View Full Version : Literature-Music Synergy

08-29-2009, 11:04 PM
List quotes from literature used in songs. I know it is probably rare, but interesting.

From 1984 by George Orwell, used by Rage Against the Machine in Testify.

"Who controls the past, controls the future; who controls the present, controls the past."


From Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, used by Gogol Bordello in Forces of Victory.

"I can't go on, I will go on."

08-30-2009, 04:48 PM
From sympathy for the devil by the Rolling Stones:

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste

Not a direct qoute, but the song is definitely inspired by The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Could be there are some direct qoutes in there somewhere.

Also, Spell by Patti Smith is basically a recitation of the footnote part of Allen Ginsbergs poem Howl. I'm sure Patti has some other references too, just a bit to tired to think of any right now.

Fade to Black
08-31-2009, 01:28 AM
From sympathy for the devil by the Rolling Stones:

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste

my favorite song opener

08-31-2009, 04:30 AM
from The Piano Has Been Drinking by Tom Waits : "And the light man's blind in one eye /
And he can't see out of the other" is virtually a direct lift from Burroughs's Queer, except the quote applies to a woman (I haven't been able to find it, sorry)

Nick Cave probably has a ton, I'd have to think about it

08-31-2009, 06:21 AM
that's what I meant, but there's some milton too and other things I can't think of right now

Jorge Hache
08-31-2009, 11:55 AM
Morrissey usually quotes a lot of english writers and poets: Shakespeare, Yates, Keats, Lord Byron and his beloved Oscar Wilde, specially when he was in The Smiths.

profondo nero
07-28-2013, 12:56 PM

'The song is inspired by Molly Bloom stepping out of the black and white,
two-dimensional pages of James Joyce's Ulysses into the real world,
and is immediately struck by the sensuality of it all.
It was originally supposed to be Molly Bloom's speech (from the end of Ulysses) set to music, but Bush could not secure the rights from the Joyce estate, so she altered it.
In 2011, the Joyce estate granted license to the material, and Bush rerecorded the song as "Flower of the Mountain", released on 2011's Director's Cut.'

08-31-2013, 12:14 PM
I'm almost positive that New Order's Blue Monday was a point toward Kirt Vonneguts Cat's Cradle. In the novel there's a laundry ad that states "Goodbye Blue Monday". New Order/Joy Division was always full of lovely tid bits though.