Tag: Rush

Do You Know the Story Behind Your Favorite Song?

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

Image result for taylor swift love story

Image via FLICKR 

 

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

Image result for november rain

IMAGE VIA WLUP.COM

 

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

Image result for rush xanadu

IMAGE VIA PINTEREST

 

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

 

Image result for for whom the bell tolls metallica

IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE

 

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

Image result for i am the walrus

IMAGE VIA NOW I KNOW

 

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.

 

Featured Image Via Now I Know

 

    

 

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




Patti Smith, Janelle Monáe, Better Oblivion Community Center Among Artists Donating to Nick Hornby & Dave Eggers Charity Auction

A fundraiser organized by award-winning authors Nick Hornby and Dave Eggers—which benefits international youth writing and activism centers— starts up tonight, April 22nd.

 

Nick Hornby

Image Via Kingston University

Nick Hornby and Dave Eggers are pretty famous people, as you’re probably aware  Nick Hornby wrote Fever Pitch, which got loosely adapted into a film of the same name, as well as the film that gave Nicholas Hoult his start, About a Boy.

 

Dave Eggers

Image Via Bigspeak

Dave Eggers wrote A Hologram for a King, a small novel which became a finalist for the National Book Award and also got a film adaptation (which stared Tom Hanks!) They must be as persuasive as they are great at writing, because they got a few fairly amazing people on board.

 

Setlist for The Who

Image Via Setlist.fm

As an aside, in case you’re not music savvy, a setlist is a list of what the musician is going to play for that night – literally their ‘set’. So if you have a musician’s setlist, then you have a piece of history that the musician depended on.

I hear you asking…”Why are you going on about setlists?”

 

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Janelle Monáe, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, and Patti Smith (Getty Images)

Image Via Pitchfork

The reason is simple – setlists from Patti Smith, The Who, Wilco, Sigur Ros, Steely Dan, Dixie Chicks, Nine Inch Nails, Mitski, Jim James, Rush, The Pretenders, Shakey Graves, Better Oblivion Community Center, Toro Y Moi and so so many more musicians are going on auction for Hornby’ and Eggers’ fundraiser!

As Paste Magazine writes, “Ever wished you could turn back the clock for a chance at one of R.E.M’s setlists, like the one from their first major tour in 1989, signed by all four original members? What about a Death Cab for Cutie setlist from their Transatlanticism 15th anniversary show in Chicago? Or maybe Janelle Monae’s 2019 Coachella setlist?”

It’s a tempting question. Plus, the money is going to a good place.

 

R.E.M., Patti Smith, Janelle Monae, Death Cab for Cutie, More to Auction Setlists for Youth Writing and Activism Centers

Image Via Paste Magazine

Pitchfork quotes Nick Hornby, author of Fever Pitch, as saying…

“…this is a way to satisfy your music-geek side without aggravating your favorite musicians”

and Paste Magazine quotes Dave Eggers, author of Where the Wild Things are, as saying…

“We’re hoping to raise about $50,000….That will have a powerful impact on more than 150 student writers at the Ministry of Stories and writing centers worldwide.”

Wow!

These pieces of music history is going to help writers and readers of all shapes and sizes. Want to buy anything? Check it out here!

 

Featured Image Via Alternative Press