One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time, by Craig Brown has won the Baillie Gifford Prize, the annual £50,000 award is given to the UK's best non-fiction work.
Enjoy this classic rock playlist inspired by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett blockbuster novel 'Good Omens'.
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 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 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 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 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 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
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Did you know there are a great number of living creatures named after various writers? I really did not know how to react after looking at some of these, but I can imagine that it’s quite an honor to find out that you’ve had an entire species named after you. Throughout biological nomenclature, organisms are sometimes given scientific names with the intention to honor somebody. From insects, to plants, to even a variety of fish, there are a plethora of different types of organisms named after influential writers. These are the ones that left me quite confused, yet strangely compelled.
Shireplitis is a group wasps that are native to New Zealand. They are usually black or brown in color, and are about 2mm in body length with narrow wings. Although not clear at first, their genus name derives from the Shire, home of the famous hobbits in J.R.R Tolkien’s series of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are five species of Shireplitis named after iconic hobbits, and one named after Tolkien himself.
Image Via Pixels
–Shireplitis bilboi (Bilbo Baggins)
–Shireplitis frodoi (Frodo Baggins)
–Shireplitis samwisei (Samwise Gamgee)
–Shireplitis meriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)
–Shireplitis peregrini (Peregrin Took)
–Shireplitis tolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)
Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.
Avalanchurus is an extinct family of trilobites, which are a group of marine arachnomorph arthropods. The subfamily of Avalanchurus consists of four different species named after four musical icons. Avalanchurus garfunkeli and Avalanchurus simoni are named after Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, the legendary bestselling folk-rock duo. Avalanchurus lennoni and Avalanchurus starri are named after the singer and drummer of The Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It a blend of fascination and surprise that this is even a thing.
Image Via Wikipedia
Although they are not necessarily authors, Paul Simon is well known as arguably one of the best songwriters of all time.
Sonoma is a subfamily of rove beetles that originated from North America. Appearing mostly from the Pacific Slope in Alaska to southern California, there are at least fifty-seven known species. There are many different names for these species, such as sonoma colberti, named after Stephen Colbert, and sonoma stewarti, named after Jon Stewart. Looking through the long list, however, I found sonoma twaini, approriately named after Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why there is a family of beetles named after two talk show hosts and a legendary author, I really cannot say. Yet, these names really don’t get more random and erratic than this.
Image Via Biography
Featured Image Via Variety
Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s oldest son and the original inspiration for the Beatles song “Hey Jude,” writes tree-hugging, earth-loving children’s books when he’s not performing for live audiences.
Lennon concluded his world-peace-focused children’s book trilogy on April 22nd with the publication of Love the Earth. Before the third installment hit the shelves, Heal the Earth and Touch the Earth had already graced The New York Times‘ bestseller list. The White Flier Advent trilogy details the adventures of children who travel the globe in an airplane called the White Feather Flier, delivering supplies and aid to people and animals in need. The books are co-authored by Bart Davis and illustrated by Smiljana Coh.
Lennon might be known in the public sphere for his problematic relationship with his father, who divorced Lennon’s mother when he was a child, but the core of his work lies in supporting global access to education and the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems. In 2007, Lennon created The White Feather Foundation, an environmental and humanitarian charity — in fact, much of the proceeds from The White Flier Advent trilogy and Lennon’s other projects go straight to the charity. Lennon has said multiple times that the name of the charity, and the trilogy, came from his father, who often said that should he pass away, he would send Julian a message from the afterlife in the form of a white feather.
The White Feather Foundation collaborates with similar humanitarian groups to raise funds for specific community projects or environmental initiatives. A recent news item on the group’s website highlights an independent film on disability education to which Lennon contributed music and lyrics, and which The White Feather Foundation promotes.
Lennon does not expect a children’s trilogy or an ever-expanding charity to retroactively resolve the effects of a toxic relationship with an absent father, but he does hope his work can shine a light into the darkness for future generations, readers, and listeners. His vision of a perfect world is not one where larger-than-life musicians return from the dead to forgive their loyal sons, but one where people of all backgrounds understand how to work together, help each other, and fight for their home planet.
Featured Image Via The White Feather Foundation.