Saturday, 13 October 2012

My Top Ten Stephen King Songs

My favourite writer has inspired, and been inspired by, all kinds of interesting songs... here's a few that share a title with the greatest hits of Stephen King's back catalogue.

By the way, I already did a Top 10 Misery Songs back on the old blog. Search that one out for Kathy Bates and her sledgehammer. 

10. James - The Shining

Stephen King stole the title of The Shining from Lennon's Instant Karma ("We all shine on...") James stole the title from King, as did Badly Drawn Boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

9. Murder By Death - Holy Lord, Shawshank Redemption Is Such A Good Movie

No idea why they decided to call this track what they did, since its only lyrics are...
You're all the way over there but we can dance to your music from here.
...but nevertheless, points for the title.

8. The Ramones - Pet Sematary

The first King novel I read, back when I was only 14, and the one that got me hooked. This track was written for the less-than-great movie adaptation by a past-their-prime Ramones. Still. You take what you can get.

7. Bob Dylan - From A Buick 6

Despite his love of music, this is one of the few King novels to steal its title wholesale from a rock 'n' roll song. But if you're gonna steal, you might as well steal from Saint Bob. Everyone else does.

6. Cliff Richard - Carrie

The first, but I'm sorry to say, probably not the last time Sir Cliff will find his way onto this blog. I have a shameless soft spot for his mid-70s output... though I'm sure he'd be horrified at the suggestion that his song might have any connection to King's pig-blood drenched heroine.

5. Faithless - Insomnia
I can't get no sleep
Serves you right for reading SK just before bed, Maxi. 

4. House Of Love - Christine

I'm sure the Christine in question had very little in common with King's killer car... but this is a cracker nevertheless.

3. The Prodigy - Firestarter

Backstage at the V96 Festival, a mate of mine pulled Keith from The Prodigy round on a child's ride-on tractor.

Firestarter isn't one of King's best novels, but the movie adaptation was better than some. Good cast, at least, including Drew Barrymore, David Keith, Martin Sheen, George C. Scott and Heather Locklear (who was contractually obliged to appear because it was 1984).

2. Ben E. King - Stand By Me

The movie of the same name was adapted from King's novella 'The Body', so he didn't steal the title of Ben E. King's classic soul heartwrencher himself. But it was a perfect fit.

1. The Alarm - The Stand

Directly inspired by King's magnum opus.
Oh I have been out searching 
With the black book in my hand 
And I've looked between the lines that lie on the pages that I tread 
I met the walking dude, religious, in his worn down cowboy boots 
And he walked liked no man on earth 
I swear he had no name 
I swear he had no name 

Got a favourite song with the same title as a Stephen King book? Celine Dion's Tommyknockers, perhaps? Share it with the class...


  1. Pet Sematary was the first Stephen King novel I ever read, too (when I was 16 or 17). There's an Anthrax song called Among The Living (from the album of the same name) which is about The Stand. (I'm not an Anthrax fan any more, but I loved that album when I was in my late-teens.) And then there's Stand by REM. And that's all I've got.

    1. Never be ashamed of the stuff you were into as a teen. Unless you were into U2.

      You're pointing me towards a whole Top Ten Stand Songs, aren't you?

  2. Well, he didn't steal it verbatim from Dylan. He went 2 better. : )

    1. Good point, well made. My memory for things like FACTS is obviously getting ropey as old age sets in.

  3. I thought that King had said in interviews that 'shining' is a very old expression for telepathy?

    (While I'm here, my first King book was 'Salem's Lot, read in about 1979/80, after the original TV series aired over here. I'd have been about 12 or 13.)

    1. He probably has. He's also said in interviews that it was partly inspired by Lennon. Like most writers, I guess he makes this stuff up depending on who he's talking to.

      I remember watching Salem's Lot when I was a kid, but it must have been a repeat if it originally aired in 79/80 - I doubt I watched it when I was 7 or 8.

    2. Salem's Lot is available now on a fine 2-DVD set. The bit with the vampire boy tapping on his brother's window to be let in still disturbing...

    3. For a TV mini series (starring David Soul, to boot) it stands up better than a lot of King movie adaps.

  4. Souixie & her Banshees's Christine (Strawberry Girl) could straddle two recent Top Tens.

    1. That one got a mention over on twitter too, though not for your second reason, so extra points for that, DVD.

  5. So not "you spin me right round" then. I think I'm happy about that.

  6. Cliff Richard? Definitely a man to keep out of Pet Sematary...

    1. These days, Sir Cliff looks like an escapee from Pet Sematary.


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