every day I write the book

I’m racking my brains, almost certain there’s at least one other song that fits this category, but…I can’t come up with a third song whose title is the same as a book (fictitious or obscure) named within that song’s lyrics.

Here are the two that occurred to me:

R.E.M. “Life and How to Live It” – this fiery live version was recorded in Madison, Wisconsin, May 10, 1985 – a show at which I was actually present. A cow-orker of Rose’s dubbed this from a friend of hers who recorded it – the curious thing is, not too long ago I ran into an online bootleg of the same show…whose break (from turning over the cassette tape, nostalgists) was in the exact same place: in other words, which almost certainly came from the same source. Anyway, this was always a great live R.E.M. song – a year or two, Matthew from Fluxblog posted a more recent live version.

Belle and Sebastian “The State I Am In” (BBC version) – from the recently released collection of BBC recordings on Matador, this version begins almost off-handedly, Stuart Murdoch half-whispering the song’s opening lines, reinforcing the song’s seemingly conversational structure. This version builds to a nice yet still quite controlled peak (those who dislike the band would say “timid” or “repressed” but miss the point), demonstrating the young band’s slightly off-kilter grace.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “every day I write the book

  1. Tim Walters

    “The Book Of Love” qualifies, although it feels a bit like cheating.

  2. Neil Cake

    There must be loads that fit this category. Just thinking now, but I can think of two albums:

    Terrorvision’s “How to Make Friends and Influence People”, though I understand the book was actually called, “How to WIN Friends and Influence People”.

    Manic Street Preachers’ “The Holy Bible”. These are both albums though, so don’t qualify.

    I’ll think of some.

    Ah yes, the new Guns n’ Roses album has a song called “The Catcher In The Rye”.

  3. villain

    Her Novel “Canal Zone Poetry” – The Capstan Shafts?

  4. 2fs

    There are probably tons of songs named after actual, well-known books, and whose lyrics might name those books – that’s why I said “fictitious or obscure” to make it a little more interesting. The R.E.M. book barely existed, having been self-published and, if I recall, found in large numbers solely in the guy’s house…

  5. Tim Walters

    I recently (as half of MindSpiral) released a composition called The Redundancy Of Suicide, after a fictitious philosophy book mentioned in Paul Park’s Soldiers Of Paradise. No lyrics, though.

  6. Aaron

    Nothing Painted Blue’s “History Of Zurich” counts, I think. Whether or not some book somewhere has that title, the listener isn’t expected to know anything about it except what’s in the song.

  7. Aaron

    And some itch in the back of my head says there’s a TMBG song like this, but I can’t think of it.

  8. Neil Cake

    “There are probably tons of songs named after actual, well-known books, and whose lyrics might name those books – that’s why I said “fictitious or obscure” to make it a little more interesting. “

    I see. I did wonder what you meant by that. I decided you meant “fiction” or er… “obscure”. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been as interested in your challenge if I’d understood it!

  9. jonderneathica

    “Chapter Twelve” by the Embarrassment almost fits your criteria, because the title of the song refers to a chapter of a (fictitious?) book which the song’s characters inhabit. Kinda meta!

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