I started this post before I left home at the end of break because I knew that the coming semester was going to be twice as chaotic as the previous one. I must admit, I love being busy and balancing a wildly crowded schedule, but I wanted to stockpile some posts in case I didn’t have time to write in the flurry of new classes (and, God-willing, a new job, metaphorically written with fingers crossed).
As a literary geek, I often find myself snickering when I hear certain songs because they remind me of my favorite stories or characters. Just for fun, I made this list of a few of my favorite literature-tune combinations. Enjoy!
- Wuthering Heights & ZZ Ward’s “Love 3x”: I listed this one first because it was the recent pairing that inspired this list. I only know a couple of ZZ Ward’s songs, but they seem rather hostile towards her love interest, yet very passionate. The lovers’ tryst in this song sounds just like Cathy and Heathcliff’s fights from Emily Bronte’s gothic romance in this track:
- Jude the Obscure & Frank Turner’s “The Way I Tend to Be”: When he isn’t around his cousin/lover Sue Bridehead, Thomas Hardy’s title tragic hero Jude Fawley is driven to drink. Her influence saves him from the way he tends to be, drunk and depressed, but that’s not to say they have a happy ending, which ties to the line about catching her “scent on someone else” in the song (strange video, but a good song!):http://https://youtu.be/Cf5O2M5GaEA
- 1984 & Muse’s Resistance: All right, this one might be cheating because the whole album is literally based on the book, but it is such a great pairing I put it on here anyway. My favorite line? “You’ll wake the thought police!”:http://https://youtu.be/TPE9uSFFxrI
- The Picture of Dorian Gray & Chopin’s Nocturnes: Oscar Wilde referred to Chopin several times in various works. The evocative ring of Chopin’s sometimes stirring, sometimes mellow piano lines compliments the dark secrets veiled by beauty at the heart of Wilde’s novel:http://https://youtu.be/h5_V-d8HjhU
- “The Mask of the Red Death” & Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre”: To put it simply, both are as creepy yet elegant as can be. Picture, the chilling, masked guest in Poe’s story weaving his way through the packs of courtiers as they dance to this hypnotic piece:http://https://youtu.be/YyknBTm_YyM
- Romeo and Juliet & The Decemberists’ “O Valencia”: One of my favorite pairings, just listen; it’s really obvious, but one of them actually survives in this case:http://https://youtu.be/zJXQSBWO5Qc
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & Paganini’s Caprices: Holmes, a violinist himself, was a great admirer of Paganini’s works. The Caprices are short and fast-paced, like Conan Doyle’s stories (warning, the 1980’s editing in this video is laughable):http://https://youtu.be/qdKibkGZN84
- Crime and Punishment & Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4: Ranging from violent, booming chords from the brass to the melancholy strains of a lonely oboe with continual repetitions of the same chaotic refrain, Tchaikovsky’s symphony could very well be the musical accompaniment to the maddening thoughts of Dostoevsky’s anti-hero in classic novel. My oboe teacher had my sight read the solo once, it has to be one of my favorite pieces! This poor oboe player suffers from a terrible case of awkward oboe face; it is unavoidable:http://https://youtu.be/Wpe3zvG8HrE
- “A Rose for Emily” & Hozier’s “In A Week”: A story about slowly decaying lovers-a song about slowly decaying lovers. It’s perfect. Ah Southern Gothic doesn’t get more Southern Gothic than this:http://https://youtu.be/szvFgdvfMq0
- Moby Dick & Sea shanties, any sea shanties: Find the most nautical music you can and sit down with a big bowl of clam chowder to carry you through Melville’s legendary tome:
- Jane Eyre & Dvorak’s Romance in F Minor: Mysterious, melancholy, yet beautiful and endearing, Dvorak’s Romance is a fine match for Jane’s tale:http://https://youtu.be/XZTeavJ9frA