Top Ten Tuesday: Songs I Wish Were Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Check it out!

This week’s theme is books and music! One of the suggestions was 10 songs I wish were books. It was a really interesting (and surprisingly difficult) exercise. SPOILER ALERT: Turns out my taste in music is way more depressing than my typical taste in books.

10. “Kettering” by the Antlers

Really, the entire album, Hospice, by the Antlers. It is, depending on the interpretation, either about a relationship between a male hospice worker and a terminally ill female patient with cancer or, about an abusive relationship, or about both. My vote goes for both. The book would be an anti-Fault in Our Stars version of sick-lit.

8. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” by Sufjan Stevens

I’m not a true crime reader and don’t have a lot of interest in serial killers, but between the last two lines of the song (“and in my best behavior, I am really just like him. Look beneath the floor boards for the secrets I have hid”) and the unbearable beauty of Steven’s voice when he sings the line “Oh my God” at 1:20, I think the book could be made into a gorgeous, chilling, terrifying portrait of the evil potentially inside all of us.

8. “The Big Easy” by Raphael Saadiq

The Hurricane Katrina book I wish I’d read instead of Dave Eggers Zeitoun. Tragic and vibrant, full of grief and loss and life.

7. “A Perfect Day” by Lou Reed

I imagine this as a sort of romance between two very, damaged, troubled people. It will not end happily, but it will have some beautifully bittersweet moments of grace and beauty.

6. “Leave” by Glenn Hansard

Another unhappy love story, but this one if full of bitterness and heartbreak and pain. If an author could capture the emotion in Hansard’s voice around the 2:00 mark, I’d be impressed.

5. “One More Hour” by Sleater-Kinney

I know, I know, ANOTHER break-up song. But I think the world needs some more queer punk-rock love stories. Based on the real-life relationship between bandmates Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, this song is wrenching and powerful and just so good. I’m thinking maybe YA?

4. “Piazza, New York Catcher” by Belle & Sebastian

This would be an almost painfully twee love story that I’m a little embarrassed for loving, but its wistful, images of young love in San Francisco would just get me ever time. Plus, baseball.

4. “The Trapeze Swinger” by Iron & Wine

This one would be a novel in short stories (á la Olive Kitteridge). Sparse and haunting. Telling the story of a man’s life through glimpses of his troubled relationship with his best friend (and first love) from childhood.

2. “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire (performed by Mr Little Jeans)

It’s time for some genre fiction  This would be some very, very literary apocalypse fiction. The original version is good but a little too jangly and upbeat for the book I have in mind. I like how the Mr Little Jeans cover feels much moodier and a little futuristic.

1. The Mariner’s Revenge Song by the Decembrists

Last but certainly not least is this little ditty by the Decemberists. Honestly, I could’ve populated this list exclusively with songs by this band; they are such delightful storytellers. I had to pick one, so I went with “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” an epic 19th (I think) century tale of betrayal and revenge, told, literally, from inside the belly of a whale. Someone please write this book for me.




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