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Music is extremely popular with YA readers. To interest their patrons, YA librarians could both search for and locate songs which are either inspired by or reminiscent of classic novels and present them to the patrons and ask them to do the same. I know, personally speaking, I always enjoy turning listeners on to new artists, and I think teens would enjoy doing that as well – telling their YA librarian about a band they like by connecting them to a classic book and inspiring the librarian to listen to music that they themselves like. Plus, sometimes movie adaptation of classic books feature compelling soundtracks. Librarians could point out to the students that, if they liked the music selected for such a film based upon a classic work, they might just like the actual classic novel as well. Below is both a sprinkling of a list which features songs that have been inspired by classic literature and sampling soundtracks from popular films inspired by classic books. 

"Song Title" by Artist Name (Performer) - Inspired by: Source by Author

"Hey Jack Kerouac" by 10,000 Maniacs - On the Road by Jack Kerouac
"Nutshell" by Alice in Chains - Hamlet by William Shakespeare
"I Am the Walrus" by The Beatles - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol
"Nosferatu" by Blue Oyster Cult - Dracula by Bram Stoker
"Lily, Rosemary, and The Jack of Hearts" by Bob Dylan - Hamlet by William Faulkner
"Tangled Up in Blue" by Bob Dylan - The Inferno by Dante Alighiei
"The Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
"Ghost of Tom Joad" by Bruce Springsteen - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
"Let the River Run" by Carly Simon - The Complete Poetry and Prose of William by William Blake
"Afternoons and Coffeespoons" by Crash Test Dummies - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
"Tales of Brave Ulysses" by Cream - The Odyssey by Homor
"1984" by David Bowie - 1984 by George Orwell
"Can You Hear Me" by David Bowie - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Get Over It" by The Eagles - Henry VI by William Shakespeare
"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Elton John - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
"Sleep to Dream" by Fiona Apple - Hamlet by William Shakespeare
"Basket Case" by Green Day - Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"Virginia Woolf" by Indigo Girls - The Letters of Virginia Woolf by Virginia Woolf
"Brave New World" by Iron Maiden - Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
"Lord of the Flies" by Iron Maiden - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
"White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
"Daddy" by Jewel - Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath
"Barefoot Children" by Jimmy Buffett - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
"Sensual World" by Kate Bush - Ulysses by James Joyce
"Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
"The Battle of Evermore" by Led Zeppelin - Lord of the Rings (The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Moby Dick" by Led Zeppelin - Moby Dick by Herman Melville
"Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
"Tom Sawyer" by Rush - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
"Cleopatra's Cat" by Spin Doctors - Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
"Bell Jar" by The Bangles - Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
"Don't Stand So Close to Me" by The Police - Lolita by Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
"I Should Be Allowed to Think They Might Be Giants" by They Might Be Giants" - Howl & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
"Windmills" by Toad the Wet Sprocket - Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
"Alice" by Tom Waits - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
"Shadows and Tall Trees" by U2 - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
"The Gates of Delirium" by Yes - War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

*** The List above (plus MANY other songs) can be found HERE. It's an amazing site!***

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (Music from the Motion Picture)

 1. #1 Crush - Garbage
 2. Local God - Everclear
 3. Angel - Gavin Friday
 4. Pretty Piece of Flesh - One Inch Pound
 5. Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet) - Des'ree
 6. Whatever (I Had a Dream) - Butthole Surfers
 7. Lovefool - The Cardigans
 8. Young Hearts Run Free - Kym Mazelle
 9. Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) - Quindon Tarver
10. To You I Bestow - Mundy
11. Talk Show Host - Radiohead
12. Little Star - Stina Nordenstam
13. You and Me Song - The Wannadies
14. Introduction to Romeo - Craig Armstrong
15. Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet) Instrumental - Craig Armstrong
16. Young Hearts Run Free (Ballroom Version) - featuring Kym Mazelle, Harold Perrineau & Paul Sorvino
17. Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) '07 Mix - Baz Luhrmann featuring Quindon Tarver

Great Expectations (1998 Film Soundtrack)

 1. Finn - Tori Amos
 2. Siren - Tori Amos
 3. Life in Mono - Mono
 4. Sunshower - Chris Cornell
 5. Resignation - Reef
 6. Like a Friend - Pulp
 7. Wishful Thinking - Duncan Sheik
 8. Today - POE
 9. Lady, You Roof Brings Me Down - Scott Weiland
10. Her Ornament - The Verve Pipe
11. Walk This Earth Alone - Lauren Christy
12. Breakable - Fisher
13. Success - Iggy Pop
14. Slave - David Garza
15. Uncle John's Band - The Grateful Dead
16. Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora

Could a song connected to a movie which was adapted from a classic book inspire you to read that novel? Can you think of any other songs inspired by classic literature not on this list (or the one provided by the website above)? What about other film adaptations of classic novels' soundtracks - can you think of any others, and would this convince you to try reading the inspiration book for yourself?



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