Tag: Lana Del Rey

7 Popular Songs Inspired by Books

There’s more than you might think! Here are 7 popular songs inspired by books!



1. Panic! At the DIsco, “Time to Dance”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwT83GYB7kA]


“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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2xfpMMQIJ8]


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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi0kWe2ixzU]


“The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a folk song about the character of the same name from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wratha 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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oWfHcl94k4]


“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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD6_QXwKesU]


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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ppZcWfmKCc]


“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”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hFCZ1tzWR0]


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

Lana Del Rey Pays Homage to Sylvia Plath in New Song

Are you a Lana Del Rey fan? Are you a Sylvia Plath fan? Then you are going to love this! Lana posted a snippet of a song titled Hope Is A Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – But I Have it on Instagram during New Years Day.



The post said:

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you enjoy the new song I’m putting out on the ninth it’s called ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have-but i have it’ Also as of last week I finished a short book of poetry I’ve been writing over the last 13 months that I’ll be putting out later. In the meantime though I’d like to apologize in advance for upcoming cancellations of shows you’ll be hearing about–I wish I could fulfill those obligations but I won’t be able to Thanks L


How did this not occur sooner? Lana expressed in the past she was inspired by the poet and always had a flair for the melancholic—and paying homage to one of the greatest poets of the 20th century with similar artistic charisma is exciting to see—better late than never I always say! Lana also expressed interest in publishing a poetry book on Beats 1 Radio to Zane Lowe after her debut of Venice Bitch on September 18th.


Let’s take a look at the lyrics together:



I was reading Slim Aarons

And I got to thinking that I thought

Maybe I’d get less stressed, if I was tested less like

All of these debutantes

Smiling for miles in pink dresses and high heels

On white yachts

But I’m not

Baby I’m not

No, I’m not

That I’m not



I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown
24/7, Sylvia Plath


Plath is known for her poetry collections The Colossus (1960), Ariel (1965), The Collected Poems (1982) which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and her first and only novel The Bell Jar (1963). In 2018, The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume 2 1956 – 1963 were published.


Image Via Amazon.com


Image Via Poetryfoundation.org


The poet committed suicide at age thirty-one on February 11th, 1963. She would have been eighty-five today.


Image Via Brooklynvegan.com


Hope Is A Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – But I Have it will be released on January 9th.



Featured Image Via NME.com
Empire Records

9 Amazing Songs Inspired by Literature

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
Everything else
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
Charlotte sometimes


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

Lana Del Rey reading LIFE magazine and The Girls by Emma Cline

The Lana Del Rey ‘Lust for Life’ Reading List

We can’t get enough of Lana Del Rey’s new album ‘Lust for Life,’ so we’ve put together the ultimate reading list with a book to match every song!


1. Love: The Girls by Emma Cline



The Girls

Image Courtesy of Amazon 


Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ would be the perfect accompaniment to this dreamy ballad. The song’s nostalgic tone and heart-beat rhythms echo the air of memory and conjure up the cool sixties Californian setting of Cline’s debut. Though the book is much darker, dealing with the protagonist Evie’s past as a teenage member of a dangerous cult, we think the eerily sweet vocals and repetition of “crazy, crazy, crazy” could definitely hint at the frightening themes of secrets, possession, and the past in this stunning book.


2. Lust for Life:  Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence 


Lady Chatterley's Lover

Image Courtesy of Penguin


This song, featuring The Weeknd, is a pretty straightforward love song as Lana demanda that The Weeknd ‘take off all [his] clothes.’ There’s no denying the somewhat sexual element to this duet and we think the famously raunchy ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ would be the perfect partner for this track!


3. 13 BeachesThe Lost Honor of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll



Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Del Rey has said that this song is inspired by an experience of going to thirteen beaches before finding one where she was safe from the paparazzi, so we think a book that deals with lack of privacy would suit this song down to the ground! Heinrich Böll’s book ‘The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum’ depicts the awful effects of excessive media reporting on a person’s life.


4. CherrySingle White Female by John Lutz



Book cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


We think this tune is a little spooky, between its declarations of love- ‘I fall to pieces when I’m with you,’ to the suddenly angrier ‘all of my peaches are ruined, bitch,’ the character Del Rey embodies in this song is clearly a little erratic and unpredictable, so we’ve chosen John Lutz’s famously creepy novel of obsession to go along with it!


5. White MustangAn Education by Lynn Barber


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


This song deals with ill-advisedly falling for someone who has a great car, and we know someone who’s whole life changed when she did this. When Lynn Barber was still in school, she was seduced by an older man, who swept her away to a life of luxury…but that was only the beginning.


6. Summer BummerRiding in Cars with Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl who Made Good by Beverly Donofrio


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads



Another memoir, this one deals with Beverly Donofrio’s early life as a rebel, riding around town with boys, drinking, smoking and disregarding authority. With guest vocals for A$AP Rocky, ‘Summer Bummer’  is the perfect soundtrack to this honest, funny and hopeful account of youth. 


7. Groupie Love: I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Former Groupie by Pamela Des Barres


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Pamela Des Barres



This account of life as a groupie in the 60s and 70s could have been the inspiration behind ‘Groupie Love.’ Charting her fifteen years of adventure as a groupie to the biggest bands of the era, Des Barres reveals details of her life during that time, including her affairs with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Jim Morrison. 


8. In My Feelings: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


‘In My Feelings’ follows the singer putting her foot down and standing up for herself: ‘who’s doper than this bitch? Who’s freer than me?’ We think Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ which follows her own brave decision to leave behind the life in which she was unhappy and find her own best self, would be a great companion to this empowering tune.


9. Coachella- Woodstock In My MindGirls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon by Sheila Weller 


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Book Depository 

This song, dripping with nostalgic reverie and penned while Lana was at Coachella, looks to bridge the gap between the festivals of then and now. ‘Girls Like Us,’ a biography of three of the leading ladies of the 60s would go along very nicely. 


10. God Bless America- And All The Beautiful Women In ItThe Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares 


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


This ode to sisterhood in the USA could only be accompanied by the marvelous ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ series, following the adventures of a group of friends and their magical pair of jeans that somehow fits all of them perfectly. 


11. When The World Was At War, We Kept DancingThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


Handmaid's Tale

Image Courtesy of Amazon


This song is inspired by the USA’s current political climate, and asks the question, ‘is this the end of an era, the end of America?’ In an interview with Flaunt, Lana asked ‘are we running out of time with this person at the helm of a ship? Will it crash?’ So we’ve chosen the book of the moment, Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ The book is set in a future where women are used for reproduction, forced to be completely subservient. This beautiful ballad reminds us to keep resisting. 


12. Beautiful People, Beautiful ProblemsThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Penguin


The queen of witchy wonder Stevie Nicks and the son of rock’n’roll, Sean Ono Lennon, both appear on this song declaring themselves beautiful people with beautiful problems. We’ve chosen ‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton, which follows the scandalous lives of upper class society in 1800s New York. 


13. Tomorrow Never Came– Beatlebone by Kevin Barry


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Sung with Sean Ono Lennon, the son of John and Yoko, this simple love song references Sean’s famous parents and summers in the city. We’ve chosen Irish writer Kevin’ Barry’s award winning novel ‘Beatlebone’ to go along with it. ‘Beatlebone’ follows a fictional version of John Lennon who has left New York for Ireland. 



14. HeroinCandy by Kevin Brooks


Book cover


Image Courtesy of Goodreads


This astounding YA novel by English author Kevin Brooks follows sixteen-year-old Joe and his love affair with a young sex worker named Candy. His attempts to save her from her addiction plunge them both into more danger than he could ever have imagined. Once again, Lana Del Rey’s dreamy songs with dark subject matter would be the perfect companion to this tour-de-force that, although aimed at teens, will satisfy readers of any age. 


15. ChangeThe Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo 


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Spin called this song “a quietly moving testimony to overcoming apathy in search of personal transformation.” In keeping with this mentality, we’ve chosen Paulo Coehlo’s beloved novel of self discovery and the part we play in shaping our own destiny.


16. Get FreeHot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Target


This short story collection, exploring the lives of young women in new places, is not always upbeat. In parts, it can be extremely dark and unsettling. But, we think upbeat album closer ‘Get Free’ would make a great soundtrack for it. Lana sings: “I never really noticed that I had to decide/ To play someone’s game or live my own life,” and the young women who appear in this collection are all dealing with what it means to be alone in new places and navigate new territories, be they new countries, frightening situations, or sexual experiences.


Featured Image Courtesy of Goodreads and Pinterest