It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted on Tuesdays by The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for today is top ten songs that I wish were books!
I didn’t know I was waiting for it, but I’ve been waiting for this TTT ever since I started blogging, so shoutout to the Broke and the Bookish and whoever recommended this theme! Without further ado, here are my ten songs (and reasons) for why I want to see these songs as books.
How to Save a Life by The Fray
Technically, this is already a book. There are bits and pieces of it in every book about suicide out there, and the song even shares its name with one of Sara Zarr’s novels.
However, I’ve never found a book that I thought truly represented this song. If I had to name one, I’d say that Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why comes the closest. This song talks about the guilt that other people feel after the suicide of someone they loved, and the self conflict that comes with that. The scenes are drawn out perfectly over the course of this song. As a whole, it’s emotional and sad without being depressing, and if it was a novel, it would be one unlike any other about grief, suicide, heartbreak and the things you can see coming but can’t stop.
Ms. Jackson by Outkast
I used to hate this song, but as I grew up with it, I began to think more about what the lyrics mean and what Outkast was trying to communicate by singing it.
To me, Ms. Jackson is about the relationship between a guy and his mother-in-law and the mistakes that they both make. Since then, many things have happened, but finally the son-in-law finds it in himself to attempt to forgive her despite all the terrible things that she still does to him.
There are great themes scattered throughout this song, and I feel like it centers on the supporting characters to a relationship, both of them struggling to support someone they love but can’t truly help. I would love to see this story in a novel format.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
This one isn’t so story-based as the others, but I still want to see it in a novel equally as much. In recent years, there’s been a influx of YA novels where seemingly unrelated stories come together to create one amazing story. They connect in ridiculous (but believable) ways, and create something greater than the sum of their parts. Considering the fact that Bohemian Rhapsody sounds like six different completely different songs meshed together, it would be cool if these different mini-stories could come together to make a novel, maybe something like The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
Bohemian Rhapsody, in a way, does have a main character, starting and ending with a wretched, Pip-like character who completely loses it in the middle of the song, but actually has a heartbreaking backstory at the beginning and end. Rest assured, if this was a book, it would be a crazy one.
Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s
There’s not much plot-wise that you can squeeze out of this song, but I’d still enjoy seeing it as a book. If for nothing else, the relationship between Delilah and the singer/songwriter would be worth reading about. The unnamed singer/songwriter is incredibly sweet without being trite or sappy, and I’d love to meet Delilah and hear everything from her perspective.
Not as much, but I also want to see this as a book because it would expand on the plot and the setting. Long distance relationships aren’t necessarily talked about much in YA or even in NA, but the reality remains that many teens have some kind of long distance relationship. Reading more about Delilah and mysterious singer/songwriter would be a dream come true.
The A Team by Ed Sheeran
From the first time that I heard this song, I thought that it could be a great story, but I couldn’t figure it out. I’ve listened to it over and over again in the attempt to make something of it, but there’s not a whole lot of continuity over the course of the song. I want to see it as a novel only because I think I could understand every element of it better.
Unwell by Matchbox 20
There are many fictional stories about mental illness out there, but I want to see Unwell come to life. Out of all the songs on this list, Unwell is the one that comes the closest to being legitimately represented in a novel format (Matthew Quick’s novels, specifically Silver Lining’s Playbook or Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock). I really like unreliable narrators, and the idea of a character who struggles to come to terms with his illness and attempts to find out if he’s actually crazy or not is interesting to me. I really want to see his story laid out, want to follow him along his journey to see what happens. Even just over the course of this song, I’ve come to care about him and the people that surround him.
Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk ft. Nate Ruess
This may or may not be portrayed in a YA novel, but in terms of YA books, the whole falling-out-of-love concept is not popular. Falling in love is popular. A few struggles within the relationship are popular. But on the verge of breaking up? Or, for an older crowd, getting divorced? Not popular in the YA genre. There’s not a story there.
Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss is the only book that comes to mind that explores real conflict within a conflict in a non-fantasy setting, but even that felt fluffy and just not this song. Just Give Me a Reason is raw and real and about two people who fall in love, fall out of love and then have to “learn to love again”. If the writing could be as beautiful as P!nk and Nate Ruess’ duet, then I’m all for it.
Lose Yourself by Eminem / Fear by Mino ft. Taeyang
I don’t know if it would be possible to create a truly engaging story about a character coming to maturity in the music business under pressure to succeed, but I’d love to see someone try. Eminem and Nate Ruess’ Headlights was another nominee for this list, but I ultimately decided against it because it shows too much of Eminem’s actual story, and I felt like I knew about him without reading a novel. With Lose Yourself, I think is something that not just Eminem goes through. I’d really like to see the story portrayed in Lose Yourself in a novel. It could rock the whole descension into madness thing very well.
Another great song along this same vein that I would love to see portrayed in a book is Song Mino’s Fear (ft Taeyang). I love that one because the pressure that Mino feels and raps about isn’t necessarily pressure from the outside world, but pressure that he puts on himself to support his family and be there for the people who look up to him. It’s a bit of a different perspective on the same theme.
Still Alive by BigBang / Twenty-Three by IU
If Lose Yourself and Fear were about the pressure to succeed, Still Alive and Twenty-Three are about life are you’ve made it. In the process of succeeding, BigBang talks about the struggles that they had to go through (something that they readdressed nearly three years later in Loser) and the ways that they changed over time after gaining their fame, fortune and place as the kings of kpop. In many ways, true to its name, Still Alive is the song that says that they made it, and that they’re going to continue doing what they’re doing, and they can overcome what they went through even if they were changed by it.
IU has been in the business since she was 15, and her longtime fans speculate that this song is about her journey through the music world. Now, she’s one of the most successful Korean artists out there, despite her status as a solo artist. In the song, like with BigBang, she talks about how she’s been changed by the industry and how she doesn’t know who she is anymore, nor does she feel as though her fans truly know who she is.
Maybe the novel representative of IU and BigBang could be a sequel to Eminem and Mino’s novel? ;)
Don’t Look at Me Like That by Song Ji-Eun
I want more context to this song. Between the music video and the lyrics, it has a lot of potential to go all The Winner’s Crime (or ACOTAR, for that matter) and be about a girl trying to figure out loss of love after she thought that she found it, or it could be about a boy who never loved a girl in the first place and only used her. Either way, it sounds like it could be a great novel.
If you did a TTT, link it in the comments below and I’ll check it out!