Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cover to Cover

While surfing the interwebs with Whitney, we randomly started talking about songs that are based on works of literature. There have been an INSANE number of artists who used books as their musical muse. Wikipedia has an entire page devoted to it:

Some of the surprisingly well read groups are Iron Maiden, The Police, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie. Well, David Bowie just has a crush on George Orwell. I would like to share with you some of our favorites.

One of my favorite poems is Kubla Kahn (A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea...."

A really great band (Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, and Tich) wrote a song based on it called "Kubla Khan". There's even, randomly, a whip used as a musical instrument in this song. Pure awesome.

Another fabulous book-song is "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush (obviously based on the Bronte novel of the same name). A former roommate of mine showed this to me, and I was simply flabbergasted. Kate Bush is something else entirely, but her choreography definitely captures the tragic (one might say melodramatic) passion of the novel.

My all-time FAVORITE book related song has to be "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim. And not just because the music video has Christopher Walken dancing in it, but that certainly helps. You have to be kind of a geek to pick this up, but the lyrics of this song are based on the Dune books by Frank Herbert.
"Walk without rhythm, it won't attract the worm
Walk without rhythm, and it won't attract the worm
Walk without rhythm, and it won't attract the worm
if you walk without rhythm (uh), you never learn, yeah

Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice"

Thanks for joining us in this strange musical journey of literary gems, I hope you enjoyed it. :)


At August 17, 2009 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Jazger said...

I know many musicians have used the written word as their muse, but for me it worked the other way around.

In writing The Crying Tree, I would listen to very specific pieces of music to elicit emotion and create scene. Songs like Mindy Smith's Tennessee, and Bruce Springsteen's Missing were very important to creating setting and a sense of pain and loss. Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring set the tone of hope and redemption that I wanted for the end of my novel.

A portion of my playlist can be seen and heard on my web site:


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home