Books are inspired for all genres of musicians. Many popular songs have been influenced by books in music history. If you seek out the best songs about books , we compiled the best examples for you on this playlist. Let’s explore these from David Bowie to Killer Mike now!
David Bowie – 1984
Here is the first example of songs about books. Featured on David Bowie’s album “Diamond Dogs,” released in 1974, “1984” is a song inspired by George Orwell’s dystopian novel. Bowie creates a haunting musical landscape that reflects Orwellian themes of political oppression, control, and societal concerns.
The track serves as a cautionary reflection on authoritarianism, offering a bleak yet insightful perspective on the state of the world and the dangers of unchecked power. The beloved chorus as follows:
“ Come see, come see, remember me?, We played out an all-night movie role
You said it would last, but I guess we enrolled, In 1984 (Who could ask for more?)
1984 (Who could ask for mo-o-o-o-ore?), (Mo-o-o-o-ore) ”
Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
We continue our playlist of songs about books with Wuthering Heights. Released as Kate Bush’s debut single in 1978 and part of her album “The Kick Inside,” “Wuthering Heights” is a haunting and ethereal song inspired by Emily Brontë’s novel. Bush’s distinctive vocals and the song’s otherworldly quality capture the essence of the novel, sung from the perspective of Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost.
The track explores themes of love, longing, and the supernatural, solidifying Bush’s unique style and establishing her as a captivating storyteller in the music industry.
Joanna Newsom – Inflammatory Writ
The next song on the list came from Joanna Newsom. Featured on Joanna Newsom’s debut album “The Milk-Eyed Mender” released in 2004, “Inflammatory Writ” showcases Newsom’s unique folk style and intricate harp playing. The song delves into themes of personal autonomy and societal expectations, exploring the notion of individualism in the face of external pressures.
Newsom’s poetic lyrics and whimsical melodies provide a glimpse into a narrative that questions conformity and traditional norms.
The Roots – Table of Contents
It should be announced among songs about books. “Table of Contents” is a track by The Roots, featured on their album “How I Got Over” released in 2010. The song serves as an introspective reflection, presenting a metaphorical table of contents for life’s experiences and challenges.
Through insightful lyrics and soulful rhythms, The Roots navigate themes of self-reflection, resilience, and the journey toward overcoming obstacles, providing a poetic roadmap to navigating life’s chapters. The long verses start with these lyrics:
“Is this fast or normal speed?
Yea, knawsayin?, yea, Table of Contents
Fuckin wit it, one two, it’s the Table of Contents, come on
Uh yea, uh huh, yo”
Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma
The other example of songs about books is Oxford Comma. Featured on Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut album released in 2008, “Oxford Comma” showcases the band’s blend of indie rock with witty lyricism. The track touches on themes of privilege, education, and social status. With clever wordplay and a catchy melody, the song humorously addresses the debate about the use of the Oxford comma in grammar.
It reflects on societal norms and the absurdity of materialism, portraying a satirical take on issues of wealth and class distinctions.
Akala – Shakespeare
As the name suggests, this track is a completely great example for songs about books. Akala’s song “Shakespeare” was released in 2006 and is part of his album “It’s Not a Rumour.” This track serves as a powerful social commentary, drawing parallels between historical cultural figures and contemporary issues of race, identity, and societal prejudices.
Akala uses references to William Shakespeare and his works to delve into broader conversations about culture, history, and the impact of race relations on society, showcasing his sharp lyricism and thought-provoking perspectives.
Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
The name of this song can be accepted as one of the most popular books of all the time. From Dire Straits’ album “Making Movies,” released in 1980, “Romeo and Juliet” is a poignant ballad that captures themes of love, heartbreak, and relationships. Inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic love story, the song explores the complexities of romantic relationships and the challenges of maintaining love amidst life’s struggles.
Mark Knopfler’s evocative lyrics and the band’s musical craftsmanship create an emotionally resonant narrative, emphasizing the emotional depth of the human experience. IT can be remembered with popular chorus as follows:
“ A lovestruck Romeo sang the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Finds a streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, “You and me, babe, how about it? ”
Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
Among songs about books, White Rabbit should also be remembered. From Jefferson Airplane’s album “Surrealistic Pillow” released in 1967, “White Rabbit” is a psychedelic rock anthem inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” The song serves as a metaphorical journey through the looking glass, exploring themes of surrealism, curiosity, and the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s.
Grace Slick’s haunting vocals and the song’s hypnotic melody create an otherworldly experience, inviting listeners into a whimsical yet enigmatic realm.
Taylor Swift – Love Story
We can continue our list of songs about books, with a popular track. “Love Story” is a song by Taylor Swift from her album “Fearless,” released in 2008. The track reimagines the classic Romeo and Juliet story, incorporating themes of romance, fate, and youthful love.
Swift’s lyrics narrate a fairy-tale love affair amidst societal challenges and parental disapproval, capturing the essence of young romance and idealistic notions of love.
Stormzy – Superheroes
It is one of the most original examples among songs about books. “Superheroes” is a song by Stormzy, featured on his album “Gang Signs & Prayer” released in 2017. The track celebrates resilience, empowerment, and overcoming adversity.
Stormzy’s lyrics highlight themes of personal strength, perseverance, and the potential for individuals to rise above challenges and be their own superheroes in a world filled with struggles and obstacles.
The Beatles – Paperback Writer
We cannot skip this iconic rock band now. Released as a single by The Beatles in 1966, “Paperback Writer” showcases the band’s songwriting prowess and catchy melodies. The song narrates the story of an aspiring author yearning to become a successful writer.
It captures themes of ambition, creativity, and the desire for recognition, reflecting on the challenges and dreams of an aspiring artist within the publishing industry. This classic song starts with these lyrics:
“ Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job
So I wanna be a paperback writer
Paperback write r”
Stevie Nicks – Annabel Lee
If you have not heard this track before, we can suggest Stevie Nicks for you now. Featured on Stevie Nicks’ album “Bella Donna” released in 1981, “Annabel Lee” is a song inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name. Nicks’ haunting vocals and poetic lyrics bring Poe’s tragic love story to life, exploring themes of love, loss, and the enduring power of memories.
The song encapsulates the eerie and romantic essence of Poe’s literary work.
Black Star – Thieves in the Night
Here is a rap song among songs about books. “Thieves in the Night” is a track by the hip-hop duo Black Star (composed of Talib Kweli and Mos Def), featured on their album “Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star” released in 1998. The song dives into social commentary, addressing issues of systemic inequality, societal struggles, and the search for hope in the face of adversity.
Through poignant storytelling and thought-provoking lyrics, Black Star examines the complexities of urban life and the pursuit of justice.
Belle and Sebastian – Wrapped Up in Books
This original song will impact your emotion when you listen to it. Featured on Belle and Sebastian’s album “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” released in 2003, “Wrapped Up in Books” explores themes of intellectual curiosity, romance, and the power of literature.
The song lyrically weaves a narrative around the allure of books, their impact on relationships, and the escape and inspiration they provide in everyday life. We can remember this song among songs about book s thanks to these lyrics:
“ I will say a prayer, just while you are sitting there
I will wrap my hands around you
I know it will be fine
We’ve got a fantasy affair
We didn’t get wet, we didn’t dare
Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books
Our inclinations are hidden in looks ”
Killer Mike – Willie Burke Sherwood
The last song among songs about books is Willie Burke Sherwood. “Willie Burke Sherwood” is a song by Killer Mike from his album “R.A.P. Music” released in 2012. The track delves into personal reflections, paying homage to his late friend Willie Burke Sherwood.
Through poignant storytelling and introspective lyrics, Killer Mike examines themes of loss, loyalty, and the impact of friendship, offering a heartfelt tribute to his departed friend. Even though it is not popular as much as other songs on the list, you will like this track.