Whether it’s because books can take us to faraway places, introduce us to new and fascinating characters, or simply provide a great escape, they’ve been a source of inspiration for musicians for decades.
Here are 20 of the best songs about books, each one capturing the magic and importance of reading in a different way.By the way, if you’re looking for more songs about books, you might find some good songs in our other articles, such as songs about bats, songs about rocket, and songs that tell a story.
Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
“Ramble On” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in 1969 on their second album, Led Zeppelin II.
The song was written by guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant, and inspired by the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.
The lyrics tell of a young man’s journey through Middle-earth, and make reference to the Ringwraiths, Gandalf, Gollum, and Mordor.
The song also contains one of Page’s most famous guitar riffs.
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
The song “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush is a song about the classic novel of the same name by Emily Bronte.
The song was released in 1978 as part of Bush’s debut album, The Kick Inside.
“Wuthering Heights” is told from the perspective of Cathy Earnshaw, one of the novel’s main characters.
The song describes Cathy’s love for Heathcliff, a foundling who is raised by the Earnshaw family.
Heathcliff and Cathy share a deep bond, but their relationship is ultimately doomed by class differences and societal expectations.
“Wuthering Heights” is widely considered to be one of Bush’s best songs, and it helped to launch her career as a successful singer-songwriter.
Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
Don’t Stand So Close To Me is a song by British rock band The Police.
Released in 1980, it was their third single and the second to be taken from their album Zenyatta Mondatta.
The song was written by Sting and was inspired by his experiences as a schoolteacher.
It deals with the issue of sexual attraction between a teacher and student, and the dangers that can arise from such a relationship.
The lyrics are written from the perspective of the teacher, who is trying to resist his feelings for the student.
The song was a huge success, reaching number one in both the UK and US.
It has since been covered by many artists, including Barbra Streisand and R.E.M.
The Book I Read – Talking Heads
The Book I Read by Talking Heads is a song about the power of books.
The lyrics describe how books can take us on adventures, introduce us to new ideas, and help us to understand the world around us.
Books are a source of knowledge and inspiration, and they have the ability to Transport us to other places and times.
The book I read took me on a journey, and I was able to learn about new cultures and histories.
The book I read helped me to understand the world around me, and it inspired me to make positive changes in my own life.
The book I read is a powerful tool that can be used to change the world.
Paperback Writer – The Beatles
The song “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles is a song about books.
In the song, the narrator is trying to persuade someone to write a paperback book.
The song discusses the benefits of writing a book, such as being able to travel and see the world.
The song also mentions that books can be a source of income.
The Beatles were a very popular band in the 1960s, and this song was one of their most popular songs.
It peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in the United States.
This song is a good example of how The Beatles were able to write songs about various topics and make them popular.
Wrapped Up In Books – Belle And Sebastian
Wrapped Up In Books is a song by Belle and Sebastian, released in 2003 as part of their album Dear Catastrophe Waitress.
The song is a ode to the power of books, and how they can transport us to different worlds and give us new perspectives on life.
Singer Stuart Murdoch has said that the song was inspired by his own love of reading, and how books have always been a source of comfort and escape for him.
The lyrics paint a picture of a life lived through books, from finding solace in stories during difficult times to using them as a way to connect with others.
Scentless Apprentice – Nirvana
Scentless Apprentice is a song by Nirvana that was released as the third single from their second album, In Utero, in 1994.
The song is named after the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind.
The song is about books and how they can take you away to different places.
Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was a big fan of books and this is reflected in the lyrics of the song.
He sings about how books can transport you to different times and places and how they can be a form of escape from the real world.
Pet Sematary – Ramones
Books have always been a source of inspiration for musicians.
They can provide a story to be told, a message to be conveyed, or simply a feeling to be expressed.
For the Ramones, their song “Pet Sematary” was inspired by Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
The song itself is about the dark and macabre elements of the book, and how they can affect readers long after they’ve turned the last page.
It’s a haunting and atmospheric song that perfectly captures the spirit of King’s novel.
In many ways, it feels like the musical equivalent of reading the book itself.
Book Club – Arkells
Arkells’ “Book Club” is a song about the power of books.
The narrator starts off by talking about how reading has always been a part of his life, and how it has helped him to escape from the boredom of school and the difficulties of adolescence.
However, he soon realizes that books can offer much more than just a temporary escape.
They can also provide knowledge, understanding, and empathy.
Yertle The Turtle – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Yertle the Turtle is a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, released in 1996.
The song is about a turtle who dreams of being the king of the world and climbs to the top of a mountain to achieve his goal.
However, he quickly realizes that his position is not as stable as he thought and falls back down to the bottom.
The song is based on a children’s book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.
Everyday I Write The Book – Elvis Costello
Books have always been a major source of inspiration for musicians.
In fact, many songs have been written about books and the act of reading.
One such song is “Everyday I Write the Book” by Elvis Costello.
The song is a playful ode to the joys of reading and writing.
Costello sings about how books can transport us to different worlds, teach us new things, and provide comfort in times of trouble.
He also touches on the importance of literacy and the power of words.
In addition to being a fun and catchy tune, “Everyday I Write the Book” is a celebration of the written word and its ability to enrich our lives.
Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? – Green Day
Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? is a song written by Green Day and released on their 1997 album Nimrod.
The song is written from the perspective of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye.
In the song, Holden laments the state of the world and bemoans the phoniness of adults.
He longs for a place where he can be alone and where he can be himself.
The song was a surprise hit, reaching #11 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
It remains one of Green Day’s most popular songs, and its lyrics continue to resonate with fans of Salinger’s novel.
Black Blade – Blue Öyster Cult
“Black Blade” is a song by American rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released as a single in 1982.
The song was written by lead singer Eric Bloom and guitar player Buck Dharma, and it appears on the band’s album Fire of Unknown Origin.
“Black Blade” is a traditional heavy metal song with science fiction lyrics.
The song tells the story of a powerful sword that is forged from a meteorite.
The sword is so powerful that it can only be wielded by a chosen few, and it has the ability to grant its wielder great power.
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
“White Rabbit” is a song written by Grace Slick and recorded by the American rock band Jefferson Airplane.
The song was released as a single in 1967, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
It is one of the band’s best-known songs and is often considered to be an early example of psychedelic rock.
The song is based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The lyrics follow Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical world populated by peculiar creatures.
The White Rabbit is a character from the book who Alice follows down the rabbit hole.
Venus In Furs – The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground is a renowned American rock band that formed in the 1960s.
The group is known for its unique and influential sound, as well as their dark and often controversial lyrics.
“Venus In Furs” is one of the band’s most well-known songs, and it is based on the 1870 novel of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
The song tells the story of a man who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman named Wanda, and he eventually persuades her to dominate him.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
The song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles is a song about books.
In the song, the narrator describes Lucy as being “in the sky with diamonds.”
This is a reference to the novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” in which the protagonist Alice goes to a place called Wonderland where everything is made of diamonds.
In the song, the narrator is saying that Lucy is in a place where everything is made of books.
This is a beautiful and fantastical image, and it makes for a very interesting and unique song.
Book Of Love – The Monotones
Released in 1958, “Book of Love” was one of the first pop hits to make use of the then-new technology of the synthesizer.
The song tells the story of a young boy’s infatuation with a girl, and his hope that she will one day return his affections.
While the subject matter may seem lighthearted, the song is actually quite dark, with references to death and heartbreak.
Despite this, “Book of Love” remains a catchy and beloved pop tune, and has been covered by many artists over the years.
The unique sound of the synthesizer, coupled with the lyrics about young love, make “Book of Love” a timeless classic.
China In Your Hand – T’Pau
“China in Your Hand” is a 1987 song by British band T’Pau.
It was released as the second single from their album Bridge of Spies, and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in October 1987.
The song is about a book called Chinese Love Poems, which the singer uses as a metaphor for her own relationship.
The book is said to be “a thousand years old and full of magic”.
The lyrics describe how the book has the power to “take her away” from her everyday life and transport her to another world.
The song was a massive hit in the UK, and is still popular today.
It has been covered by several artists, and was used in an advert for Fiat cars in 2007.
Soma – The Strokes
The song “Soma” by The Strokes is a song about books.
The lyrics describe how books can be a source of knowledge and comfort, but can also be a burden.
The lyrics also suggest that books can be a source of inspiration, but can also be a source of distraction.
The song is ultimately about the importance of finding a balance between these two extremes.
Books can be a powerful tool, but they can also be a source of anxiety and stress.
It is important to find a healthy balance between these two things in order to live a happy and productive life.
Rocket Man – Elton John
Rocket Man is a song by Elton John that was released in 1972.
The song is about a man who is sent to work on a rocket launchpad and dreams of being rocketed to the stars.
While the lyrics might seem like they are simply about space travel, they are actually about much more.
The song is about chasing your dreams and never giving up on them.
It is about reaching for the stars and believing that anything is possible.
In a way, it is also about books.