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?
Ryan 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.