Video: Songs Inspired by Literature

Granted, the video is on the long-ish side, but it’s fun and offers interesting insight to some popular songs I’d not, I’ll admit, previously realized were inspired by literature.

The Cure song inspired by Camus’ The Stranger, The Smiths drawing inspiration from Tennyson and Dylan’s praise of Shelley I knew, though mainly as a result of my particular preferences as a teenager. But, admittedly, U2’s The Fly as inspired by Lord of The Rings was news to me. 

I can’t help but wonder, what songs are already a great fit with existing novels, specifically, Chicago novels? If suppose, readers dear, the list of widely-recognized, classic Chicago novels suddenly required a soundtrack, what songs would you be sure to include? What is the soundtrack of literary Chicago? Results to follow in a later post.


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  • There's also "Rollerskate Skinny" by the Old 97s, also inspired by Catcher in the Rye.

    And how many "Romeo and Juliet" references are there? Some of my favorites are "Bachelorette" by Trip Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits as performed by the Indigo Girls and "Singing in My Sleep" by Semisonic.

    Now I'll just be sitting here thinking of more ....

  • Well done, Smussyolay! I haven't thought about Rollerskate Skinny in a while.

  • Modest Mouse had a song called "Bukowski" on Good News... but I think Isaac Brock may have been more inspired by self-loathing and the literary angle was just a convenient shortcut.

  • That chorus is so easily stuck on a mental loop, too: "God who'd want to be?/God, who'd want to be..."

    Well, that's about as far as I can sing that one in the comments section before I cross out of PG-13 territory and square into R.

    But, another great literary-inspired song. Great call, Mommasboy.

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