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April 5, 2013

Leafing through Lyrics: Comparing 5 Top 40 Hits with Books of the Same Name


After a conversation at work about books with the same titles, like the two recently published LIFE AFTER LIFE’s (one by Jill McCorkle and one by Kate Atkinson), I started thinking about the way different forms of media intertwine. We already know that movies and TV shows often have the same names as books because they are based on one another, but what about music? I wanted to see if there were any correlations between a book and a song of the same title. I did a little research and found these 5 books that have the same titles as 5 of the songs from the April 6th Top 40 hits list.

"Sweet Nothing" by Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch

SWEET NOTHINGS by Catherine Anderson

When Molly Wells showed up at Jake Coulter's ranch, she had nothing but some extra clothes, a stolen horse, and a fear of her ex-husband that threatened to rule her life. She'd heard Jake was a horse whisperer and perhaps the only man alive who could help the beautiful stallion that her ex-husband had so bitterly abused. But she had no idea that Jake's talents would work their magic on her as well. He gained her trust, gave her strength, and whispered away her deepest fears.

Both this book and the song are about love and trust. In my eyes, love is an abstract and subjective idea. Love is a personal thing and one person can better define it than another person. This song and this book both show the power of trusting in love.

"Stay" by Rihanna feat. Mikky Echo

STAY by Allie Larkin

Van wonders if there is a special hell for jealous bridesmaids; if so, she's living it. Her long-time best friend, Janie Driscoll, is marrying Peter, Van's secret true love. Peter is the guy who is perfect for Van in every way, although he certainly appears to be oblivious of anything beyond a close friendship with her. Meanwhile, Van must watch the two rapturously tie the knot from her uncomfortably close vantage point as maid of honor.

In this song, Rihanna talks about an endless cycle of emotional abuse in a relationship. She talks about about the torture of being drawn to a person who you know is bad for you. Although there is no actual emotional abuse in the book STAY, the main character suffers from unrequited love, which in it's own right can be seen as a type of emotional abuse.

"Troublemaker" by Olly Murrs feat. Florida

TROUBLEMAKER by Christine O’Donnell

TROUBLEMAKER is about what Christine O'Donnell weathered in the 2010 election.  But the core of the book will deliver an important, rousing message about what we do with the quiet anger in America today: where we can go, and how strong we can be. Warning readers that challenging the status quo makes the political establishment push back, O'Donnell wants to build a movement that will continue to goad it.

Olly Murrs expresses the experience of falling for a girl who he knows is trouble. TROUBLEMAKER by Christine O'Donnell discusses her election and her attempt to build a movement that focuses on the power of consistent participation to grow the strength of the American government, pitfalls and all.

"Alive" by Krewella

ALIVE by Piers Paul Read

On October 12, 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying a teamof rugby players crashed in the remote snowy peaks of the Andes. Ten weeks later, only sixteen of the forty-five passengers were found alive. This is the story of those ten weeks spent in the shelter of the plane's fuselage without food and with scarcely any hope of a rescue. The survivors protected and helped one another, and came to the difficult conclusion that to live meant doing the unimaginable. Confronting nature at its most furious, two brave young men risked their lives to hike through the mountains looking for help --- and ultimately found it.

Both this song and this book send a message of empowerment. In ALIVE, the author talks about the survivors of a plane crash in the snowy peaks of the Andes. The survivors --- a team of rugby players --- helped and protected one another to survive. "Alive" by Krewella talks about making the most of every moment, something the survivors of that plane crash quickly learned.

"Madness" by Muse

MADNESS: A BIPOLAR LIFE by Marya Hornbacher

Marya Hornbacher tells her story through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power. She takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage -- where bipolar always beckons -- is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.

I have to admit that I had a hard time finding the connecting theme between these two, but finally I realized that with a title like "Madness," the connecting theme is a far reach. In both this book and this song, the narrator talk about a madness that is out of their control, whether it is the madness of love or the madness of a disease. 

It seems that whether it is a book or a song, the same emotions and themes are the creative influences for both authors and musicians.