10 Popular Songs With Literary Roots

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Books, movies, music… the media. They influence and mimic (and steal from) one another, resulting in a rich network of ideas and entertainment.

At eNotes, we are unabashedly biased toward the written word (#BookNerdPride), and become giddy when books are the source of motion pictures or other modern cultural benchmarks. While bopping my head to some Lana Del Rey last week, “hey, Lolita, heyyyy” blasted through my headphones; I became curious about other modern songs with bookish Easter eggs. A bit of Wikipedia studious research later, and I was pleasantly surprised with all the hit songs with literary inspirations. Continue Reading ›

At the Intersection of Poetry and Music

Four adaptations of poems set to music: some tender, some bizarre, all personal homages to poems and their masters. Enjoy!

“I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” by Emily Dickinson

Composed by Israeli singer-songwriter Efrat Ben Zur.

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish — you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

“Sonnet 49” by Pablo Neruda

The best loved love poet as sung by jazz artist Luciana Souza.

It’s today: all of yesterday dropped away
among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes.
Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps;
no one can stop the river of the dawn.

No one can stop the river of your hands,
your eyes and their sleepiness, my dearest.
You are the trembling of time, which passes
between the vertical light and the darkening sky.

Continue Reading ›

Olive, the Other Reindeer and Other Misunderstood Christmas Lyrics


Did you know that misunderstood lyrics have their own special word? They are called mondegreens.” The neologism was coined in 1954 in the magazine Harper’s Bazaar when a woman named Sylvia Wright discovered, to her surprise, that the last line of a famous Scottish ballad was “and they laid him on the green”, and not, as she had always sung it, “and Lady Mondegreen.”

Christmas lyrics seem to have many mondegreens. Perhaps because most of us learn carols and popular Christmas songs as children and kids are willing to just give it a go.

Here are some examples of some holiday-infused mondgreens:


Feliz Navidad


Sing it, Jose!


The First Noel 


Frosty the Snowman 


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town