Songs Inspired by Literature

david-bowie-1984

Friend: “There are a lot of songs about Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Me: “Huh?”
Friend: “The book. George Orwell.”
Me: “Okay…”

Thus began a Google search, which turned into a ridiculous amount of time spent on You Tube listing to songs inspired by books. There are, in fact, a lot of songs inspired by Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four; several by David Bowie (1984 and Big Brother, for example.)

Here is a small list of other songs inspired by literature:

bandperry

If I Die Young by The Band Perry was inspired by The Lady of Shallot by Lord Tennyson – You’ve probably heard this song on the radio. The band’s lead singer, Kimberly Perry, said in an interview that she read this poem multiple times before writing the tune. I only know this poem because of Anne of Green Gables, I’m not gonna lie.

sighnomore

Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons includes lines from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing including “Serve God, love me, and mend,” “For man is a giddy thing,” and, of course, “Sigh no more.”

lanaraces

Off to the Races by Lana Del Ray references Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov including the line “Light of your life, fire of your loins.”

toriamos

Jamaica Inn by Tori Amos is clearly inspired by the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name. A good book, by the way, if you like du Maurier’s other stories like Rebecca and The Birds!

There are so many other songs inspired by literature as well. What are some of your favorite songs inspired by a novel, play, poem, etc.?

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