-Five. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
In Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World', Soma is the name of the imaginary, so-called "ideal pleasure drug" with "all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects". Putting his throaty howl to full use on their debut album paean to the substance, Julian might sound like he's supplemented it with some extras for good measure, but the track's deceptively chipper beginnings are fitting for a drug that makes all your worries go away.
- "Alarm". Trouser Press. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
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...the downbeat Such A Shame sees Hollis turn to one of his favourite books for inspiration, The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart. The subversive and controversial novel told the story of a psychiatrist who decides the course of his life on the roll of a dice. Hollis was intrigued by the chaos that methodology would bring to one's existence.
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Indeed, Steinbeck was as big an influence on Costa's nascent songwriting as any band - among his earliest tunes were "Sweet Thursday," named after the author's 1954 sequel to Cannery Row, and "The Ballad of Miss Kate," titled after one of the main characters in East of Eden (both songs appeared on Costa's 2005 EP, Elasmosaurus).
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Paul Bowles has written very many books but he wrote a book called 'The Sheltering Sky' which became a film by Bertolucci, a few years ago. I read it long before it was a film. It's one of tho most beautiful, sustained, poetic novels I've ever read... ...There was a story within that story - that was a sort of Arab legend that was told in the story of three sister who invite a prince to a tea party out in the desert to have tea, tea in the Sahara. They have tea, and it's wonderful, and he promises to come back and he never does. They just wait and wait and wait until it's too late. I just loved this story and wrote a song called 'Tea In The Sahara'.
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The album's most Orwellian moments come with the audacious arena rock anthem "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)." For this "Bohemian Rhapsody" for the new millennium (and potential national anthem for any new militant world power), Bellamy is at his army boot-stomping best, pledging his undying allegiance to the new authoritarian superpower, before shifting to Chopin's "Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat," which seals the deal.
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Pitchfork: You've said that "When the War Came" was inspired by Elise Blackwell's book Hunger. Were you thinking about our current global-political situation as well? Is wartime ambiance so pervasive that it automatically filters into all creative endeavors right now? [Colin Meloy]: I think it was unconscious. After reading the book and starting to work on the song, it didn't even occur to me that "When the War Came" could mean anything other than what it was, the inner monologue of a botanist at an institute in Leningrad. But then immediately when the record came out and we started doing interviews, people assumed it was some scathing criticism of the Iraq war.
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Unsurprisingly, Slick took open inspiration from Lewis Carroll's dreamscape masterpiece Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. The fluid surrealism and perceptive alterations imbued Carroll's work with a notoriety for being acid-laced. With character reference's to a spacey Alice, the hookah-smoking caterpillar, the White Knight, Red Queen, the Dormouse, and of course the White Rabbit, the influence is clear.
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Cervantes gets a predictable nod with "Windmills." Toad the Wet Sprocket sings of the futility weighing heavily upon their listeners, so they might just have something in pegging Don Quixote as the original Generation X-er.
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Taylor Swift's songs "Wonderland" and "long story short" reference Carroll's story and popularized idiom to metaphorically define the curious, maddening feelings of love.
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The first hit from Naked, "Yes," was inspired by and quotes from James Joyce's Ulysses as Amber rapturously talks of being alone with a man touching her breasts — not surprisingly, a stumbling block to getting radio play.