(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:
“Myth of Sisyphus”
This tune is off the American singer-songwriter’s 1975 platter titled simply Stills. Critics praised the work here as some of his best. The song is basically a narrative from someone who feels both isolated and trapped simultaneously. He obviously borrows from The Bible with this song but avoids making any overtly religious statements.
This is the title track from American singer-songwriter and violinist Emilie Autumn’s 2006 release Opheliac. The lead single’s name is taken from the fictional character of Ophelia from William Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet, whom the track is about. Autumn has noted that the song also focuses on someone with the characteristics of “the ‘Ophelia’ archetype.”
This is a tune by the Irish rock band U2. It’s off their debut disc, Boy, which dropped in 1980. It is one of the group’s shortest songs. The song’s lyrics were inspired by the well-known 1890 story The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
“To Tame a Land”
This is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was written by Steve Harris for the 1983 Piece of Mind LP. He wanted to call it “Dune” since it was inspired by the sci-fi novel Dune by Frank Herbert. The group sought permission but received a firm “No” as Herbert isn’t a fan of metal.
This number was written by English singer-songwriter and musician Kate Bush. It was her premiere single released in 1977. It’s also included on her 1978 album titled The Kick Inside. This song tunefully tells the tale of Emile Bronte’s gothic novel Wuthering Heights. (Bush and Bronte share the same birthday.)