Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Radioheads!

I saw Radiohead play the Camden waterfront last night. It was a beautiful night and the band sounded incredible. (The Radioheads is a long-standing joke I have with my sister. I think that every time I've seen them play I've gone with her.) Dan DeLuca reviewed the show for the Inquirer. (Hat tip, the sister.)

Listening to the show last night I was reminded of a "literary mix tape" I made for our own Frank Wilson earlier this summer. The idea was to make a collection of rock songs that make references to books, poems, writers, and so on. Radiohead made it on there with a song from their most recent album, In Rainbows, called "Faust Arp." Others included "Billy Budd" by Morrissey and Sinead O'Connor's The Lamb's Book of Life, in which she paraphrases lines from Yeats' "Remorse for Intemperate Speech." The name of that last one sounds dull, I know, but anyone who knows the poem knows it sure isn't. Anyone else have favorite lit'ry pop songs ?


  1. I came very close to writing a thesis on Madonna and the debt she owed to William Blake. Especially "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell." This was around 1989.

  2. ! Really? That's so interesting. My song choices were all more obvious than this, I fear.

  3. "Radiohead pen new Palahniuk score":

    "Radiohead have written the score for the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's 2001 book Choke, the author has revealed to the BBC."

  4. AWESOME! I did not know about this. Thanks, Dave. Did you see the movie There Will Be Blood? Jonny Greenwood, a guitarist for Radiohead, did the score. The New Yorker did a nice little profile on him and his orchestral compositions a few months ago.

  5. Joni Mitchell did wonderful setting of Yeats' "The Second Coming," titled on her album as "Slouching Toward Bethlehem."

    Loreena McKennitt set Yeats' "The Two Trees" most beautifully.

  6. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Fountains of Wayne has that great song with the refrain, "Marilyn Monroe didn't marry Henry Miller" ("but if she did, he'd a taken her to Paris; and if she did, she'd a died her hair blue; and if she did, she might be alive --wo, oh"). And of course the other great line, "This isn't a knock against Arthur Miller, 'Death of a Salesman' is my favorite play...."

    I love that song.

  7. There must be other Morrissey/Smiths stuff, like "Cemetery Gates."

    Ooh, and there's "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane.

    And The Bangles have a song called "Bell Jar."

    There's a list of more on this wiki: