If there was ever a show of hands, I’m sure everyone in the room would admit they love music. Music is an incredible, magical, phenomenon that has the ability to spread light and love in an otherwise dark world. Some people love to make music with instruments, or even their voice, and others, like myself, love listening to it. Music can inspire more than just happy thoughts or fuzzy feelings, however. Many songs can instantly spark a story in your mind. After all, songs themselves are a form of story. Worthwhile songs are filled with thoughtful words, feelings, and ideas. I thought it would be fun to collect a few songs that have a particular feeling, or an ability to tug on our emotions, and possibly even inspire an entire novel. Let’s get started.
- Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1
Lately I’ve grown a deeper appreciation for classical music. This composition in particular has such a nostalgic, melancholy, yet whimsical feeling, and I often listen to it on repeat. If I close my eyes, I can just see someone walking alone in the rain. Maybe they’ve forgotten their umbrella, or perhaps it’s late at night, or maybe they’re just going for a leisurely stroll in the afternoon. Whatever it is, this song is perfect to set the mood for your writing, or maybe even inspire an entire scene.
- RM – mono.
I’m cheating a little here, since this is an album, not just a single song– but I had to include it. I’m not sure how many times I’ve listened to this while writing. Somehow, it’s always the perfect soundtrack to the scenes I’m working on, and I’ve become very attached to each of these songs. Again, they have a slightly melancholy, lonely feeling, which often fits in well with the struggles my characters are experiencing.
- The Civil Wars – Pressing Flowers
If you are writing a story that’s a little creepy, or mysterious, then this song is just what you need. Filled with haunting harmonies, and soft melodies, everything about this song makes me want to know more. What’s the meaning behind the garden? Why must they meet secretly? Maybe someone out there can write a story to answer all of these questions.
- Seori – Running Through the Night
I really like this next song, and in fact, until I added it to this list I had nearly forgotten just how much I like it. Seori’s voice, accompanied by the strange tempo, and the visuals in the music video are the perfect combination of science-fiction and fantasy. This song, along with the others in this album are very much a story all on their own. The album art, and theme of the lyrics makes me want to write a sci-fi story about a lost princess on a faraway planet in some distant galaxy. If such a story calls to you, I think you’ll enjoy this song.
- twenty one pilots – Leave The City
Twenty one pilots are the kings of dark, and moody music, and if you’ve never given them a listen, I would highly recommend you do so. This song in particular is achingly sad, and beautiful at the same time. The lyrics play out like a movie script, and I can picture the scenes so clearly in my mind. This song is the epitome of dystopian, or fantasy tales, and the inspiration this song provides is just waiting to be called into action.
That’s it for my short list. You may have noticed a theme in each of these songs. None of them are very cheery or happy, but I think that is why they spark so many ideas in me. These songs evoke questions and mysteries in my mind, and they make me want to climb into their world and discover the story within them. I hope you enjoyed this little collection of songs and I hope they even inspired you in some way. Do you find inspiration in music? What’s one song that you think could inspire a novel? Let me know, and we can chat in the comments.
Thanks for reading,