Wednesday, 6 August 2014

6 Songs That Were Made for Writers


This month, I have songs about books on the brain. Last week on Daily Mayo, I made a list of 12 hit songs that are inspired by books.

Today, I decided it would be fun to look and see if any songs feature the writing process. Although a lot of songs have literary themes, few that I found actually were specifically about writing.

The best songs about writing that I uncovered are listed below:

Party for the Fight to Write-- Atmosphere



This song is about the writing process- mainly about the struggle to be a good band, but much of the lyrics can also apply to prose writers. The chorus and a few significant lines feel like references to the writing process- and in one line he references the book The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Biggest reference to writing: “And he said some got pencils and some got guns, some know how to stand and some of them run; we don't get along, but we sing the same song – party for the fight to write, and write on.”

Open Book – Cake



This song is more about a boyfriend not knowing how to read his girlfriend than it is about actually writing, but there are plenty of lyrics that could be taken literally.

Biggest reference to writing:

"She's writing, she's weaving
Conceiving a plot
It quickens, it thickens
You can't put it down now
It takes you, it shakes you
It makes you lose your thought"

Losing It—Rush



Losing It is basically about the fear of failure and never quite reaching your dreams- as it happens to most people. In the song, a dancer and a writer are both mentioned. Rush sums up the point of the song with the lines:

“Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be”

Biggest reference to writing: “The writer stares with glassy eyes; defies the empty page.”

Paperback Writer- The Beat1es



In Paperback Writer, the Beatles write about a writer who is willing to do almost anything to become published. In the song, the writer is asking a publisher to look at her/his book. The writer offers to change the length, change the style, or even give up the rights to the book just so it can get published.

Biggest reference to writing: Really the entire song, but I like this line: “I can make it longer if you like the style. I can change it 'round and I want to be a paperback writer.”

Vampire Weekend- Oxford Comma



I love this song, even though I don’t agree with their arguments against the Oxford comma. The basic premise of this song is that people shouldn’t get so hung up on little things that don’t matter (like, according to them, the Oxford comma and other strict writing conventions).

Biggest reference to writing: “So if there's any other way to spell the word
It's fine with me, with me.”

Word Crimes- Al Yankovich



Of course, this song has to be included on the list! Don’t break those grammar laws!

Biggest reference to writing: All of them, but my favorite line is: “Well, you should hire some cunning linguist. To help you distinguish what is proper English.” In this case, I’m the cunning linguist you should hire. :-)

What is your favorite song on this list? Do you know any other songs about writing?


Brenda is a fellow book-lover and coffee-addict. She is a freelance writer, punctuation nerd, and grammar enthusiast. Her favorite book genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy with a Twist, and Dystopian. Brenda blogs about books, writing and more at Daily Mayo. Find her here on CaW for Writing Tips Wednesdays the first Wednesday of every month.

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