Like us, many song writers and musicians are inspired by books, and this sometimes shows in their work. Here are just a few examples of song which have in some way been inspired by literature. (Part 2, for more songs with literary references see Part 1.)
Ramones: Pet Sematary- Is of course based on Steven King’s horror novel, Pet Sematary, even using the same ‘miss-spelling’ of the word cemetery.
Pink Floyd: Pigs (Three different Ones)- This song references Orwell’s, Animal Farm and in particular the pigs that play a position of power throughout the novel; “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.”
Kenny Loggins: House at Pooh Corner- Makes obvious references to the much loved Children’s book, Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne “Christopher Robin and I walked along, Under branches lit up by the moon, Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore, As our days disappeared all too soon”
ABBA: Cassandra- This song is based on a character called Cassandra from Homer’s The Iliad. “I watched the ship leaving harbour at sunrise, Sails almost slack in the cool morning rain, She stood on deck, just a tiny figure, Rigid and restrained, blue eyes filled with pain, Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood”
Bastille: Poet- Was reportedly inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnet 18, one of the more well known of his poems, with the opening line “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?”
Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit- Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland and the character of the White Rabbit. “I watched the ship leaving harbour at sunrise, Sails almost slack in the cool morning rain, She stood on deck, just a tiny figure, Rigid and restrained, blue eyes filled with pain, Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood”
There are so many songs inspired by literature, it is almost impossible to list them all (although Wikipedia had a really good go at it). Why not let us know if one of your favourite songs is inspired by a book, poem or play, by commenting below.