Did you know that The Doors got their name from The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley? Did you know that Led Zeppelin injected J.R.R. Tolkien images into several songs? Or that The Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote a song called Yertle the Turtle? Music and literature have had a symbiotic relationship ever since the ancient bards. So it follows, naturally, that scores of songs in nearly every genre have been written about… writing, about books, about famous literary characters.
We at the Why Not 100 felt it was time to produce a definitive list—or at least as close as possible to one. So here follows a list of 95 pen-to-paper tunes. And it doesn’t even include songs by a death metal band from the Seattle area known as Bloodhag, a band that wrote almost exclusively about writers—from Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury to Mary Shelley and Jules Verne. Yes, a death metal band. Which just goes to show you: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
1. Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
2. Everyday I Write the Book (Elvis Costello)
3. Unwritten (Natasha Bedingfield)
4. I Write the Songs (Barry Manilow)
5. Write Your Own Songs (Willie Nelson)
6. Rewrite (Paul Simon)
I’m workin’ on my rewrite, that’s right
Gonna change the ending
Throw away the title
Toss it in the trash
Every minute after midnight
All the time I’m spending
Is just workin’ on my rewrite
Gonna turn it into cash