In the months since Harry Styles released his sophomore album Fine Line, critics have hailed it as the revitalization of classic rock in the modern era. With a blend of classic artists like Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, and David Bowie, this is truly an album for the ages. In the spirit of keeping it classic, we’ve devised a guide to navigating this timeless album with some of literature’s most enduring works.
It's a universal feeling to squee in joy when two people who we are eager to see get together finally seal their relationship with a kiss.
Happy National Jukebox Day everyone! We all know that songs are are used to tell stories of the past. From tribal chants that tell tales of ancient civilizations to even nursery rhymes that describe the horrors of the plague that ravaged Europe. So let’s take a look at five songs that are either inspired, retell or based on a written story.
5-Love Story by Taylor Swift
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We can’t make a list without discussing Taylor Swift Love Story. Taylor sings to the boy she is pining after that all he has to do is “just say yes,” even though its against her dad’s wishes because it’s a “love story.” The song is re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s most famous play Romeo and Juliet. Taylor envisions herself as Juliet Capulet and her star-crossed lover as Romeo Montague try to begin their love story despite their family’s long standing blood feud. Even in the video she portrays herself as a princess in a castle waiting to be saved by her prince.
4-November Rain by Guns N’ Roses
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November Rain is one of Guns N’ Roses most famous songs within their amazing catalog of music. Its music video depicts the story of a musician (played by Axl Rose) who’s lifestyle leads to the death of his wife (played by then girlfriend Stephanie Seymour.) Interestingly, this larger than life song is based on the short story Without You by Del James within his book The Language of Fear: Stories, a story about alcoholic and drug addict musician Mayne Mann, lead singer of a band named Suicide Solution, whose lifestyle causes the deterioration of this relationship with his wife. I won’t spoil the end of the story but I recommend reading it!
3-Xanadu by Rush
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Rush’s song, Xanadu to one of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s three great poems, Kubla Khan or a Vision in a Dream. The poem was written after Coleridge had an opium-influenced dream after he read a work that describes a man named Kubla Khan that travels Xanadu and found a fantastical amount of wonders. Xanadu was the summer palace of the Mongol ruler and Emperor of China, Kublai Khan. The song categorized as progressive rock that, spends approximately five of its eleven minutes with instrumental filled with synthesizers before getting to a retelling of the poem where a man who describes himself as a “mad immortal man” that waits for the world to end that came to Xanadu because he searched for immortality.
2-For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica
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The song For Whom the Bell Tolls, written by Metallica, is not retelling of the story of For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, but it does describe the process of modern warfare as does the book that takes place during the “Spanish Civil War” which is viewed as the ‘dress rehearsal’ of World War Two. The song mainly borrows from chapter twenty-seven when the scene of five men are obliterated by the airstrike, as they wait for their death. The book follows Robert Jordan an American Spanish Language instructor that volunteers and involves himself with a Republican Guerilla Group.
1-I am the Walrus by The Beatles
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The song, I am the Walrus written John Lennon and Paul McCartney was a reference to ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ a poem written by Lewis Carroll that was told in his book, Through the Looking-Glass. The poem is about a walrus and a carpenter that trick a group of well dressed young oysters, so that the can eat them. The poem is recited to Alice by Tweedledee and Tweedledum. After hearing the poem Alice tries to decide which of the two characters were the more sympathetic. The funny part is that when John Lennon was asked why he used the Walrus, he admitted that he regrets using the Walrus because he didn’t realize that he was the villain of the story.
So next time you listen to your favorite song, take a look at the lyrics. Don’t be afraid to look up background information on the band as well. the You never know what story might find that inspired it.
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Cringey writing is nothing new for the wildly popular CW teen drama, Riverdale, and viewers cannot help but love to hate it. Writers love to script completely otherworldly lines for Riverdale‘s sixteen-year-old characters that are packed with obscure references and SAT-level vocabulary words. In the same way, many of the characters retain a surprising amount of knowledge of famous literary works, because what high schooler doesn’t quote Jane Eyre on the daily?
Abundant literary references make a lot more sense considering individual episodes of Riverdale are categorized as “chapters,” usually followed by a famous literary title. Also, the entire series is narrated by Jughead who is apparently working on a novel about the town and its secrets. Here are some of our favorite highlights from Riverdale‘s literary reel.
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- “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A very important moment for Bughead (Betty + Jughead) shippers, this scene takes place in the sixth episode of Season 1 when the two characters kiss for the first time and the ship is born. In very literary fashion, Jughead uses a ladder to climb through Betty’s window to reach her while she is grounded. The scene makes two clever literary references. When Jughead reaches Betty’s window, he affectionately calls her “Juliet,” an easy nod to Romeo and Juliet.
Later, when referring to Betty’s house arrest, Jughead asks if Betty “has gone all Yellow Wallpaper on [him],” referencing the short story’s main character who, after being trapped in a room, begins succumbing to a debilitating mental illness that causes her to hallucinate and climb the walls. The scene is a sweet one for fans of the literary and actual couple alike — Bughead, and its real-life counterpart, Sprousehart, both came out of the series and stole our hearts.
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2. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Capote’s journalistic novel following the murder of an innocent family seems obvious when considering the sinister subplot of the show’s first season; the foreshadowing reference occurs during the pilot of the show. Our resident posh chick Ronnie comments about the nature of the town as soon she steps out of her ride from New York. She proclaims herself to be much more Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the bright, city-centric novella by the same author about a dazzling female neighbor, while the town of Riverdale is much more In Cold Blood. She’s not wrong, but she sure is pretentious.
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3. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The writers borrow this title of Conrad’s 1899 novel about English colonialism for the show’s fifth episode. This episode features Jason’s long-awaited funeral. Following the novel’s theme of people going where they don’t belong, Betty and Jughead sneak away during the event to lurk around the Blossom household searching for clues about Jason’s death. Here, they run into Cheryl’s grandmother who utters a famous phrase from the novel, “The horror, the horror!”
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