Music Inspired by Literature

Sometimes a song or its lyrics will inspire a story or even a poem.

Personally, a song has not inspired a story from me as of yet.

However after WHAT A GIRL WANTS was published, I attributed a song to this book because of some of the lyrics and especially the musicality of the song: Hot N’ Cold by Katy Perry.

I was thinking (yes, this blog post was formed in my mind during Yoga class) that literature (books, poems, comic books) may inspire songwriters to write a song or even name their band after literature.

I did some quick research on this and found out a lot of musical groups and songs were formed because of a piece of literature.

Some songs & Musical Groups inspired by literature:

The Song: “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen was inspired by the novel: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

The Group: The Boo Radleys got the inspiration for their band name from Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird.

The Song: “Imagine” by John Lennon was inspired by Yoko Ono’s book, Grapefruit.

The Group: Titus Andronicus used William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus as their inspiration to come up with their band name.

The Song: “Superman” by the Crash Test Dummies, inspired by the classic comic book series

The Group: Oryx and Crake, got their inspiration from Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name.

The Song: “Altair-4” by Blind Guardian is about Stephen King’s, The Tommyknockers.

The Group: Of Mice and Men got their name from John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name.

The Song: “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush was inspired by Emily Bronte’s novel of the same name.

Have you come across a song or a group’s name that  made you wonder if it were inspired by literature?


16 responses to “Music Inspired by Literature”

  1. I love this! In addition to being a writer, I’m a musician. I’ve said before that music inspires my writing, and then the book I’m writing inspires the songs I write. It’s a never ending circle for me. I love it!


    1. Hi, Kristy, thanks for visiting my blog. You have inspiration coming back and forth with writing and music. Good for you!


  2. I think I’m doing this backwards, ( you know me) , but after reading your book… What a Girl Wants…I listened to the lyrics of the song by the same name. Guess what? They totally fit!


    1. Hi, Pat, thanks for stopping by.

      You’re right, that song does fit perfectly. I never saw the movie by the same name until after I published the book. So I rented it out curiosity and was pleasantly surprised (well Colin Firth was a big draw I admit) LOL that I enjoyed it and the plot where she’s trying to connect with her father. Nice touch. 🙂


  3. My very first Shakesperian play was Titus Andronicus. I saw it at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1972 when my parents took me to England. I had no idea at the time that The Bard would be so inspiring and lead me down a path I might never have taken – namely, being a writer.

    I love how certain things inspire us when we don’t expect it. And though Titus Andronicus wasn’t the most inspirational of plays, it was the story telling that inspired me. Thanks William! And thank you, Selena, for such a fun post. 🙂


    1. Hi, Sharon, thanks for sharing your inspiration with us and glad you enjoyed the post.

      I was in the Shakespeare Club in high school (Okay, I admit, I started the damn thing, I’m a geek) LOL


      1. LOL, hey I “willingly” took Shakespeare for three years in high school. If you’re a geek then so am I. 🙂


        1. Shakespeare geeks will always be cool!


  4. Don’t forget the Led Zeppelin/LOTR connection. Several of the group’s songs reference characters and/or events in the books.


    1. Hi, Pg, yes that’s right. I know there are tons more that I missed.


  5. See there are two songs on my Ipod I have been saying someone needs to write a book with these songs in mind…
    Goodnight – by Glorianna

    Rain on the Roof – Chad Warrix

    I love stuff like this…gonna go find that song now Selena and relive your great book!
    Great topic – more thought provoking than Mimes : )


    1. Hi, Kame, glad you enjoyed the blog, thanks for stopping by and sharing the music as well. Good songs to inspire a book.

      So glad you enjoyed the book, when you listen to the song, let me know if it fits. Just in case Hollywood comes knocking, I can be prepared for a theme song for the movie. LOL (One can always dream, eh?)


      1. Maybe I am thick – but I don’t get Hot and Cold with What Every Girl Wants…


        1. No, you’re not thick. I like the upbeat music and I also tend to change lyrics in my head. LOL

          But I think Pat is right, the song named What A Girl Wants is more apt.


  6. Pat you’re right – just went and listened


  7. nancyelizabethlauzon Avatar

    I do know that Bruce Sprin.steen’s album The Rising was inspired by 9/11, and a tribute. Very moving


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