Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Songs Inspired by Books

Did you Know?

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon inspired "Whip It" by Devo?

Product DetailsIn case you don't spend your time researching the internet for the meaning behind Devo's hit, I'll tell you.  Devo member Jerry Casale wrote the lyrics to "Whip It" in one night, imitating Pynchon's parodies in Gravity's Rainbow.  Casale says, "[Pynchon] had parodied limericks and poems of kind of all-American, obsessive, cult of personality ideas like Horatio Alger and 'You're #1, there's nobody else like you' kind of poems that were very funny and very clver.  I thought, 'I'd like to do one like Thomas Pynchon.'"

1984 by George Orwell inspired “2+2=5″ by Radiohead?

Product DetailsIn addition to The Clash, Judas Priest, Stevie Wonder, Rage Against the Machine, Cheap Trick and many others, Orwell’s dystopia bible was a direct inspiration for Radiohead’s “2+2=5″ from Hail to the Thief. The song’s title is a reference to 1984‘s doublethink, in which logic does not matter as much as what authority tells you matters. Lyrics like “January has April’s showers” mirror the illogicality of Big Brother’s dictum. Bonus factoid: the alternate title for “2+2=5″ is “The Lukewarm,” a reference to the works of Dante, according to Thom Yorke.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot inspired “Afternoons And Coffeespoons” by Crash Test Dummies?

Product DetailsThe refrain of “Afternoons & Coffeespoons” is “Afternoons will be measured out, measured out, measured with coffeespoons and T.S. Elliot,” which, in addition to the name drop, refers to Prufrock in Eliot’s lines: “Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” Further overlap: the song’s music video features lead singer Brad Roberts getting operated on, a reference to Eliot’s line “Like a patient etherized upon a table”; and the song’s repeated lyric “someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline,” calling to mind Prufrock’s thought about his thinning hair.

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