Saturday, October 20, 2012

Literature and Lyrics

Taken from "10 of Music’s Most Literature-Obsessed Songwriters"

Nobody does poetic pretense quite so masterfully as Morrissey. Hands down, he represents contemporary music’s most notorious inheritor of 19th-century Romanticism’s metered flourishes and Oscar Wilde’s effete cynicism. Morrissey’s lyrics are also, perhaps, the most saturated of any artist’s in literary references. There are too many to mention, but “Cemetry Gates” is perhaps the most obvious, with explicit nods to Keats, Yeats, and Wilde. Also memorable are the opening lines to “How Soon Is Now,” which borrow from Middlemarch, and the numerous songs referencing A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney. Take a look at a compiled list of Morrissey’s various sources of lyrical inspiration for both The Smiths and his solo work here.