In honor of National Book Month, this week’s playlist is going to be full of music that was heavily inspired by or even based on works of literature. A lot of poetry has rhythm and lends itself well to music. Music is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, so it is natural that poetry, novels and other forms of literature have been adapted into music over the years. Here are just a few examples.
- “Time to Dance” – Panic! at the Disco
Many hardcore fans of Panic! at the Disco know that their first album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” was heavily inspired by the writings of Chuck Palahniuk, best known for his novel “Fight Club.” “Time to Dance” tells the story of his second-most famous novel, 1999’s “Invisible Monsters.”
- “Ophelia” – The Lumineers
- “A Rose for Emily” – The Zombies
- “Beowulf” – Baba Brinkman
Baba Brinkman is the inventor of a genre that he calls “lit hop,” which takes classical literature and re-tells stories through hip hop music. This is just one of his many songs about literature. Others include “Gilgamesh,” “The Miller’s Tale” and “Genesis.”
- “Lord of the Rings” – Blind Guardian
- “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” – Iron Maiden
- “Paperback Writer” – The Beatles
- “White Rabbit” – Jefferson Airplane
- “Me and the Mouse 2.0” – Mega Ran, feat. MC Lars
- “Opening (Morning Routine)” – Matt Smith
2016 saw the release of the musical “American Psycho,” based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. Matt Smith of “Doctor Who” fame played the young, psychotic investment banker Patrick Bateman. The novel begins with Bateman going through his morning routine, and the musical opens the same way.
- “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” – Neutral Milk Hotel
- “Ahab” – MC Lars
- “1984” – David Bowie
- “Ender Will Save Us All” – Dashboard Confessional
- “Son of Poseidon” – The Lightning Thief Company
“Son of Poseidon” is from a 2017 Off-Broadway musical called “The Lightning Thief” based on the first book of the Percy Jackson series. Appearing near the end of the musical, this song takes place during the battle between Ares and Percy, the biggest battle of the first book.
- “Wuthering Heights” – Kate Bush
- “Mr. Raven” – MC Lars