friday mixed tape: book rock

by Hugh

Some tunes about books.

The Cure: Killing an Arab (1979/80)
Amazing footage of the pre-make-up-and-crazy-hair Cure, in an intimate live show, singing a raw and moving version of the tune, based on Albert Camus’ existential/absurdist book, L’Etranger (the Stranger). This song is not an anti-arab song, it’s a song about Camus’ Mersault, a young pied noir who shoots an Arab on the beach, and then spends the rest of the novel awaiting his trial.

Kate Bush: Wuthering Heights (1978)
From 1978, comes Kate Bush’s ode to Emily Bronte’s book. Kate was still in her teens when she wrote this song and made the video.

Sarah Polley: Courage (1997)

This is a version of the Tragically Hip song, the original title of which includes the parentheses (for Hugh MacLennan). The song reflects some of the themes in MacLennan’s novel, The Watch that Ends the Night; Polley’s version is from the soundtrack to the “Sweet Heareafter,” Atom Egoyan’s (wonderful) film interpretation of the Russel Banks book.