What songs are there inspired by great literature?

Every now and again it seems a musician reads a book and really likes it.

So we get songs like:

Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush

For Whom The Bell Tolls - Metallica

Tom Joad - Woody Guthrie

Ghost Of Tom Joad - Bruce Springsteen

1984 - David Bowie

Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden

Okay so the last one is a poem not a book, but what others songs are there inspired by poems/books/plays/short stories etc...?

28 Answers

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    "The Thing that Should Not Be" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5srpggS-2-g

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    , "All Nightmare Long" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLcpuLR1Iuw

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    &feature=related and "Call of Ktulu" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHyy4a4SVa0

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    (all by Metallica) are inspired by the writings of HP Lovecraft, possibly the finest horror writer of all time. All referring to either Cthulhu or Dagon, NOT anything at all to do with Beouwulf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu

    also, the song "Creeping Death" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO_84C3fpuI

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    by Metallica was based off the book of Exodus, and even amongst it's critics, the Bible is at least accorded status as fine literature. (I'm sure this will cause a cascade of TDs... but too bad, facts are facts)

    "The Highwayman" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2CFM4ev-g8

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    by Loreena McKennitt is a musical retelling of the poem by the same name, by Alfred Noyes.

    "The Poet and the Pendulum" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TG_NctjpUc

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    by Nightwish is loosely inspired by the Pit and the Pendulum (Edgar Allen Poe). Also "Sahara" is based from "Arabian Nights". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmKXHXgdwbk

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    "Dracula" by Iced Earth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBJml8C41pg

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    , obviously draws from Bram Stoker's novel of said name. Also, Iron Maiden's Transylvania http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCEfqDadlyo

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    "The Phantom of the Opera" as covered by Nightwish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj7WrKfw6n0

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    (and as an original non related Iron Maiden song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjAQSlTVcYI

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    ), and "the Phantom Opera Ghost" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1IHDd3vAlA

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    again by Iced Earth all refer to the French novel by Gaston Leroux.

    Not to be forgotten are the albums "Epica" and "the Black Halo" by Kamelot, both based off of "Historia von D. Johann Fausten" also known as "Faustus" or simply "Faust". (Original Author uncertain)

    this is a fun question. I will post links as I dig em up.

    *Migh likes Bulgakov???? Sweet. Heart of a Dog is my favorite. Scathing Satire at it's finest.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    White Lands Of Empathica and 7 Days To The Wolves by Nightwish were both inspired by Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

    The Thing That Should Not Be by Metallica was based on The Shadow Over Innsmouth (sp?) by HP Lovecraft. The Call Of Ktulu by Metallica was named after The Call The Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft.

    20 Eyes by The Misfits was based on I Am The Doorway by Steven King.

    Scentless Apprentice by Nirvana was based on a book, I don't remember the name or author...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My name. The song Stuck Between Stations by The Hold Steady was inspired by both On The Road by Jack Kerouac and the collected works of John Berryman

  • 1 decade ago

    Tales of Mystery and Imagination

    by Alan Parsons Project

    Entire Album inspired by Edgar Allen Poe

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  • 1 decade ago

    Iron Maiden had more than Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

    The Ides of March (Ok, it's just a minute and a half instrumental, but still...)

    Murders in the Rue Morgue (Edgar Allen Poe)

    To Tame a Land (Frank Herbert)

    Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This link will take you to www.songfacts.com which gives a list a 180 songs that were inspired by books. There is also a catergory of songs inspired by poems, events, movies etc. It's a great website for music lovers.

    http://www.songfacts.com/category:songs_inspired_b...

  • 1 decade ago

    The End by The Doors is inspired by Oedipus King

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I mentioned one earlier today, so I might as well mention it again, "Family Happiness" by the Mountain Goats, the title taken from Tolstoy's book of the same name.

    Or, sticking with the Russians, how bout "just like the/ old man in/ that book by Nabakov" from "Dont Stand so Close to Me" by the Police, a Lolita reference.

    Medeski Martin and Wood released an album titled "notes from the underground" after Dostoyeski's book of the same title, and Muddy Waters released an album titled "Fathers and Sons" which might be a Turgenev reference.

    edit: migh, i want to steal your sympathy for the devil one to complete my survey of russian lit.

  • 1 decade ago

    Led Zeppelin refers to the Lord of the Rings books on several occasions

  • 1 decade ago

    "The Conqueror Worm" by Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows is actually word-for-word the same as the Edgar Allan Poe song of the same name.

    "Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Iron Maiden is based on the short story of the name by Edgar Allan Poe as well.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure if it's been confirmed by Queen ever but Bohemian Rhapsody seems to have a lot of references from The Stranger by Albert Camus

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