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Literary allusions in music

Posted by luckdragon6 (My Page) on
Wed, May 25, 05 at 4:25

I remember reading a post about this once, ages ago (in case anyone can find it or has preserved it, it would be much appreciated).

The discussion was about literary allusions in rock music, with examples like Rush's Tom Sawyer and The Cure's Killing an Arab coming up, apart from the fact that Steely Dan derive their name from Naked Lunch by Burroughs. A lot of Bob Dylan songs were also mentioned in that discussion , and I think this can be pretty interesting to discuss. Are there any more allusions you can find? I remember that the thread ran to more than 90 posts.

Posting here for the first time, looking forward to posting more : )

The Luckdragon

Follow-Up Postings:

Hello and welcome ;)

Tom Sawyer is one of my favorite songs! Hopefully,someone will be able to link you to the Literary thread.

RE: Literary allusions in music

Welcome, Luckdragon. I haven't been posting here for ages, and I wish I could direct you to the thread, but I welcome this topic.

RE: Literary allusions in music

It's a good topic and I think I remember that thread. I think I was the one that started that thread when I was known as RDtoo. Alas, I have no way of bringing it back.

RE: Literary allusions in music

Funny, I was just thinking of that thread when I was litening to "Battle of Evermore" (Lord of The Rings) on my new Led Zep compilation CD yesterday.
Another good one I remember was "Charlotte Sometimes" by the Cure. I found the book when I was clearing out some stuff from my parents' house, and was suprised to read the first page, to find that it was basically the song's lyrics. If you're interested:,-the/34916.html

You may be able to find the thread on the link below - I looked, but not hard enough to find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wayback Machine

RE: Literary allusions in music

I don't know what a 'literary allusion' is,can someone explain?

RE: Literary allusions in music

That would be a reference to something in a novel, poem or other piece of literature.

RE: Literary allusions in music

Two of Raymond Carver's short stories have inspired songs:

So Much Water So Close To Home - Paul Kelly
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Old 97's

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

RE: Literary allusions in music

Golden Hair - Syd Barrett


RE: Literary allusions in music

Sting's album title, 'Nothing Like the Sun,' was taken from a Shakespeare sonnet (#130) and one of the songs on it contained the line,

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

the sonnet continues:

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

There's more, but you get the drift.

Being a former English teacher, Sting does that quite a bit. There's the reference to Lolita in 'Don't Stand So Close to Me.' Heck, that whole song could be inspired by the book. Plus Sting did a song on his first solo album called, 'There's a Moon Over Bourbon Street' which was inspired by Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire.

RE: Literary allusions in music

Thanks JAG,

That's interesting about Sting. You can hear the sonnet below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shakespeare sonnet (#130)

RE: Literary allusions in music

Where are all the Doors fans? Surely Freud's more important papers have been read by even the young Glyph's fans. The whole idea behind the Oedipus Complex is based on the desire to sleep with your mom and kill your dad. I believe their song "The End" makes that clear:

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
Walked on down the hall, and
He came to a door, and he looked inside
Father: "Yes son?"
Son: "I want to kill you", Mother, I want to f@#$$%&-"

RE: Literary allusions in music

How about "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane?

RE: Literary allusions in music

I once heard or read somewhere that Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was based upon Lady Galadriel from the LOTR books, does anyone know whether this is true or not?

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