Thursday, June 04, 2009

Song Books?

I recently came across a few sites listing songs inspired by literature (Songfacts and Artists For Literacy). I'd known of a few before, for example Ron Hynes' "Picture of Dorian Grey," Rush's "Tom Sawyer," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the entire Spiritual Machines album by Our Lady Peace:

But who knew that Iron Maiden was such a literary band? They've written songs inspired by works of Mary Shelley, Orson Scott Card, Umberto Eco, Aldous Huxley, William Shakespeare, Gaston Leroux, and more. Here's "Lord of the Flies":

And of course, there's the 1984 inspired songs from David Bowie's Diamond Dogs:

What about you? Any favourites?


Wanda said...

Ariel Rogers has said that her late husband Stan, drew an analogy from 'The Wind in the Willows' for his song 'Lock Keeper' — definitely a favourite of mine!

Kate said...

Golden Slumbers (Beatles)

I remember coming across the poem back in high school - Hey! The Beatles plagiarised this!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Those are fascinating sites. A lot of those songs I did not even realize had their basis in literature.

I don't have any favourite songs per say, but my favourite literary bands have got to be the Weakerthans and the Decemberists. Musicians who read ... drool!

John Mutford said...

Wanda: I like what few Stan Rogers songs I know, but I don't know that one.

Kate: I'd forgotten that came from a poem. Loreena McKennitt also sand a poem, Noyes' "The Highwayman."

Barbara: Did you happen to see how the Radiohead songs that were listed?

Remi said...

Some thoughts on books and music:

Tom Russell's song All the Fine Young Ladies cribs some lines from T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (one of my favourite poems).

Leonard Cohen (whose songs are poems and poems are songs) had Allen Ginsberg (and Bob Dylan) sing backup on Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On.

Literary band name - Steely Dan came from Burrough's Naked Lunch

Sufjan Stevens' song "The Vivian Girls Are Visited In The Night By Saint Dargarius And His Squadron Of Benevolent Butterflies" comes from Henry Darger's The Story of the Vivian Girls. . .