Listed below are 8 songs inspired by books – interesting to see where musicians have got their inspiration from and what impact a book can have. There are plenty more songs inspired by books – maybe some more tenuous in their links than others.
- Scentless Apprentice by Nirvana inspired by Perfume by Patrick Suskind. It was Cobain’s favourite novel, and the inspiration behind the tale of a man with no sense of smell
- The Ghost Of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen was inspired by Steinbeck’s Great Depression novel Grapes Of Wrath which introduced the world to the down-on-his-luck figure Tom Joad.
- We Are the Dead by David Bowie is inspired by 1984 by George Orwell. The title of the track is taken from a recurring line in the novel.
- Ramble On by Led Zeppelin has direct reference to The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein: “T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor” and “But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her.”
- Who Wrote Holden Caulfield by Green Day is from Catcher in the Rye (one of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s favourite books).
- In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel inspired by The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
- 2+2=5 by Radiohead inspired by 1984 by George Orwell
- Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush based on the book of the same name by Emily Bronte