Hooks and Books 15

Image courtesy of sheetmusicplus.com

(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:


The song was written and recorded by the British indie soul group the Noisettes. The song was inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It focuses on the book’s protagonist, Atticus, and uses him as a musical metaphor for integrity and fearlessness. It’s included on their 2009 disc Wild Young Hearts.


American singer Katy Perry’s “Firework” was inspired by the beat generation classic book On the Road. She confirmed this unlikely source of inspiration at the 2012 Grammy nominations. It was co-written by Perry, Ester Dean, Sandy Wilhelm, and Stargate. The song appears on her third release, Teenage Dream which dropped in 2010.


Next, is a track recorded by the American rock group Thirty Seconds to Mars. It was written by lead vocalist Jared Leto. The close of the uncensored cut of the music video/single quotes Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. The song also echoes themes from the work. The track appears on the band’s third album, This Is War.

“I am the Law”

This one was recorded by the American thrash metal band Anthrax. The song was inspired by and focuses on the comic book character Judge Dredd and features references to numerous storylines through 1986. It’s one of their most well-known songs and first appeared on their 1987 album Among the Living.

“Paranoid Android”

Finally, this is a song by the Brit alternative rock band Radiohead. Thom Yorke wrote the lyrics. The track is named after the paranoid android Marvin from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by author Douglas Adams. The cut is included on the group’s 1997 release OK Computer.