Hooks and Books 13

Image courtesy of aafp.org

(Note: This is a new edition of “Hooks and Books”, a series that once appeared on a now-defunct website.)

In this series, we explore the inspiration behind specific songs. To wit, we examine the connection between certain songs and literature. Without any further adieu, here is the latest group of hooks and books:


“H.W.C.” is a song written and recorded by American singer and songwriter Liz Phair. The song references “hot white c*m” and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was first included on her fourth studio album titled Liz Phair. The song isn’t included on the “clean version” of the 2003 album.


This is a cut by Australian duo The Veronicas. The song was co-written by The Veronicas’ Jessica Origliasso and Lisa Origliasso, with help from Laura Pergolizzi and Toby Gad. It was released as a single in 2012 and was meant to be on their never-released platter Life on Mars. It was inspired by the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.


The ballad “Rivendell” was inspired by the fictional Elven settlement in the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Geddy Lee composed the music. Neil Peart wrote the lyrics. The song first appeared on the Canadian rock band’s second studio album Fly By Night which dropped in 1975.


This is a song off of The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 full-length studio album titled Siamese Dream. The alternative rock song was written by James Iha and Billy Corgan. The American group’s song famously references the fictitious hallucinogenic drug featured in author Aldous Huxley’s well-known 1932 novel Brave New World.

“8 Minutes to Sunrise”

Finally, this song was the result of a tuneful team-up between American singer Jill Scott and Common. It references the popular African novel Things Fall Apart by author Chinua Achebe. The tune was co-composed for the 1999 film Wild Wild West. It can most easily be found on Scott’s 2007 CD Collaborations.