Literary Inspiration Mixtape: My Top Ten

Many moons ago, this site was born of a continuous exchange of poetry and mix CDs. Last night in the wee hours of the morning, I realized that I missed one fundamental aspect of that beginning – the music. And thus I have decided to do a mix list for you folks in line with December’s Theme.

Here we go:

Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls


Source Material: Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls

Go big or go home! Honestly, with Metallica there were a few solid book inspired offerings that could have rocked this mix, but Cliff Burton’s bass mastery makes this a must have. This song is so dominant, so magnificent. Also, I must admit I am a bit biased: Ride The Lightning is definitely my favorite Metallica CD and may even be my favorite CD in general.

Favorite line? Naturally: “For a hill, men would kill. Why? They do not know.”


Iron Maiden – Rime Of The Ancient Mariner


Source Material: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner

This song is nearly 14 minutes long and yet never seems long enough. Wish they would’ve played it in class, back when I was reading it in high school. Opportunity missed!


Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit


Source Material: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Don’t you just love it when life comes full circle? The white rabbit from the month’s theme, to the month’s mix, and eventually, to the month’s free verse. Hop along little guy, ’cause this is as mellow as we’re going to get.


Poe – Haunted


Source Material: Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Their parents must be super proud: her brother is the author of the book this song is about.


Radiohead – Paranoid Android


Source Material: Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Squeeeeeee I love these books. His humor is just so spot on and spontaneously constant that you know there will be a joke on every page but where it lies is always a surprise. Poor Marvin, the paranoid android, loath it or ignore it, he can’t  like this song about him.


Led Zeppelin – Ramble On


Source Material: JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

You knew this song was going to be on here.


Avenged Sevenfold – Chapter Four


Source Material: The Bible

A hell of a lot of A7x songs reference The Bible. A LOT. This one just felt the most direct. Synyster Gates does divine things with a guitar I tell ya.

Fav line: “Raise your head and taste the courage (the one of light), Fall from grace, unholy night”


Thrice – The Melting Point Of Wax


Source Material: The Greek myth of Icarus

Fav Line: “There’s no promise of safety with these secondhand wings, But I’m willing to find out what impossible means.”


Incubus – Talk Shows On Mute


Source Material: Both George Orwell’s 1984 and Philip K Dick’s Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?

PKD looks almost as deep into the future as he does into the nature of humanity in his all too possible sci-fi novels. Check out Ubik if you ever want to feel enlightened and unsettled.


Tool – Forty Six & Two


Source Material: The writings of Carl Jung and Drunvalo Melchizadek

Utterly unsurprising that Tool would use philosophical theory as inspiration. Kind of pushing the definition of ‘literary’ but Jung wrote many a book, so I feel this qualifies. …Contemplate what I’ve been clinging to…


Now I did say Top Ten in the title BUT here’s an eerie instrumental as a bonus!

Metallica – The Call of the Ktulu

Jessie Gutierrez

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