FROM POETRY TO POP
April 18, 2018
With a huge array of contemporary artists turning the unfinished writings of Johnny Cash into new original music on ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’, we look at some other times when the pen was mightier than the chord…
‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ is available everywhere now.
Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad
Inspired by John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 novel, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, Bruce Springsteen turns his eye on an America seemingly only too willing to re-live the worst aspect of its recent history.
David Bowie – 1984
Denied permission by George Orwell’s widow to write a musical version of the classic dystopian novel, the songs written for the show were used on the flipside of the ‘Diamond Dogs’ album.
Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
The imagery contained within this 1967 psychedelic gem owes much to Lewis Carroll’s books ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass’.
Leonard Cohen – Alexandra Leaving
Co-written and performed by Sharon Robinson, this deep cut was inspired by Constantine P. Cavefy’s 1911 poem, ‘The Gods Abandon Antony’.
Pink Floyd – Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
With the exception of the title, all the lyrics here are taken from ‘Poems Of The Late T’ang’, a book of Chinese poetry from the Tang Dynasty.
Rush – Xanadu
Double necked guitars and prog rock in excelsis as Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem ‘Kubla Khan’ is given an extravagant overhaul.
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil
Mick Jagger was moved to write the lyrics after his girlfriend Marianne Faithful lent him her copy of Mikhail Bulgakov, wherein the Devil pays a visit to Soviet Moscow.
Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
Arguably the most famous song to have been inspired by a literary endeavour, Kate Bush tells the story of Emily Bronte’s novel of the same name. And did you know that Kate Bush and Emily Bronte share the same birthday?
The Velvet Underground – Venus In Furs
Rock’n’roll and the avant garde collide in this paean to S&M takes its name and theme from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novella.
Led Zeppelin – Ramble On
JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic is re-imagined in which the narrator’s woman and not the One Ring is stolen by Gollum.
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Originally appearing on Johnny Cash’s 1969 album, ‘At San Quentin’, this song was written by humorist and poet Shel Silverstein.Read more
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Premiering on YouTube originals on November 11, ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’ brings out the man from behind the legend. The accompanying soundtrack is out now.Read more
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One of the most powerful music videos of all time, ‘Hurt’ was shot just seven months before Johnny Cash’s passing in 2003.Read more
“I always knew Johnny Cash had my back.”
We asked for the times the Man In Black got you through. Here are your Johnny Cash Love Stories.Read more