Songs About Books

So this idea came to me, as they usually do, right when I was in the middle of an unrelated something else. It’s Sting’s fault. Well, all the Police, really.

See, I was listening to Don’t Stand So Close To Me, and he mentions Nabokov’s Lolita, and I thought to myself “hey, self, I wonder if there are more songs that mention/or are about books!” Which naturally led to “You could make a mixed CD of those songs!” Because that’s how my brain works.

So I sat me down and wrote a list of everything I could think of in this vein, and then I got online and found not only confirmation of my own memory, but also a few more I hadn’t considered!

So here’s my mix idea, I even gave it a title. Now, I haven’t actually burned this to CD yet, so it may need adjusting, removing a few tracks (I know the Maiden is long). Oh, and I put the relevant book title/author in brackets…

Mixed Media: Songs About Books/Authors

Mastodon – Blood And Thunder (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)
Iron Maiden – Rime Of The Ancient Mariner  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
Ryan Adams – Sylvia Plath
Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost Of Tom Joad (John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath)
Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet (William Shakespeare)
Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil (Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master And Margherita)
Iron Maiden – Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
Led Zeppelin – The Battle Of Evermore (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings)
Feist – Brandy Alexander (Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters)
Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita)
Sting – Moon Over Bourbon Street (Anne Rice, Interview With The Vampire
Green Day – Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? (J.D. Salinger, The Catcher In The Rye)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Yertle The Turtle (Dr. Seuss)
Dashboard Confessional – Ender Will Save Us All (Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game)
David Bowie – 1984 (George Orwell)
-16 tracks-

There are also a few songs I thought of that weren’t specifically about a particular book, perhaps, but were worthy of mention:

Beatles – Paperback Writer
Moxy Früvous – My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors
Sloan – Autobiography (SLOOOOAAAANNN!!)
Rodgers & Hart (I know it by Harry Connick, Jr.) – I Could Write A Book

Now, surely, there are a zillion others. Drop a comment with your additions and lets make the list even larger, yeah? Cool idea. Accepting all suggestions!

Maybe we could even make it a 2-CD set! GIVE ‘ER!


Posted on June 14, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Metallica – One (Dalton Trumbo)

    I’ll try to think of more!

    Cool concept!


  2. Sultans of Ping F.C. – Where’s Me Jumper? (Karl Marx)


    • Haha awesome. I heard that one once, but I had no idea. Is it really about him? And why did he lose his jumper? And wouldn’t it have been the People’s jumper?


      • “My brother knows Karl Marx,
        He met him eating mushrooms in the public park,
        He said, ‘What do you think about my Manifesto?’
        Like your Manifesto, put it to the test-o.”

        That’s pretty much it. but I think that has to count since they name drop author and work.


      • As for how he lost that jumper? It’s hard to say!

        “Dancing at the disco, bumper to bumper,
        Wait a minute!
        Where’s me jumper? Where’s me jumper?”

        “It’s easy to say things will only get better,
        You haven’t lost your brand new sweater.”


      • Haha that’s just great lyrics, right there.

        Yup, this one totally counts.


  3. This is a grand idea for a mix CD … and a fine list, too.

    I believe Pearl Jam’s Pilate was also inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita … and another good one would be Calexico’s Crystal Frontier (based on the book by Carlos Fuentes)


    • Thanks! I wasn’t sure if this was even a cool idea, but I thought it would make a post for the day! 😉 Glad you like it.

      I had forgotten the PJ, thanks for the reminder! I think I need to read this Bulgakov book.

      Oh man, Calexico. I like those guys.

      And now I’m thinking about it, doesn’t radiohead’s 2+2=5 come from Orwell’s 1984 as well?


  4. Faster Pussycat – Big Dictionary (Samuel Jonson)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Stryper – everything (The Bible)

    Liked by 1 person

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