‘Romeo and Juliet’ is perhaps one of the greatest plays ever written. Whilst many would consider those who have knowledge about the English literature canon, the likes of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have taken inspiration from the Text. In fact, the first song I ever heard by Taylor Swift was ‘Love Story’, at the time I thought it sophisticated and well written. Now that I have grown accustomed to great music and literature, I realise how deluded I was. Perhaps the only song I approve of that mentions ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the Arctic Monkeys’, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”.
‘Ramble On’by Led Zeppelin is a romantic ballad, reimagining the monomythic journey of Frodo and Sam from ‘The Lord of the Rings’,as a love story. The band has often referenced Tolkien’s works, for example in the song ‘Misty Mountain Hop’. It contains references to Mordor and Gollum from the series, and compares the obsession of love with the One Ring of the tale.
‘Breezeblocks’, by Alt-J, is an interesting example of a song inspired by literature, as it uses the inspiration from the children’s book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to portray a toxic relationship, translating quotes from the book into a much more mature context. At the end of the book, the ‘wild things’ say, “Please don’t go! I’ll eat you whole!” and Alt-J transfers this meaning onto the much more adult themes of their song – a relationship where one person is willing to hurt another in order to keep them.