For many, the most important part of a song is its lyrics. We draw inspiration from the flowing prose of rebellious rap music, or the longings of a love story weaved through rock beats, or the wistful wonders of a ballad. Almost all of our favorite lyrics probably come from real-life experiences that the artist had, which is why we can connect so strongly with them. However, have you ever wondered what it would be like if we used fiction as our lyrical inspiration? Luckily, this is exactly what people have started to do.
All over the Internet, fans of TV shows, movies, and books have begun using music as a medium for expressing their inner obsessions. The biggest example of this is the genre known as Wizard Rock. It consists of songs that were written about or influenced by (you guessed it!) the Harry Potter franchise. It was originated by Harry and the Potters, a self-produced “rock” band whose music has gone viral. Now, many rock bands have sprung up across the internet, including such headliners as The Eighth Horcrux and Muggle Relations.
Internet sensation Hank Green has even dabbled in rock writing. Many of these bands play at Harry Potter conventions like Leaky-Con in California. When these artists do choose to sell their music or hold ticketed concerts, it is usually for the benefit of an organization such as the Harry Potter Alliance, which is a fan-run nonprofit that works for equality, human rights, and literacy. Even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fanatic like me, you must admit that rock music is innovative, fresh, and unlike anything else.
The popular British TV show Doctor Who, one of my favorites, also has an abundance of musical followers. The Chameleon Circuit is an indie band based in the UK started by You Tuber Alex Day. The animated music video for their song “An Awful Lot of Running” has over 2 million views on YouTube.
Even famous songwriters hide references to “geek culture” in their music. For example, Led Zepplin’s “Ramble On” references the classic fantasy series Lord of the Rings on more than one occasion, using characters and places like Gollum and Mordor within his lyrics. Guns N’ Roses wrote a song entitled “The Catcher in the Rye” after Salinger’s novel of the same name. There has even been some conjecture that “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift was inspired by the anime series Death Note, though this was never fully confirmed. This growing phenomenon of music influenced by fiction is a sort of trans-medium collaboration between two artists, and that’s cool.
The next time you hear a hit melody in your head but can’t find any lyrics, don’t be afraid to let your inner geek shine. Taking the themes or characters of fiction and using them to connect with more people is sort of the entire reason for creating works of fiction in the first place. So, let the world hear your Sherlock Holmes Sonata or your Star Wars Waltz or your Spiderman Salsa. You never know what your music could inspire someone to do.