Pop Culture

7 Songs That Need to be Books and the Authors Who Should Write Them

Kate Krug


Kate is a 2011 Drake University grad, where she received her BA in magazine journalism. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. Twitter: @katekrug Blog: http://snarky-yet-satisfying.com

I’ve always been drawn to music with well-written lyrics that tell a story. And just like books, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I listen to a song and it leaves me wanting more. Not just more music, but more of the story. The guy shows up at her house…OK NOW WHAT. I need to know. Are they together? Did she kick his ass? Do we get a song from his POV now?

These are just a few songs that weave an excellent narrative and that I believe could be translated easily into books and the author who should write it.

Konstantine by Something Corporate by Helen Hoang
When you have a song that’s almost 10 minutes long, I almost expect a great story. And ever since the first time I heard this song back in high school, I’ve wanted to know more about the singer and Konstantine. This is the kind of book that would make me cry hysterically but still believe in love and I am confident one of my fave debut authors of this year, Helen Hoang, would pull this off beautifully.

“This is because I can spell confusion with a K and I can like it
It’s to dying in another’s arms, and why I had to try it
It’s to Jimmy Eat World and those nights in my car
When the first star you see may not be a star
I’m not your star?
Isn’t that what you said what you thought this song meant?”

The Best Deceptions by Dashboard Confessional by Adam Silvera
When I want a sad, angsty but beautiful song I turned to Dashboard. When I want a sad, angsty but beautiful book, I turn to Adam:

“So don’t you see, don’t you see, that the charade is over?
And all the best deceptions and the clever cover story awards go to you.
So kiss me hard, ’cause this’ll be the last time that I let you.”

Cameron by Jillette Johnson by Anna-Marie McLemore
I sent this song to my transgender parent the second that I heard it and it made her cry. I don’t remember how I just happened upon this song but I am so glad I did because the message is beautiful. And Anna Marie McLemore aka the Queen of Diversity and Magical Realism would do something amazing with this plot:

Cameron, you’re a star, a light where there is dark
And you’re a hundred times a woman,
A hundred times the man that they are
These days the world is full of aliens
The world is full of aliens, but you are a real life human.

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac by Celeste Ng

One of the reasons I love this song is because people interpret it in so many different ways, and I’d be super interested to see how Celeste takes the lyrics:

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance by Jay Kristoff
This is the song I want played at my funeral and Jay Kristoff’s books kind of feel like a funeral because all the people I love die. *sweats* :

Do or die, you’ll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
You can try, you’ll never break me.
We want it all, we want to play this part
Won’t explain or say I’m sorry
I’m unashamed, I’m gonna show my scar
Give a cheer for all the broken, listen here, because it’s who we are

Traveling Soldier by Dixie Chicks by Nicholas Sparks
I haven’t read a lot of Nicholas Sparks, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this storyline might already exist in his repertoire…

He said, “When it’s getting kinda rough over here,
I think of that day sittin’ down at the pier.
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile.
Don’t worry but I won’t be able to write for awhile.”

Year 3000 by Busted by Stephen King
This one is purely for selfish reasons because I want to see what kind of horror show Stephen King would create. Like…is the great, great, great granddaughter actually fine?

He said, “I’ve been to the year 3000
Not much has changed but they lived underwater
And your great, great, great granddaughter is pretty fine.”


Any songs by authors you’d add to the list?