50 Great Songs Based on Literary Characters

Songwriters take their inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, and since many of them are also voracious readers, it’s no surprise that there have been many great songs written over the years about literary characters. As these songs unite two of our great loves here at Flavorwire — books and music — we’ve compiled a bumper list of 50 of the best. Click through and see if your favorite’s here — if not, that’s what the comment section is for!

Laurie Anderson — “O Superman”

This might seem a kinda tenuous one to start with, but Superman is a literary character (and yes, comics do count, snobs). More to the point, he functions here as a sort of idealized America, which is pretty much exactly what the character has always represented. In this case, he’s a distant authority figure, an unattainable America that stood in stark contrast to the real America of the early 1980s.