Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Songs That I Wish Were Books

Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish for this awesome meme and the great topic this week!

There are lots of songs out there that I think would make fantastic books.  I'm surprised more screenwriters don't adapt songs.  Or maybe they do and I just haven't noticed.

10.  "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones

"Please allow me to introduce myself,
I'm a man of wealth and taste.
I've been around for a long, long year,
Stole many a man's soul to waste."

There isn't technically a story in this song, but the devil could be a charming character, and the plot possibilities with him as a narrator could be pretty much endless. (Anybody else watching the new TV show Lucifer?  My boyfriend and I are hooked!)

9.  "Skin (Sara Beth)" by Rascal Flatts

"Sara Beth is scared to death
To hear what the doctor will say.
She hasn't been well, since the day that she fell,
And the bruise, it just won't go away."

This song is a tear-jerker about a teenage girl suddenly diagnosed with cancer.  She loses her hair from the chemotherapy but fulfills her wish of attending the prom when her boyfriend arrives to take her (with his head shaved).

8.  "Disturbia" by Rihanna

"We're in the city of wonder,
Ain't gonna play nice.
Watch out, you just might go under.
Better think twice.
Your train of thought will be altered.
So if you must falter, be wise.
Your mind is in Disturbia."

Even though "Disturbia" isn't specifically a "story song," I love the creepy tone of the lyrics.  When I actually read them, I realized they were about a descent into madness.  Something about this song just reminds me of an urban dystopian thriller where demons lurk internally and externally.

7.  "Last Night" by Carrie Underwood

"It started off, 'Hey cutie, where are you from?'
Then it turned into, 'Oh no, what have I done?
And I don't even know my last name"

"Last Name" would be a great chick lit or new adult novel.  It tells the story of a drunken night in Vegas and an accidental wedding to a stranger.

6.  "Hotel California" by The Eagles

"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair,
Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air.
Up ahead in the distance, saw a shimmering light.
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim.
Had to stop for the night.
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bells.
I was thinking to myself,
'This could be heaven or this could be hell.'"

I've always thought "Hotel California" would make a fantastic book.  A traveler stopping at a mysterious hotel with strange characters...some magical elements going on...I would definitely read it.

5.  "Exes and Ohs" by Elle King

"I had me a boy, turned him into a man,
Showed him all the things that he didn't understand.
Oh, and then I let him go.
Now, there's one in California who's been cursin' my name
'Cause I found me a better lover in the UK, hey hey,
Until I made my getaway."

This could be a great lighthearted story of a commitment-phobic woman juggling a trail of men.  I could also imagine it as a romantic comedy movie.

4.  "Miami 2017" by Billy Joel

"Seen the lights go out on Broadway.
I saw the Empire State laid low.
And life went on beyond the Palisades.
They all bought Cadillacs
And left there long ago.
They held a concert out in Brooklyn,
To watch the island bridges blow.
They turned our power down
And drove us underground.
But we went right on with the show."

Dystopian before dystopian became cool.  The song reflects on the annihilation of New York City.

3.  "Independence Day" by Martina McBride

"Well, she lit up the sky that Fourth of July.
By the time that the firemen come,
They just put out the flames,
And took down some name,
And sent me to the county home.
Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong,
But maybe it's the only way.
Talk about your revolution,
It's Independence Day."

The song's narrator is the daughter of a battered woman who takes revenge on her alcoholic abuser by presumably setting the house on fire.  I think a child's perspective (the girl is 8 at the time) would really make this a unique book.

2.  "Ghost" by Ella Henderson

"I keep going to the river to pray
'Cause I need something that can wash out the pain.
And at most
I'm sleeping all these demons away,
But your ghost, the ghost of you
It keeps me awake."

On the surface, "Ghost" seems like a light pop song, but if you actually study the lyrics, there's quite a bit of torment here.  I could envision quite a chilling ghost story of a woman haunted by a lover who died...perhaps some paranoia/questioning of sanity.

1.  "Fancy" by Reba McEntire

"I remember it all very well lookin' back
It was the summer I turned eighteen.
We lived in one room, rundown shack
On the outskirts of New Orleans.
We didn't have money for food or rent.
To say the least we were hard-pressed.
Then Mama spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin' dress."

This county song tells the story of a high-priced escort (named Fancy) looking back apologetically on her roots.  Her mother set her into prostitution to escape poverty.  Fancy would be a fascinating and complex character.

Honorable Mentions for Songs I Wish Were Books:
"Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac
"That Summer" by Garth Brooks
"Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert


  1. Hotel California made my list too. Gunpowder and Lead would make a good book. Here is my list http://videoclimbersvariations.blogspot.com/2016/02/top-ten-tuesday-ten-songs-i-would-like.html

  2. Independence Day would make a very interesting book.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/top-ten-tuesday-44/