This is the first edition of a series on music related to literature. All the songs briefly discussed in this column have their roots in books. Here are the first selections:
“Wuthering Heights”—Kate Bush: The song takes its name and sense of melodrama from Emily Bronte’s 1847 novel Wuthering Heights. It was released in 1978 as her debut single. She was 19 when she first recorded it. The first it appeared on an album would be in 1986 when it was remixed and added to the 1986 greatest hits compilation The Whole Story.
“Witchy Woman”—Eagles: This song was inspired by Zelda from 1925 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first released on their premiere platter the eponymously-titled Eagles. It was written by Don Henley and Bernie Leadon. It was also released as the second single from the LP.
“The Ghost of Tom Joad”-- Bruce Springsteen: The song is inspired by the character of Tom Joad from John Steinbeck’s 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. The song is the titular track from the album of the same name released in 1995 and was written by Springsteen.
“Killing an Arab”—The Cure: This track was inspired by Albert Camus’ The Outsider or The Stranger which was published in1942. This was their debut disc and was recorded at the same time as their premiere platter. It was written by lead singer Robert Smith and released as a single in1979. It would not be included on an LP until 1980 when it was added to Boys Don't Cry.
“Ahab’s Leg”—Evangenitals: This is a new song inspired by Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick published in 1851. It was written by Juli Crockett and it’s off their 2014, soon-to-be-reviewed Moby Dick; Or, The Album.
Have some favorites of your own? Feel free to share them!