This is the type of thing which - alas and suitably chagrined - appeals to me. And if computer hi jinks make this type of thing more easily found, then maybe people themselves are not taking the time. And _ I suppose - who is going to question. Still, I do wonder about the absence of Beethoven or Tchaikovsky or (about whom I wish to write a book) Hildegard von Bingen.
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The 10 Most Mentioned Songs in Books
by Gabe Habash
There are a lot of cool things you can discover on Small Demons, a website that acts as a book content web, connecting what artists write about. For example, you can look at The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and see all the people, places, music, movies, TV/radio, books, food/drink, magazines, events, vehicles, and weapons mentioned in the book. Click on any of those things, say…Planet of the Apes (mentioned on page 301), and see that that movie was also mentioned in Trainspotting and The Rules of Attraction, among other books.
You can also use the site to find the most commonly referenced songs in literature. Here’s the top 10, with some choice quotes for each song.
10. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“If there are any members of the American Parents Against English Gay Men with Mustaches who are offended by the inclusion of Freddie Mercurial on my show, you are welcome to lodge your complaints up Lord Rupert’s hole. Looking on the positive side for a moment, if a big one gets through SkyWeb and pulps the Big Apple into quarks and gluons, I can ask the great Saint Freddie in person what the bejesus ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is about. The track before was dedicated to my ex-wife: The Smiths’ ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’.”
-Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
On the radio, an eager voice encouraged everyone to “Wang Chung” tonight, which was one of the many confusing songs I figured I’d understand when I knew more of the world. Sort of like the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the comprehension of which I assumed required a familiarity with European arts and music. An educated person would know precisely what a scaramouch was and why he ought to do the fandango.
-The Ethical Assassin by David Liss