Unintentional Book Soundtracks

This morning I was headed into work and “King and Lionheart” by Of Monsters and Men came on:

I started singing along, and about halfway through I realized that this song reminded me so much of Tamora Pierce’s The Song of the Lioness books, particularly the relationship between Alanna and Prince/King Jonathan. They go through a lot together, including defending the kingdom, and I feel like the song really captures a sense of love and loyalty.

However, I’m guessing Of Monsters and Men wasn’t inspired by this fantastic series. (If they were, please let me know because that would be so freaking awesome.) But it made me think about the songs that remind me of books, even if there isn’t a direct tie or inspiration. A few other songs I inexplicably tie to books:

“Middle Cyclone” by Neko Case
Makes me think of: The Hunger Games
Why: Because it’s about someone who knows that, despite having to stay strong and appear cold, deeply needs to be with someone who loves them. Which is why, even though I was totally Team Gale, I think Peeta is the right choice for Katniss.
Key lyrics: “I can’t give up acting tough / It’s all that I’m made of / Can’t scrape together quite enough / To ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love”

“Some Night” by Fun
Makes me think of: Hamlet
Why: Having a ghost hanging over you.
Key lyrics: “But I still wake up, I still see your ghost / But, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh / What do I stand for? What do I stand for?”

“Man on Fire” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Makes me think of: Tuck Everlasting
Why: This one’s probably the most random. It’s not about everlasting life or death, but I feel like there’s a sense in the song of being someone outside of society, who wants to make people understand what it is to truly live life. I feel like that sense of appreciation for life is very much apart of the Tucks, particular Tuck himself.
Key lyrics: “Only one desire / That’s left in me / I want the whole damn world / To come and dance with me”

Are there any songs you associate with books, even if there’s no actual connection?

5 thoughts on “Unintentional Book Soundtracks

  1. I love the Song of the Lioness series, and I love that song! How have I not made this connection? Thank you so much for pointing it out!

  2. My brother highly recommends reading The Iliad while listening to Led Zeppelin’s Achilles Heel on repeat.
    It’s always more fun to have a matching song to go with a book.

  3. Soon after I read the first three volumes of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, I was listening to KT Tunstall’s “Paper Aeroplane” and it made me think of Jace–and inspired me to put together a huge playlist to go with the books. Kind of crazy, but lots of fun!

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