Table of Contents
- 1. Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
- 2. 1984 – David Bowie
- 3. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
- 4. Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
- 5. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? – Green Day
- 6. Scentless Apprentice – Nirvana
- 7. Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
- 8. China in Your Hand – T’Pau
- 9. Wrapped Up in Books – Belle and Sebastian
- 10. Paperback Writer – The Beatles
- 11. Book Club – Arkells
- 12. Flow Like Poe – MC Lars
- 13. The Book I Read – Talking Heads
- 14. Venus in Furs – The Velvet Underground
- 15. Rocket Man – Elton John
- 16. Pet Sematary – Ramones
- 17. Yertle the Turtle – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- 18. The Book Of Love – Peter Gabriel
- 19. Black Blade – Blue Öyster Cult
The top 19 songs about books are a rich and diverse genre that celebrates the literary world and the power of storytelling. These songs are often inspired by specific books or authors, or simply explore the themes and emotions that books can evoke.
One notable example is “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush, which was inspired by Emily Bronte’s classic novel of the same name. The song captures the passion and tragedy of the book, with Bush’s ethereal voice soaring over a haunting melody.
Another classic book-inspired song is “The Catcher in the Rye” by The Dandy Warhols, which is a tribute to J.D. Salinger’s iconic novel. The song features a catchy guitar riff and frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s wry lyrics, and captures the alienation and disillusionment of the book’s protagonist.
Other songs about books explore broader themes and ideas, such as “The Book of Love” by The Magnetic Fields, which is a sentimental and heartfelt tribute to the power of love and the human experience. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan is another example, which uses the imagery and language of books to capture the spirit of the 1960s and the social change of the era.
Overall, songs about books offer a unique and rich perspective on the literary world and the human experience. They celebrate the power of stories to inspire and connect us, and remind us of the enduring relevance of literature in our lives.
1. Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
“Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush is a haunting art-pop masterpiece that tells the story of Emily Bronte’s classic novel of the same name. The song’s distinctive and otherworldly vocal performance by Bush, combined with its eerie and atmospheric arrangement, perfectly captures the dark and brooding tone of the novel. The lyrics, told from the perspective of the novel’s protagonist Catherine Earnshaw, express her longing for her lost love Heathcliff and the pain of being torn apart from him by societal norms. “Wuthering Heights” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and captivate listeners with its emotional depth, musical sophistication, and haunting beauty.
2. 1984 – David Bowie
“1984” by David Bowie is a haunting and urgent song that reflects on the dystopian future depicted in George Orwell’s classic novel. The song features a pulsing beat, sharp guitar riffs, and Bowie’s distinctive vocals, which convey a sense of urgency and fear. The lyrics are a chilling and prescient warning about the dangers of totalitarianism and the erosion of individual freedom. The chorus is a powerful and ominous refrain, with Bowie singing, “They’ll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air.” “1984” is a powerful and prophetic song that captures the spirit of Orwell’s vision and the fear of a society gone wrong.
3. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles is a psychedelic rock classic that takes listeners on a mind-bending journey through a surreal and fantastical world. The song’s trippy and kaleidoscopic melody, paired with John Lennon’s dreamlike lyrics, conjure up vivid images of a strange and magical place. The title, with its controversial acronym, has been the subject of much debate and speculation, but the song’s impact on popular culture is undeniable. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” remains one of The Beatles’ most enduring and beloved tracks, a timeless reminder of the band’s influence and innovative spirit in the evolution of popular music.
4. Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
“Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin is a classic rock song that showcases the band’s signature blend of blues, folk, and hard rock. The song features a driving bass line, catchy guitar riffs, and Robert Plant’s soaring vocals, which convey a sense of urgency and wanderlust. The lyrics are a poetic and adventurous tribute to the open road, with Plant singing about his travels and adventures while searching for love. The chorus is a memorable and anthemic refrain, with Plant declaring, “Ramble on, and now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.” “Ramble On” is a timeless rock anthem that captures the spirit of adventure and the thrill of the journey.
5. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? – Green Day
“Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” by Green Day is a punk rock anthem that pays tribute to J.D. Salinger’s iconic novel “The Catcher in the Rye” and its protagonist Holden Caulfield. The song’s fast and furious tempo, combined with Billie Joe Armstrong’s snarling vocals and the band’s driving rhythm section, capture the rebellious spirit of the novel and its disillusioned teenage protagonist. The lyrics question the authenticity of modern society and its values, in a way that echoes the themes of Salinger’s novel. “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” is a powerful and energizing rock song that pays tribute to an enduring literary classic.
6. Scentless Apprentice – Nirvana
“Scentless Apprentice” by Nirvana is a powerful and intense song that showcases the band’s signature blend of punk, grunge, and metal. The song features a heavy and dissonant guitar riff, driving bass line, and Kurt Cobain’s guttural vocals, which convey a sense of anger and disillusionment. The lyrics were inspired by Patrick Suskind’s novel “Perfume,” and explore themes of isolation, identity, and the human condition. The chorus is a raw and visceral refrain, with Cobain screaming, “Go away, get away, get a-way.” “Scentless Apprentice” is a ferocious and uncompromising song that captures the raw energy and emotion of Nirvana’s music.
7. Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police is a classic rock song that features a catchy melody, reggae-inspired rhythms, and Sting’s distinctive vocals. The song’s lyrics explore the complex and taboo topic of teacher-student relationships, with Sting singing about the danger and temptation of forbidden desire. The chorus is a memorable and poignant refrain, with Sting repeating the title phrase, “Don’t stand so close to me.” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” is a powerful and thought-provoking song that challenges societal norms and expectations, and remains relevant today in its exploration of power dynamics and sexual boundaries.
8. China in Your Hand – T’Pau
“China in Your Hand” by T’Pau is a sweeping and anthemic pop ballad that explores themes of love, ambition, and the struggle for personal fulfillment. The song’s soaring vocals, lush production, and unforgettable chorus make it an enduring classic of the 1980s, while the lyrics evoke a sense of poetic mysticism and longing that speaks to universal human experiences. The title is a reference to the Chinese fable of the “Butterfly Dream,” and the lyrics describe the struggle to capture and hold onto a fleeting moment of beauty and inspiration. “China in Your Hand” is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and captivate listeners with its beauty and emotional depth.
9. Wrapped Up in Books – Belle and Sebastian
“Wrapped Up in Books” by Belle and Sebastian is a charming indie pop gem that celebrates the power of literature and the transformative role of storytelling in our lives. The song’s upbeat and playful melody, paired with Stuart Murdoch’s distinctive vocals and the band’s signature twee sound, create a joyous and whimsical atmosphere that perfectly captures the spirit of the band. The lyrics describe the joy of getting lost in a good book and the way that great literature can change our perspective and give us new insights into the world around us. “Wrapped Up in Books” is a delightful and infectious ode to the magic of literature and the joys of reading.
10. Paperback Writer – The Beatles
“Paperback Writer” by The Beatles is a classic rock song that showcases the band’s trademark harmonies, catchy hooks, and innovative production techniques. The song features a driving rhythm, jangly guitar riffs, and Paul McCartney’s lead vocals, which convey a sense of urgency and ambition. The lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the world of publishing, with McCartney singing about a struggling writer who is determined to make it big. The chorus is a memorable and upbeat refrain, with McCartney declaring, “Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?” “Paperback Writer” is a fun and playful song that celebrates the power of creativity and the joy of storytelling.
11. Book Club – Arkells
“Book Club” by Arkells is a catchy and upbeat indie rock track that explores the power of friendship, community, and the shared love of music. The song’s infectious melody, driving rhythm, and lively brass section, create a celebratory and festive atmosphere that captures the joy of being part of a close-knit group of friends. The lyrics describe the band’s experiences of playing music together and the way that their shared passion for music has brought them together as a tight-knit group. “Book Club” is a fun and uplifting anthem that celebrates the power of friendship and the transformative role of music in our lives.
12. Flow Like Poe – MC Lars
“Flow Like Poe” by MC Lars is a clever and inventive hip-hop tribute to the legendary writer Edgar Allan Poe. The song features a catchy beat, witty lyrics, and Lars’ smooth flow, which pays homage to Poe’s distinctive style and themes. The lyrics are full of references to Poe’s famous works, including “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Masque of the Red Death,” and explore themes of madness, death, and the supernatural. The chorus is a memorable and catchy refrain, with Lars encouraging listeners to “flow like Poe.” “Flow Like Poe” is a fun and engaging song that celebrates the enduring legacy of one of literature’s greatest masters.
13. The Book I Read – Talking Heads
“The Book I Read” by Talking Heads is a quirky and infectious art-rock classic that explores the mysteries of love and the ways that literature and art can shape our perceptions of the world. The song’s bouncy and off-kilter melody, paired with David Byrne’s distinctive vocals and the band’s eclectic instrumentation, create a playful and whimsical atmosphere that perfectly captures the band’s idiosyncratic style. The lyrics describe the way that a book can transport us to new worlds and change the way that we see ourselves and others. “The Book I Read” is a clever and insightful song that celebrates the power of literature and the joys of discovery.
14. Venus in Furs – The Velvet Underground
“Venus in Furs” by The Velvet Underground is a haunting and provocative song that showcases the band’s signature blend of rock, experimental music, and avant-garde art. The song features a droning rhythm, discordant guitar riffs, and Lou Reed’s deadpan vocals, which convey a sense of detachment and cynicism. The lyrics are a provocative exploration of sadomasochism and sexual fetishism, with Reed singing about a dominatrix who uses a whip to control her submissive partner. The chorus is a hypnotic and unsettling refrain, with Reed chanting, “Taste the whip, now bleed for me.” “Venus in Furs” is a groundbreaking and boundary-pushing song that explores taboo subjects and challenges conventional norms.
15. Rocket Man – Elton John
“Rocket Man” by Elton John is a soaring and poignant pop classic that explores the themes of isolation, nostalgia, and the human need for connection and adventure. The song’s ethereal and otherworldly melody, paired with Bernie Taupin’s introspective lyrics, create a dreamlike and haunting atmosphere that perfectly captures the feelings of longing and yearning at the heart of the song. The lyrics describe the experiences of a lonely astronaut, adrift in space, searching for meaning and purpose in a vast and infinite universe. “Rocket Man” is a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with listeners with its universal themes and emotional power.
16. Pet Sematary – Ramones
“Pet Sematary” by the Ramones is a haunting and atmospheric song that was inspired by Stephen King’s horror novel of the same name. The song features a driving beat, crunchy guitar riffs, and Joey Ramone’s distinctive vocals, which convey a sense of foreboding and unease. The lyrics are a dark and twisted meditation on death and resurrection, with Ramone singing about the eerie burial ground where the dead can be brought back to life. The chorus is a memorable and haunting refrain, with Ramone crooning, “I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery.” “Pet Sematary” is a chilling and unforgettable song that captures the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of King’s novel.
17. Yertle the Turtle – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Yertle the Turtle” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is a high-energy and funky song that showcases the band’s trademark blend of rock, funk, and punk music. The song features a driving rhythm, jangly guitar riffs, and Anthony Kiedis’ powerful vocals, which convey a sense of rebellion and defiance. The lyrics are a playful and surreal tribute to Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “Yertle the Turtle,” with Kiedis singing about a power-hungry turtle who tries to climb to the top of the turtle pile. The chorus is a catchy and upbeat refrain, with Kiedis declaring, “All you people are vampires!” “Yertle the Turtle” is a fun and irreverent song that celebrates the power of creativity and imagination.
18. The Book Of Love – Peter Gabriel
“The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel is a tender and heartfelt ballad that celebrates the transformative power of love and the enduring nature of human connection. The song’s simple and beautiful melody, paired with Gabriel’s gentle and emotive vocals, create a poignant and introspective atmosphere that perfectly captures the essence of the song. The lyrics describe the way that love can change our lives and give us a sense of purpose and meaning, even in the face of life’s uncertainties and challenges. “The Book of Love” is a touching and unforgettable song that continues to inspire and move listeners with its universal message of love and hope.
19. Black Blade – Blue Öyster Cult
“Black Blade” by Blue Öyster Cult is a dark and brooding hard rock masterpiece that explores themes of power, myth, and the struggle for personal freedom. The song’s heavy and ominous riffs, paired with Eric Bloom’s sinister and hypnotic vocals, create a haunting and foreboding atmosphere that perfectly captures the mood of the song. The lyrics describe the legend of Elric of Melniboné, a fictional sorcerer from the works of Michael Moorcock, and the way that his powerful sword, the Black Blade, has the power to grant its wielder immense power and control. “Black Blade” is a chilling and powerful song that continues to captivate and thrill listeners with its unforgettable sound and epic storytelling.