OUR WEEKLY TEN: 10 Songs for Bibliophiles

30/03/2013 10:01

As May is the month of love, March is the month of books. From now on, just to raise awareness, we shouldn’t only celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking ourselves into oblivion or the beginning of spring (well...theoretically) by wearing bright colours – let’s try to read more. Bad idea? Anyway, for all those who didn’t know – now you’re smarter, and for all the avid readers out here, here is a weekly ten especially for you.


Photo: flickr


10 Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones (Neptunes Remix)

Inspired by Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, Jagger plays Lucifer in this song. Strangely, he is not an evil character, though full of pride that he was involved in Pilate’s decision, or in killing the czar in St. Petersburg. The devil here has an attractive allure, which makes you want to dance with him. 


9 Billy Liar by The Decemberists

Billy Liar is a novel by British author Keith Waterhouse, published in 1959. The song is a conscientious folk rock, rather slowish than wild, so it’s definitely true to the story.


Photo: Champaign of Blogs


8 Brandy Alexander by Feist

Humble sound, an unpompous video, but the song still leaves a mark. It’s your choice whether you decide it to be about a creamy brandy cocktail or Chuck Palahniuk’s character from Invisible Monsters. Brandy, a gun-shot transsexual, has sparked enough inspiration to be the subject matter of yet another song, „Brandy Alexander“ by indie rockers from NYC, The Walkmen.


7 Narnia by Steve Hackett

Hackett, former member of Genesis, decided to use the material from C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” children’s book. It just makes me wonder, is there a song about Harry Potter, too?


6 1984 by David Bowie

It is quite obvious where Bowie got the name from. He intended to make a musical out of Orwell’s book, which didn’t happen, but at least there’s a song that can play in our heads while we read about Winston Smith’s imprisonment.



5 A Good Man is Hard to Find by Sufjan Stevens

The song bears the same name as a short story written by Flannery O'Connor, and the collection of short stories it appears in. Read it, listen to it. Both wonderful pieces of art, both with religious overtones.


4 Venus in Furs by The Velvet Undeground

Venus im Pelz is the original title of the novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The main character is a man fascinated by cruel women and wants to be treated as a slave (Sado-masochism....get it?). Oh, and he also wants to talk to Venus about love while she’s wearing fur. Fun fact: Andy Warhol was The Velvet Underground’s manager. How cool is that!?


Photo: devianart


3 Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin

Don’t expect lyrics about a big whale or background hisses “Call me Ishmael”. This is an instrumental, a drum solo. And I really have no idea why Led Zeppelin chose this name.


2 The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello

Tom Joad is the protagonist of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Springsteen is an icon, known for his brilliant performances. This one is heart-breaking, honest, gloomy, extraordinary.  There’s probably no one better to sing about the country’s hardships, ordinary men and their struggle for freedom while being so “American” to the core.

Photo: The Workzine


1 Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

This track just screams 90s!  And the video...it is a must to watch if you ever feel nostalgic about the decade. Conversational lyrics, a catchy melody, and the song gets stuck in your head.


The month of books is coming to its end and so is our weekly ten. And our weekly advice? Don’t be too sad about the stupid weather. Who needs sun when one can stay at home and read a book? Well, seriously now – until you’re freezing in below zero temperatures, at least you’ve got us to cheer you up! And our next edition is certainly gonna make you smile: spoiler alert - Harlem Shake!


Kristína Škovierová