Today, we are diving into S.E. Hinton coming of age novel, The Outsiders. Here's some music for growing up!
There’s more than you might think! Here are 7 popular songs inspired by books!
1. Panic! At the DIsco, “Time to Dance”
“Time to Dance” was inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters. The novel follows an unnamed ex-model who has been left disfigured by a gunshot to the face, as she attempts to navigate through the new life she’s left with.
Her friend, Brandy, is a trans woman seeking a sex change operation, and her presence serves as a symbol self-love and acceptance.
Things get more complicated than this, but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it.
Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross (a former member of Panic! At the Disco), are both big fans of Palahniuk’s work, and many song titles off the album A Fever you Can’t Sweat Out can be linked back to the author’s body of work.
“Well, she’s not bleeding on the ballroom floor/Just for the attention/’Cause that’s just ridiculously odd/Well, she sure is gonna get it/Here’s the setting: Fashion magazines line the walls/Now, the walls line the bullet holes”
2. David Bowie, “1984”
You’ll never guess what this ones about.
1984 is a George Orwell classic about a dystopian future where all of Europe has been combined into Oceania, a country ruled by their totalitarian government. Citizens of Oceania are hunted down by the Thought Police, who punish those who show signs of individuality or independent thinking.
David Bowie initially intended to write a musical based on the novel, though it was never finished, and several of the musical’s songs were instead included on Bowie’s eighth album Diamond Dogs.
“Someday they won’t let you, now you must agree/The times are a-telling and the changing isn’t free/You’ve read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on TV/Beware the savage jaw of 1984”
3. Bruce Springsteen, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”
“The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a folk song about the character of the same name from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, a novel set in the Great Depression. The plot focuses on Tom and his family as they travel from Oklahoma to California in search of work after their farm has been repossessed. Once in California, Tom realizes that the state is flooded with people all looking for jobs, and that actual positions are both scarce and brutal work.
Much of Bruce Springsteen’s music, including “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” is centered around what it’s like to be working class under American capitalism, which is the primary theme in The Grapes of Wrath.
“You got a one-way ticket to promised land/You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand/Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock/Bathing in the city’s aqueduct”
4. Led Zeppelin, “Ramble On”
“Ramble On” takes a lot of inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings series. The song describes the pain of having the girl you love taken from you, and the journey one has to go on to find their one true love. Robert Plant equates the feeling to the journey Sam and Frodo take to find and destroy the One Ring in the fantasy epic.
The title “Ramble On” refers to the fact that in both Lord of The Rings and in real life, the only option is to persevere towards that finish line despite how emotionally taxing the journey may be.
“‘Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair/But Gollum, and the evil one/Crept up and slipped away with her, her, her, yeah/Ah, there’s nothing I can do now/I guess I’ll keep on ramblin'”
5. Neutral Milk Hotel, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
This connection isn’t totally confirmed, but many fans believe that “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” is about Anne Frank’s The Diary of A Young Girl. Jeff Mangum, the lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, has spoken about the emotional impact that Frank’s diary has had on him several times.
In this track specifically Mangum describes a connection he feels to Frank’s writing, and meditates on how wonderful it is to be born on the same earth as someone who has had such a positive impact on the world.
“What a curious life/We have found here tonight/There is music that sounds from the street/There are lights in the clouds/Anna’s ghost all around/Hear her voice as it’s rolling and ringing through me”
6. Nirvana, “Scentless Apprentice”
“Scentless Apprentice” is based on the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite books. The novel follows a man named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who was born with an incredible sense of smell, though his own body possesses no smell of it’s own. While walking through Paris, Grenouille smells something unlike anything he’s experienced before, and discovers that it’s the scent of a young and beautiful girl. Grenouille strangles the girl to death, and stays beside her body until all traces of it’s scent are gone. This leads Grenouille to commit a string of several murders in an attempt to bottle the scent of the women he kills.
One of the main themes in this novel is the idea of being born different, and being ostracized because of it before you ever have the chance to prove yourself worthy of acceptance, and theme that “Scentless Apprentice” focuses on.
“Every wet nurse refused to feed him/Electrolytes smell like semen/I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets/There are countless formulas for pressing flowers”
7. Lana Del Rey, “Body Electric”
Lana Del Rey’s “Body Electric” was heavily inspired by Walt Whitman’s I Sing the Body Electric. Whitman’s poem focuses on the idea that all bodies are beautiful and important, as beautiful and important as the human soul.
In this song Lana is mourning the loss of a romantic relationship, and trying desperately to enjoy life as she normally would. However, the joy she once found in dancing with strangers is now gone. She can no longer see the beauty in herself, or those around her now that she’s lost the person she found to be more beautiful than any other.
“Elvis is my daddy/Marilyn’s my mother/Jesus is my bestest friend/We don’t need nobody/’Cause we got each other/Or at least I pretend”
Featured images via The Sun, Dazed, and Buzzfeed
The upcoming Stardust biopic about the early years of David Bowie is already facing considerable criticism according to BBC. Bowie’s son, BAFTA-winning film director and producer Duncan Jones, has even blocked the film from using the late icon’s music in the soundtrack.
Image via Zimbio
The film has cast Johnny Flynn to play a young Bowie and Jena Malone as his wife, Angie. Stardust will document Bowie’s first visit to America in 1971, in which he was inspired to create his Ziggy Stardust persona and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars album.
Jones took issue with the producers who developed the project without the family’s consultation. As a result, the film will have to be made without the family’s blessing or the legal rights to David Bowie’s songs.
On the other hand, Jones specifically mentioned that if Neil Gaiman were to write a biopic about David Bowie at any point, then the film would definitely have the family’s blessing.
Featured Image via The Hollywood Reporter
The director of the fantastic lunar science fiction film Moon has signed up to film the television adaptation of thriller novel Killer Intent, reports Variety.
Jones, who is the son of singer-songwriter David Bowie, will be making his TV debut with the series.
I’m excited to get my teeth into some contemporary set action, and have time to develop characters over a series rather than a single film.
Killer Intent by Tony Kent focuses on the efforts of an intelligence agent, journalist, and lawyer to uncover the truth in the wake of an attempted assassination as the fallout embroils the British government in chaos. The novel has been described as a thriller among thrillers.
Feature Image Via The Verge
Books can change the way you think about things; the right strand of words can strike something up inside of you. It’s not unlikely to feel uneasy, dizzy, overwhelmed, inspired, or full after reading the right essay, poem, story, or novel. (Words are, like, insanely cool.)
So, it’s no wonder so many musicians have drawn inspiration from within the pages of the books they read!
Stand up and jam out to these nine incredibly songs inspired by pieces of literature!
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
An eighteen-year-old Kate Bush wrote this insanely popular classic after finding inspiration within Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name.
Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy
I’ve come home. I’m so cold
Let me in-a-your window
Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure
Although not their first foray into slipping literary references into their songs, The Cure held nothing back when they wrote this song based on the Penelope Farmer novel of the same name.
Charlotte sometimes crying for herself
Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself
But it’s always with love
With so much love it looks like
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
Suffragette City by David Bowie
Bowie never ceased to draw inspiration from his favorite literary works (Diamond Dogs was influenced heavily by George Orwell’s 1984) and for a large part of his Ziggy Stardust phase he drew from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange.
Hey man, Henry, don’t be unkind, go away
Hey man, I can’t take you this time, no way
Hey man, droogie don’t crash here
There’s only room for one and here she comes
Here she comes
Off to the Races by Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey has drawn inspiration for much of her work from Nabokov’s Lolita, but the chorus of this song is especially Lolita-esque.
Light of my life, fire in my loins
Be a good baby, do what I want
Light of my life, fire in my loins
Gimme them gold coins
Gimme them coins
This Is Just A Modern Rock Song by Belle & Sebastian
Belle & Sebastian have always been big promoters of book love (i.e. Wrapped Up In Books), see if you can catch all the literary references hidden in this gem!
I’m not as sad as Doestoevsky
I’m not as clever as Mark Twain
I’ll only buy a book for the way it looks
And then I stick it on the shelf again
Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan
Dylan has based much of his works off of F. Scott Fitzgerald and various poets, along with basing much of the lyricism on his Blood on the Tracks albums off of popular short stories by Anton Chekhov.
I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside
Baobabs by Regina Spektor
This sweet little single by Regina Spektor (and one of my personal favorites) was based off the popular children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.
You have tamed me
Now you must take me
How am I supposed to be?
I don’t have my thorns now
And I feel them sprouting
They’ll grow right through if I don’t watch it
They’ll grow through even if I watch it
And a sunset couldn’t save me now
Catcher in the Rye by The Dandy Warhols
Listening to The Dandy Warhols is always a good time, and this 2016 song about the infamous J.D. Salinger novel of the same name is no exception!
Stop look around keep your head down and let the words stop it pass on by you
Words that are somewhere in told are cold if it’s not fun then it’s funny to show
With the advice like this what else could you want if a body need a body I know
Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell wrote this heartbreaking classic while reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson and the Rain King.
Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
Featured Image via Bustle