Top Ten Tuesday | Songs I Wish Were Books

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is about music and books, specifically Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books.

This week’s prompt means pinpointing songs whose lyrics have such great storytelling for such a short form that I would like to see them expanded and sustained into a novel length narrative. Luckily, most of the music I listen to is lyric-focused so this should be easy… even though it is difficult to pick only ten! I think the chosen songs speak for themselves so I’ll simply provide links to where you can listen to them, along with my favourite lyrics from then which I think would provide great novel inspiration.

10. Foreigner’s God – Hozier
(Listen here | Track by Track)

She moved with shameless wonder
The perfect creature rarely seen
Since some liar brought the thunder
When the land was godless and free

9. Under the Gun – The Killers
(Listen here)

Yeah she’s got a criminal mind
He’s got a reason to pray
His life is under the gun
He’s got to hold every day

8. Shake It Out – Florence + the Machine
(Listen here)

I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn
And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind

7. Just Be – Paloma Faith
(Listen here | Chat about song)

When you’re sick of the every day
When you’re tired of my voice
When you tell me you’ll walk out that door
That’s when I know that you’ll stay

6. Glitter and Gold – Barns Courtney
(Listen here)

Do you walk in the valley of kings?
Do you walk in the shadow of men who sold their lives to a dream?
Do you ponder the manner of things, in the dark…

5. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
(Listen here)

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listened as the crowd would sing
‘Now the old king is dead long live the king’

4. Dust Bowl Dance – Mumford and Sons
(Listen here)

There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied
Then I’ll go out back and I’ll get my gun
I’ll say, ‘You haven’t met me, I am the only son’

3. Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? – Paloma Faith
(Listen here)

He took my hand and asked me truths aside
To his questions I replied:
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
Just close your eyes and make believe
Do you want the truth or something beautiful?
I am happy to deceive you

2. Poet – Bastille
(Listen here)

Your body lies upon the sheets of paper and words so sweet
I can’t say the words so I wrote them into my verse
Now you’ll live through the ages, I can feel your pulse in the pages

1. From Eden – Hozier
(Listen here | Track by Track)

Honey, you’re familiar, like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door


Yeah, I’m a sucker for Hozier’s lyrics – seeing them live in January didn’t help the obsession, to be honest! But I thought having them bookend the top ten would be fun, so there we have it. Have you participated in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday? Do link me below if so, I’d love to find some new music.

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Songs I Wish Were Books

  1. Tiny Reads 22/02/2016 / 14:23

    Dust Bowl Dance ! It’s so daunting and I’d love a book along those lines. Then again, a lot of their songs have literary references, so maybe there’s already something out there.

    • Emma 22/02/2016 / 15:42

      I love the song too! You make an excellent point that a lot of Mumford and Sons songs have literary references, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Dust Bowl Dance had some lurking too. Mind you, I’d still like to read whatever book inspired that song since it’s so dramatic. :)

    • Emma 22/02/2016 / 23:56

      Oddly I was just reading something different online and stumbled across a quote from Marcus Mumford saying he’d just finished reading Grapes of Wrath when they were writing Dust Bowl Dance so I think that explains that influence/reference! I ought to get round to reading some Steinbeck at some point :P

      • Tiny Reads 23/02/2016 / 07:39

        Yes ! I did read that the song was inspired by the Great Depression. Thank you !

    • Emma 17/02/2016 / 15:21

      Aww thanks! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get round to writing something based on some of them – maybe not a full length novel though!

    • Emma 17/02/2016 / 10:55

      With the amount of Biblical references, I think it’s already inspired BY a book but I think it would be nice to see it expanded through the anti-establishment, revolutionary themes! :)

  2. Reg | She Latitude 16/02/2016 / 23:10

    So excited that Shake It Out features on your list! One of my favourite Florence songs and just so gorgeous.

    My TTT. :)

    • Emma 17/02/2016 / 10:40

      I agree! Shake It Out is such a beautiful song that I think it would make an intriguing story if it were expanded into a book.

  3. Anette @ Anette Reads 16/02/2016 / 19:04

    Oh Viva La Vida, that song will never get old. It would make such an interesting book. And I agree with you about Hozier music, I can’t believe I forgot to add him to my own list!

    My TTT.

    • Emma 17/02/2016 / 10:51

      I’m such a Hozier fan I couldn’t NOT include something for the album – truth be told, it’s a miracle I didn’t just list every song from it on this list. :P

      Viva La Vida is a song I frequently remember exists and then I get to listen to it again and remember how much I enjoyed it when it was first released. The references to revolutionaries fit in with my penchant for mentions of the French Revolution too!

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