Songs Inspired by Books

23 Jun
The Resistance by Muse

The Resistance by Muse

Guest Post by Ryan King, Author of the Land of Tomorrow Trilogy

While writing a review of Ayn Rand’s dystopian short novel Anthem, I discovered that her works have inspired a number of songs. This made we wonder what other works of literature inspired music, and after some preliminary research, I was amazed. It became obvious that certain bands, such as Rush, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, and The Police, are avid readers. I decided to compile a quick list of what I think are well-recognized songs inspired by literature. I tried to only include an artist or work of literature once.

– Rush’s 2112 – inspired by Ayn Rand’s Anthem (they also later named their album label Anthem)

– The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me – inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Pink Floyd’s Animals – inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower – inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

– Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – inspired by Albert Camus’ The Stranger

Led Zeppelin’s Battle of Evermore, Ramble On, No Quarter, and Misty Mountain Hop – inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Series

– Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil – inspired by Mikhail Bulgako’s The Master and Margarita

Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – inspired by L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

– Procul Harem’s A Whiter Shade of Pale – inspired by Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

– Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit – inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

– The Beatles I Am The Walrus – inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear

– Guns and Roses’ November Rain – inspired by Del James’ Without You

– Metallica’s One – inspired by Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun

– Muse’s The Resistance – inspired by George Orwell’s 1984

– Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son – inspired by Orson Scott Card’s Seventh Son


Are there any other well-known songs that you know of inspired by literature?


Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 9.39.52 PMRyan King launched his indie author career in 2012 while keeping his day job with the US Army. Watch for his upcoming guest spot here featuring monthly reviews of post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian fiction. For more information about Ryan and his writing visit the link here.


3 responses to “Songs Inspired by Books

  1. kristinkingauthor

    August 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    That’s a good one.

  2. stephswint

    June 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Oh and Polices ‘Moon over Bourbon Street’ was inspired by ‘Interview with a Vampire’ – Anne Rice

  3. stephswint

    June 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you! Great post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: