Top Ten Tuesday: Songs We Wish Were Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is “books we’d give theme songs to or 10 songs that we wish were books.” We took the route of the latter and picks songs that we think would make great stories!

We were really excited when we saw this topic, since all of us are big musical inspiration nerds. Honestly, it was really hard to narrow down our lists to just five songs each!

We made a Spotify playlist of our choices so that you can enjoy it while you read our reasons for each song. 

Here we go!

Erin’s Top 5

1. “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men

“Her dirty paws and furry coat, she ran down the forest slope
The forest of talking trees, they used to sing about the birds and the bees
The bees had declared a war – the sky wasn’t big enough for them all
The birds, they got help from below
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow”

This is a song that is basically a short story already, but I would love to see an expanded, longer version in prose. I mean, just from this snippet of lyrics, can you imagine how epic it would be?

2. “Castle” by Halsey

“I’m headed straight for the castle
They wanna make me their queen
And there’s an old man sitting on the throne that’s
Saying that I probably shouldn’t be so mean
I’m headed straight for the castle
They’ve got the kingdom locked up
And there’s an old man sitting on the throne that’s
Saying I should probably keep my pretty mouth shut”

The story I imagine out of this most probably exists already, but I want to read about a girl trying to take the throne from a misogynistic asshole king, perhaps to save the empire.

3. “Seven Devils” by Florence and the Machine

“Seven devils all around me
Seven devils in my house
See they were there when I woke up this morning
And I’ll be dead before the day is done”

This is one of my favorite Florence songs, and every time I listen I picture a novel about a girl that wakes up to seven boys/demons surrounding her and finds out she only has ’til the end of the day left to live. So she coerces those devil boys into helping her destroy a former love that hurt her. (Oh, I NEED THIS, please.)

4. “El Dorado” by EXO (translation)

“I had the same dream again,
I was at an endless desert
There is a dazzling city
but it always vanishes before I get there

Find the El Dorado,
I’m leaving right now
The bigger the adventure,
the more danger that follows”

EXO’s lyrics are usually kinda meh, but “El Dorado” has me envisioning a ragtag group of teens embarking on an epic adventure searching for El Dorado. (If this book exists, let me know!)

5. “Breath of Life” by Florence and the Machine

“And my heart is a hollow plain
For the devil to dance again”

This song was inspired by Charlize Theron’s character in Snow White & the Huntsman, and every time it comes on, I am filled with such longing for a novel about Queen Ravenna.


Lisa’s Top 5

1. “Future Starts Slow” by The Kills

“No longing for the moonlight, no longing for the sun, no longer will I curse the bad I’ve done.”

Dark. Melodic. Inherently Unique. This song has always been a favorite of mine and the lyrics weave a tale that I would love to see written down on paper. I imagine it would be a narration of obsession, raw human emotion, and existence. Most likely it would be tragic and I love me some tragedy.

2. “The Lightning Strike” by Snow Patrol

“What if this storm ends? And leaves us nothing. Except a memory. A distant echo.”

A friend of mine and I actually wrote a story ourselves to this song so I may be a little bias but I have always wanted this song to become a book. There is something haunting about this song, as well as extremely romantic in the chaos of the storm. Maybe, I should just publish the story we wrote. Then my dream would come true.

3. “Way to Mandalay” by Blackmore’s Night

“I had heard the stories, her legend served her well. A mystic’s myth or fable, truth or fairy tale. A raggle taggle gypsy, with a toothless smile said, “Sit with me my darling, let’s talk a little while…”

Seriously, if those lyrics don’t make you see why I want this song into a book I have no idea what will. I have listened to Blackmore’s Night since…well…forever. They are an amazing modern Renaissance group. Most of their songs I would love to see turned into books. They all have some sort of fantastical element to them that would be perfect for any fantasy book.

4. “Wolf” by First Aid Kit

“When I run through the deep dark forest long after this begun, Where the sun would set, trees were dead and the rivers were none. And I hope for a trace to lead me back home from this place
But there was no sound, there was only me and my disgrace.”

Werewolves and shape-shifters anyone? That is all the song reminds me of. The lyrics even mention shape-shifters. Even the music video should become a book. I love these girls though. They are from Sweden and do a lot of folk music (which is my favorite music). I debated between three of my favorite songs by them and this one won out simply because I think it would be the best book.

5. “The Highwayman” by Loreena Mckennitt

“The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor
And the highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding,
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.”

This song is actually a poem by Alfred Noyes so it could be said it’s a poem, turned song, that I want turned back to paper and embellished more. It takes place in Scotland. It is about a highwayman who is in love with Bess, the landlords daughter. In the poem and song a stable boy is jealous of the lovers and tells King George’s men of the highwayman. They come to the Inn to wait for him and as he is riding up Bess shoots herself to warn him that the redcoats are there, waiting. After learning of her death the highwayman tries to avenge her and charges the inn on his horse but is killed himself and at the end of the song they meet as ghosts on the moor. I’ve always found Loreena’s version the most moving. Conveying the true nature of the poem and creating the visual vastness of Scotland and the old tale. You can listen to this amazing song here, since it isn’t available on Spotify.

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Amanda’s Top 5

1. “Bottom Of The River” by Delta Rae

“Hold my hand
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
Hold my hand,
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way down

If you get sleep or if you get none
(The cock’s gonna call in the morning, baby)
Check the cupboard for your daddy’s gun
(Red sun rises like an early warning)
The Lord’s gonna come for your first born son
(His hair’s on fire and his heart is burning)
Go to the river where the water runs
(Wash him deep where the tides are turning)”

Let’s kick this off with a good one! When I need to write something dark and creepy, this is my go to inspiration. It makes me think of black magic, shadowy forests, and mystical beings. This song is always a sure-fire way to get my creative juices flowing because I get so many visual cues and feelings from the music.

2. “Glory And Gore” by Lorde

“Delicate in every way but one (the swordplay)
God knows we like archaic kinds of fun (the old way)
Chance is the only game I play with, baby
We let our battles choose us

And the cry goes out (ha oh)
They lose their minds for us and how it plays out (ha oh)
Now we’re in the ring and we’re coming for blood

You could try and take us (oh-oh)
But we’re the gladiators (Oh! Oh!)
Everyone a rager (oh-oh)
But secretly they’re saviors
Glory and gore go hand in hand
That’s why we’re making headlines (Oh! Oh!)”

So I may love this song so much that I’m currently working on a story for it. Seriously though,  how awesome is the story proposed by these lyrics? Modern gladiators? Yes, please.

3. “Short Change Hero” by The Heavy

“I can’t see where you comin’ from
But I know just what you runnin’ from:
And what matters ain’t the “who’s baddest” but
The ones who stop you fallin’ from your ladder, baby

And you feel like you feelin’ now
And doin’ things just to please your crowd,
When I love you like the way I love you,
And I suffer, but I ain’t gonna cut you ’cause

This ain’t no place for no hero.”

Besides the awesome gunslinger vibe that I get from this song (I’m a sucker for anything “Old West”) this makes for a great anti-hero story. Tumbleweeds, the ching” of spurs as two unlucky souls face off in the deserted streets of a dusty little town – I could go on but then I might spoil too much for you.

4. “Spectrum” by Florence + The Machine

“And when we first came here
We were cold and we were clear
With no colors in our skin
‘Til we let the spectrum in

Say my name
And every color illuminates
We are shining
And we will never be afraid again”
This is another song that brings on such strong cinematic visuals for me that I couldn’t not include it. Imagine not being able to see any colors until suddenly, one day, you can? I may also be writing this one too…I have too many projects.

5. “Battles” by Hudson Taylor

“I was losing, now we’re drawing
I’m not afraid to draw my blood
I’m not backing down
So I’d surrender ’cause you should
And face the truth
You raise the flag, I’ll tear it down
Though you may have won the battle

But I’ll take the fight to you
And your flag is on the ground
And your bones they rattle too
‘Cause I’ll break you
Your fear has now come true.

I will lift her love and I’ll break your spirit
I will dig a hole and I’ll throw you in it
Only time will tell if we’re all just cynics on the run
If we’re all just cynics come undone.”

This song always makes me want to write about an epic love being torn apart and the subsequent battle that the hero goes through to face the adversary that has taken his love from him. This song would symbolize the moments before the battle where he gathers his courage and knows that he can win.

Bonus: “2 Wicky” by Hooverphonic

This is the serial number of our orbital gun
You better be sure before you leave me for another one.
You can hurt me,
I can hurt you,
You can hurt me”

One day, I will write a swanky space opera to this song. It will happen.

Do you have any songs that you want to see written or stories that you would give a theme song to? We’d love to hear about them!

Have a lovely day, duckies! ❤



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