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Five Delightfully Surprisingly Bookish Songs

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

The life of a book nerd is all about finding little literary references hidden in unexpected places. I’m not sure if I’ve been listening to more music lately as I work to see if I can make Rdio cut me off or what, but I seem to be hearing smile-worthy references to the world of reading in very musical places lately.  I’m not talking about thoroughly literary songs — the delightful “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles, for example — but instead the songs where you maybe miss the bookish reference until one day you just happen to be listening extra closely. I thought I’d share five favourites with you.

No Rain by Blind Melon

And all I can do

Is read a book to stay awake

And it rips my life away

But it’s a great escape

Anchorless by The Weakerthans (originally by Propaghandi)

Got an armchair from your family home

Got your PG Wodehouse novels and your telephone

Got your plates and stainless steel

Got that way of never saying what you really feel

Cemetery Gates by The Smiths

A dreaded sunny day

So I meet you at the cemetery gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

Wilde is on mine

Gold Mine Gutted by Bright Eyes

It was Don DeLillo

Whiskey neat

And a blinking midnight clock

Speakers on the TV stand

Just a turntable to watch

Shadrach by Beastie Boys

Because I got more stories than J.D. Salinger

I hold the title and you are the challenger

I’ve got money like Charles Dickens

What have you got to add to this list?  Share it in the comments!