Literary references in Progressive Rock

Last update: October 14 2008: I added 1 book. Check for new additions by typing "newly added" into the 'find' window (press Ctrl+f)

As you may guess, this is a list of literary works that inspired Prog musicians to write some of their best music. This is not taken as seriously as the Prog-Bibliography, so there may be a lot missing, also some really obvious stuff, but give me some time...
Of course, there have also been stories the musicians wrote themselves, like Jon Anderson's 'Olias of Sunhillow', Patrick Moraz' 'Story of I' or Dave Greenslade's 'The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony', but they are not mentioned here, because if you have the albums, you also have the stories...right?

  1. Alf Laila Wa-Laila
    This famous compilation of stories has diverse origins. The link and frame story comes from India,
    along with some other stories, others come from the jewish tradition, from Persia, from Arabia, from Egypt etc.
    As you might expect, both the content of the collection and the content of the stories changed over the centuries.
    Earliest precursors can be traced down in the 8th century a. d. I won't even summarize the frame story,
    because my sources say, 1001 Nights is the most famous collection of stories in universal literature
    (it doesn't say how many people actually read it, though...), so you should know it - at least according to my source.
    I Nomadi from Italy recorded an album called 'Mille e una sera' in 1971.
    Renaissance adapted (parts of) it on their wonderful 'Sheherazade'-Album. They also had two volumes of 'Tales of 1001 nights', released in 1990.
    Scheherazade, a band from Japan, recorded an album called 'Scheherazade' in 1992.

  2. Beowulf
    This is the largest old english epic, originating from the 8th century. It tells the story of the hero Beowulf and his fights against Grendel. There has been a french band called Grendel in the nineties.
    See also John Champlin Gardner: Grendel

  3. The Bible
    Certainly the most influential of all the books listed here - apart from the Shastric scriptures, which are far from being one book. It has been put to music by the italian group Rovescio della Medaglia ('La Bibbia'), a great album that should be part of any good Prog collection.
    Aphrodite's Child's '666' (1972) is clearly a reference to the number of the beast, mentioned in the Apocalypse.
    There are several bands named after the apocalypse: Apocalypse from Brasil, Apocalypse from Israel and Apocalypsis from Greece.
    Dice from Sweden had an album called 'The four riders of the apocalypse' (1978).
    The word Armageddon is mentioned in the Bible in Rev. 16:16, it is the name of the battlefield, where the great final battle between the King of Kings and the Antichrist will take place. Maybe not. Anyway, the Great Battle will of course be won by the Holy Lamb.
    Novela from Japan recorded an album called ‘Harmagedon' in 1983´.
    There was a german band called 'Die Engel des Herrn'.
    Eden was the name of a late seventies band from Germany.
    A song by Eloy is called 'Apocalypse: Silent cries divide the nights'. It appeared on 'Silent cries and mighty echoes' (1978) and, reworked, I think, as 'Apocalypse ‘93' on 'Chronicles I'.
    The Enid recorded an album called 'Salome' in 1986.
    A band from Poland took their name from chapter two: Exodus.
    Moreover, a certain band named 'Genesis' took their name from chapter one.
    "666 is no longer alone" is a line from the same band's 'Supper's Ready' (on 'Foxtrot', 1972)
    'The Power and the Glory" (The Title of the 1974 Gentle Giant album) ist a quote from Matthew 6:13.
    The Gods, which some may recognize as one of Greg Lake's early bands and the embryo which later became Uriah Heep, recorded an album called 'Genesis' in 1968. Not really Progressive Rock, but history.
    The nineties band Golgotha (UK) picked their name from the bible.
    A seventies band from Germany was called Gomorrha.
    Illusion from the UK recorded an album called Madonna Blue in 1977.
    Isaiah is a band from Austria who recorded an album of the same name in 1975.
    Wojciech Jasinski from Poland recorded an album called 'Apokalipsa' in 1997.
    There is a band from Argentina called La Biblia.
    Latte e miele, an italian band recorded an album called 'Passio secundum Mattheum' in 1972.
    Lucifer's Friend is the name of a seventies band from Germany.
    And Lucifer Was is the name of a swedish band from the nineties.
    Geoff Mann (UK) recorded an album called 'Psalm enchanted evening' in 1985.
    Paternoster from Austria recorded an album called 'Paternoster' in 1972. "Pater noster" means "our Father" and is the beginning of the Lord's Prayer.
    Quasar Lux Symphoniae (Italy) retold the story of Abraham on their double album ‘Abraham - One act Rock Opera' (1994).
    Vox Dei from Argentina released an album called 'La Biblia' in 1981.
    Witthüser & Westrupp, a german duo, recorded an album called 'Der Jesus Pilz - Musik vom Evangelium' in 1971.

  4. The Book of Kells
    This latin manuscript is assumed to have been written in the monastry of Columkill on the scottish island Iona around the year 800. It's illustrations belong to the most beautiful in early medieval art.
    Iona (UK) recorded an album called ‘The book of Kells' in 1992.

  5. The Book of Dzyan
    The band Dzyan's name comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyâna' (mystic meditation). "The Book of Dzyan" is an ancient text of Tibetan origin. It is the first volume of the commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te, and a glossary of the public works of the same name. It also happens to be the basis for „The Secret Doctrine", one of the basic texts of the theosophical movement founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1875 and there can even be found some references to it in the fictional works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  6. Carmina Burana
    This extensive collection of medieval secular poetry (315 texts), collected in Austria and found in 1803 in Benediktbeuern has been put to music by Carl Orff in 1937. Ray Manzarek, keyboarder of The Doors re-recorded it with rock instruments in 1983 as ‘Carmina Burana'.

  7. La Chanson de Roland
    In 1978, The Enid recorded their second album, `Aerie Faerie Nonsense,' another concept album, which told the story of Roland, the young knight aspirant questing his way across the world. ‘La Chanson de Roland' was written around 1100 in France.

  8. "Dies irae, dies illa"
    The medieval Hymn inspired quite a number of bands:
    Devil Doll from Italy recorded an album called ‘Dies irae' in 1996.
    Dies Irae from Germany recorded an album of the same name in 1971.
    Formula 3, another italian band recorded their ‘Dies Irae' in 1970.

  9. The Epic of Gilgamesh
    This collection of mythical stories about the king Gilgamesh (ca. 2600 b. c.) originate in it's oldest version from 2000 b. c. It is, thus, one of the oldest literary texts of mankind. It gave it's name to the british band Gilgamesh and their album 'Gilgamesh', which in it's oldest form originates from 1975.

  10. Greek Mythology
    Here are a couple of names from greek mythology. Names that aren't listed here may be found under Publius Ovidius Naso: Metamorphoses.
    'Caronte" is an album by the italian band The Trip. It alludes to Charon, ferryman on the river Styx.
    The character of Danae, daughter of Akrisios of Argos, mother of Perseus gave her name to the album 'Danae" (1997) by the italian band Gatto Marte
    There were two bands called Janus in the seventies, one from Italy and one from Germany.
    Quasar Lux Symphoniae, also from Italy, recorded an album called 'The enlightening march of the argonauts" in 1997, alluding to the crew members of Jason's ship Argo.

  11. Kalevala
    The finnish national epic, compiled by the scholar Elias Lönnet between 1831 and 1835, who formed the still heterogenous Kalevala out of smaller units of medieval Karelian poetry, has been the inspiration for Jan Sibelius and for a project initiated by the finnish Prog magazine Colossus, 'Kalevala. A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic", a triple album released in 2005.

  12. King Laurin and his Rosengarden
    The anonymous story of the dwarf king Laurin and his "Rosengarten" belongs to the bavarian/tirolean Dietrich epics. It dates back as far as the 13the century, but sources might be older.
    Mad Puppet, a band from Austria recorded an album called 'King Laurin and his Rosengarden" in 1994.

  13. The Mabinogion
    Here is what I found on the 'net:
    "The ‘Mabinogion' is a collection of great Welsh tales and legends. The existant manuscripts date back to the thirteenth century, but their style and content indicate an earlier origin, possibly up to two hundred years earlier. The stories are all about members of the Welsh royal family and their households, but as embodiments of the ancient gods and goddesses of the land. There are four main branches: ‘Pwyll Prince of Dyfed', ‘Branwen The Daughter of Llyr', ‘Manawyddan The Son of Llyr' and ‘Math The Son of Mathonwy' and other associated tales (depending on the version) including ‘The Lady of the Fountain', ‘Geraint and Enid', and the tale of Taliesin. This collection was first preserved in the ‘Peniarth' manuscripts (ca 1200?), then the ‘White Book of Rhydderch' (‘Llyfyr Gwyn Rhydderch') written about 1300-1325 and later in the ‘Red Book of Hergest' (‘Llyfyr Coch o Hergest'), written between 1375-1400. Most scholars believe that all but the three "romances" date to the tenth or eleventh century, and are based on much early mythology.
    The name is a misnomer, as the word "mabinogion" doesn't exist in Welsh. It was a mistake made by the scribe, existing only at the end of Pwyll pendeuc Dyfed. The real word is "mabinogi," which some translate as "tales for youth," "tales of the Mabon" or "tales of the hero." They derive this meaning from "mabon" or "meibon", meaning a young man or youth. It is also the name of a god, Mabon ap Modron. This name only applies to the first four tales.
    Mostly written between 1375-1425, the ‘Red Book of Hergest' is the work of one Hywel Fychan fab Hywel Goch of Fuellt, for his employer, Hopcyn ap Tomas ap Einion of Ynys Tawe. So called for the red leather binding and for the house of Hergest, Herfordshire, where it was compiled. Presented in 1701 to Jesus College, Oxford, by a Rev. T. Wilkins, of Llanbleithain, Glamorgan in Wales." (Source.)
    Mike Oldfield says, he called his 1974 album ‘Hergest Ridge' because "it's a nice hill. It looks different from whatever direction you look. And it has all sorts of associations with old Welsh legends. You find it in the Mabinogion. There's iron age relics right on the very top."

  14. Neurotica
    This title of a 1950s literary magazine which published many Beat writers gave name to King Crimson's song on the ‘Beat' album (1982).

  15. Nibelungenlied
    This middle high german epos was written around 1200 a. d. Among others, it tells the story of Siegfried and the dragon which inspired the italian band Errata Corrige to write their album ‘Siegfried, il drago a altre storie' (1976).
    The german band 'German Oak' recorded an album called 'Nibelungenlied' in 1976.

  16. Popol Vuh
    This is the Holy Book of the Maya. It tells the story of the creation of the world and the forefathers of the Quiché Indians. Popol Vuh from Norway released an album called ‘Popol Vuh' in 1972.

  17. Renga Poetry
    This japanese chain poetry, originating from the 8th century a. d., has provided the idea for Jon Lord's and Eberhard Schoener's composition 'Window'. Just like the stanzas of the Renga poems, the movements of 'Window' were composed by different persons.

  18. Roman Mythology
    Here are a couple of names from roman mythology.
    At a concert at Louisville Town Hall on April 21, 1972, two months before the release of "Trilogy", Emerson introduced what was leter to be called "Abbadons Bolero" as "Bellona's Bolero". Bellona (from the Latin word for war, „bellum") was an ancient Roman war goddess. She is believed to be one of the numinous gods of the Romans (without a particular mythology and possibly of Etruscan origin), and is supposed by many to have been the Romans' original war deity, predating the identification of Mars with Ares. She is sometimes taken as a consort to Mars, or (as at her temple in Ostia) syncreted with Magna Mater.

  19. The Shastric Scriptures
    (It is not easy to write about a religion you're not familiar with in a language that is not your own. I apologize for any mistakes I made, concerning the form or the content of the following.)
    There have been a lot of legends spreading around Yes' 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'. A couple of them can be cleared here.
    First of all: The guy's name is Paramahansa Yogananda. NOT Paramhansa Yoganada. And he is NOT the author of the Shastras. Yogananda is a Yogi - as I heard from someone who should know it, a minor Yogi -, founder of a certain 'Self-Realization Fellowship' which surely can be found on the ‘net, who published his 'Autobiography of a Yogi' in 1950. In the footnote 6, Chapter 10 (page 83) he gives a short (NOT a 'lengthy') description of the four part Shastras (which means 'Holy Books'), which really is too short to even understand it - not to mention the Shastric Scriptures. So I read more about them. Here's what I found out:

    The Shastras are divided into four categories by the Indian tradition:
    1. Shruti
    ('The directly revealed works': Veda)
    (Remember the title of part one: 'The revealing science of god'!)
    The Veda ('knowledge') contains the oldest texts of indian literature. These religious texts, mostly
    songs, maxims, aphorisms or other prose, originate from the 18th century b. c.! The youngest parts
    are from the third century b. c. They had been handed down orally from generation to generation
    until the 16th century a. d. when they were written down for the first time in the oldest
    indoeuropean language known, although the everyday language had developed naturally.
    The Veda consists of four parts or Samhitas (collections), the Rigveda, the Samaveda, the
    Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda. To each of these, there are theological explanations
    (4 Brahmanas), the dangerous parts of the rituals are collected separately (4 Aranyakas), also the secret
    teachings (Upanishads) and the guiding texts (Sutras). The latter are ranked among the Smiriti by
    the Indian tradition (see below).

               - The Rigveda ('The holy knowledge put down in verses'):
              The oldest of the four collections. It contains 1028 hymns, arranged in 10 Mandalas, created
              by bards who were inspired by gods. These hymns are religious-magical songs of praise, that
              are intended to obtain the gods goodwill and generosity while at the same time contributing
              to their well-being and powers. They belong to the sacrificial ceremonies of the Brahmans.
              Others have narrative contents.

               - The Samaveda ('The knowledge of the melodies'):
              The Samaveda-Samhita contains the chants used in the rituals. The texts originate from the
              Rigveda, but they are modified for the musical necessities. There are two parts: the four
              songbooks (Gana) and the three vers-collections (Arcika)

              - The Yajurveda ('The knowledge of the sacrificial sayings'):
              These are the sacrificial sayings (mantras) the priest has to murmur while performing the
              ritual. There is no consistent tradition, so there have been many different Samhitas by different schools.
              The rituals are based on a magical weltanschauung. For example: two things that have only
              one feature in common, are identical, like, if the names of two things have the same number
              of syllables, they are the same!
              Apart from short and simple rituals, there are also ones that take a hole year and more! In
              addition to those original rituals, there are others, younger ones, that have been compiled
              from parts of those. So it is very hard to find out their original senses and purposes.

              - The Atharvaveda ('The knowledge of the Atharvans'):
              The Atharvans were firepriests, but at the time when the Veda was compiled, they had
              already been mythical persons of the past.
              The nucleus are popular magic formulas from indoeuropean times, but the language is
              considerably younger than that of the Rigveda.
              The Atharvaveda is handed down in two schools, the Saunaka-Samhita (containing 6000
              hymns and verses) and the Paippalada-Samhita (containing 12.000 hymns and verses).
              The magic formulas of the first part of the Saunaka-Samhita deal with everyday magic,
              (formulas for love, against illnesses etc.). Their power is based on the spoken word and on
              similarities of the objects used during the rituals. The second part contains speculations of priests concerning
              various religious and magical topics. The third part contains topics related to the rites of the
              course of life, like wedding-rituals or death-rituals. The Paippalada-Samhita is similarly

    2. Smiriti (NOT 'Suritis')
    ('The knowledge which is kept in memory': Mahabharata and Ramayana, Vedanga and the
    (Part two of 'Tales' is called: 'The remembering')

              - The huge epic Mahabharata had been formed between the 4th century b. c. and the 4th
              century a. d.: different parts were written at different times. It contains 106.000 double
              verses in 19 books. It tells the story of the enmity between two related familes, the Pandava
              and the Kaurava both striving for royal dignity.
              There are different parts inserted into the narrative, like the Bhagavadgita, a didactic
              text containing a dialog between the warrior Arjuna and Krishna, an incarnation of the
              god Vishnu about the task of a warrior to kill even relatives. In the end
              Krishna/Vishnu reveales the ways to redemption.
              Other parts are Nalopakhyana, a love story, and Moksadharma, a juridical text.

               - The Ramayana is another epic, completed in the 2nd century a. d., but parts of it are
              considerably older. 24.000 double verses. It tells the story of Ramas life and his love to
              Sita. Rama is another incarnation of Vishnu. Again there are other texts inserted.

              - Vedanga: These are texts that are connected to the Veda, which are not of
              supernatural origin. The Vedanga contains the six auxiliary sciences for the
              performance of the rituals, like phonetics (for the correct pronounciation of the ritual's
              words), metrics, etymology, grammar, astronomy and 'Kalpa', a systematic
              presentation of the sacrifice.

    3. Purana
    'Allegories originating from the ancient times'. There are 18 of them.
    (The title of part three is 'The ancient')
    They originate from the first millennium b. c.
    The Puranas originate from warriors' circles, and are sung by bards.
    A Purana is supposed to deal with five topics: cosmogony, destruction and recreation, genealogy of
    the gods, periods of the Manvantara, genealogy of the kings, but not all of them are structured like

    4. Tantra
    Rites and rituals
    Mostly written in comparatively bad sanscrit, the Tantric texts deal with the practical sides of
    religious life, like initiation rites, erotic rites, magical formulas, forms of Yoga. They are revealings
    of the god Shiva. Tantric writings exist since the second half of the first millennium a. d.

    I admit I haven't read the Shastric scriptures themselves, I doubt it is possible at all. But I guess one can conclude, that 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' was inspired just by the famous footnote, and not by the large volume of Shastric scriptures.
    The ‘Autobiography of a Yogi' is the book that caused Jamie Muir's departure from King Crimson.
    Tantra is the name of a seventies band from Portugal.

  20. Voluspa
    Ragnarök ("faith of the gods") is the norse myth of the end of the world. After the final battle of gods and giants, which ends with the defeat of the gods earth and cosmos are destroyed. Only Lif und Lifihrasir, two humans, survive. After Ragnarök a new world of peace and joy will arise. The myth of the Ragnarökr can be found in the Voluspa, the introducing part of the Edda. The german word for "Ragnarök", "Götterdämmerung" was first used by Michael Denis (1772), 100 years later, Richard Wagner called the final Opera of his "Ring" "Götterdämmerung".
    Ragnarök was the name of a seventies band from New Zealand
    Ragnarök from Sweden released an Album called ‘Ragnarök' in 1976.

  21. The Myths and Legends of King Arthur...
    Rick Wakeman once said that he read about eight books before planning the album's concept. So which one shall we choose? I decided to name the earliest sources of the well known story, Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia regum Britanniae', a history of the the early english kings (completed in 1139) and Wace's 'Le roman de brut', based on the 'Historia' (completed in 1155).
    Also connected with the King Arthur myth is the island of Avalon which gave it's name to a german band.
    Another german band from the early seventies called themselves Excalibur.

    Several bands named themselves after an important but not original ingredient of the King Arthur myth: the Holy Grail:
    Graal, a nineties band from France.
    Grail from the UK, who recorded an album of the same name in 1970.

    There have been several bands and albums named after the magician Merlin:
    Happy the Man from the US recorded a son called 'Merlin of the High Places' in 1976 which was finally released on 'Death's Crown' in 1999.
    Kajak from the Netherlands recorded an album called 'Merlin' in 1981.
    Merlin, a band from Argentina, recorded an album of the same name in 1980.
    A neo-prog band from Germany is called Merlin.
    And there is the italian 'Merlin - The Rock Opera' project from 2000.

    Also connected with the King Arthur myth are the following names:
    Pendragon, a neo-Prog band from the UK.
    Taliesyn, a nineties band from Germany.
    Galahad, a band from the UK, released an album called 'Galahad' in 1994. Galahad is the son of Lanzelot and Elaine.

  22. The Private Life of Henry VIII
    A paperback Rick Wakeman read on a flight to Chicago on a Yes tour. It gave him the idea for 'The six wives of Henry VII'. It might have been one of the following:
    Morrison, Nancy Brysson: The Private Life of Henry VIII, Robert Hale, London, 1964.
    Biro, Lajos: The private life of Henry VIII. Story and dialogue by Lajos Biro and Arthur Wimperis. Edited, with an introduction, by Ernest Betts. London, Methuen, 1934.

  23. Edward Albee: Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    This famous play about two couples solving their problems and some alcohol has been first published in 1962. Sigmund Snopek III (from the US) put it to music as - ‘Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?'.

  24. Vera Stanley Alder: The Initiation of the World
    Vera Stanley Alder wrote a number of spiritual/new age/inspirational books in the 1930's that came back into vogue during the late 1960's and early 1970's. When young people were looking for deeper answers, Alder's work was re-printed. Jon Anderson answered an interview question about ‘Olias of Sunhillow' (1976), referring to inspiration from her book ‘The Initiation of the World' (1937). The book is divided into two sections: The first section gives a brief synopsis of the ageless wisdom and is entitled 'Review of Spiritual Science'. The second section is a 'Review of Material Science' and here one is able to see how science is "beginning to verify all that is taught in the ageless wisdom". There is an explanation of the "great root races" and a description of the characteristics of each. One is able to trace the "spiritual development of humanity" from way back and into the immanent future of the "Aquarian age". Don't ask me. (Thanks to Kornegay)

  25. Dante Alighieri: La Comedia
    Dante's poem (which consists of 14230 verses), also known as "La Divina Commedia" (since Lodovico Dolce's edition, 1555) was written between 1307 and 1321. The allegorical travels through the Inferno, Purgatorio and Pardiso have inspired the band Brasse from the Netherlands to their album 'Dante's Inferno' (1997) and Il Giro Strano from Italy to 'La Divina Commedia' (1973).
    The echolyn album 'mei', (2002), is being described by the band as "...a combination of Jack Kerouac's 'on the road' and Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno' section of the Comedia.
    Mutantes from Brasil released an album called 'A Divina Comedia ou ando melo desligado' in 1970.

  26. Richard Bach: The Bridge across forever
    Neal Morse says he's been inspired to write the song ‘Bridge across forever' on Transatlantic's album of the same name (2001) by the books ‘Bridges of Madison County' (Robert James Waller, 1992) and Richard Bach's ‘The Bridge across forever' (1970). He said he actually "stole" a line from the former.
    ‘The Bridge Across forever' is a semi-autobiographical love story. It is about Bach's successful quest for finding his soul mate. This book reflects many of his views on life and his unique way of thinking.

  27. Béroul: Le roman de Tristan
    Go to Thomas d'Angleterre.

  28. William Blake
    Gordon Giltrap's album ‘Visionary' (1976) was inspired by the works of William Blake. 'Visionary' was originally released in 1976 and was the first part of a trilogy of albums to be released on The Electric Record company, which saw Giltrap's move from his folk background to a wider market. The inspiration for the record was based on the works of the artist and poet William Blake (1757 - 1827).

  29. William Blake: And did those feet in ancient times (Jerusalem). From the Preface to 'Milton'
    Blake's poem from (ca.) 1804 features prominently on ELP's 'Brain Salad Surgery' album. ELP used C. Hubert H. Parry's Hymn from 1916, but reworked it for the Rock idiom.
    Part 7 of Genesis' 'Supper's ready' also refers to that poem.
    The track ‘Blake's New Jerusalem' on Tim Blake's ‘Blake's New Jerusalem' (1978) starts with a quotation from Blake's work.
    Blake's "Satanic Mills" appear in Yes' ‘Machine Messiah' from ‘Drama' (1980).
    Castanarc's song ‘New Jerusalem' from ‘Rude Politics' (1988) was inspired by Blake's poem.

  30. William Blake: The Fly
    Tangerine Dream did renditions of Blake's poem ‘The Fly' (1789/1794) on their album ‘Tyger' (1987).

  31. William Blake: Garden of Love
    This poem had first been published in the collection ‘Songs of Experience' (1794).
    ‘Garden of Love' is the name of a mini album by Kevin Ayers and the Whole World (1963, words by William Blake, music by David Bedford) which contains the 1970 piece for chamber ensemble and rock group (Kevin Ayers, Mike Oldfield, Robert Wyatt, David Bedford, Lol Coxhill) inspired by William Blake's poem.

  32. William Blake: The Tiger
    Blake's most famous poem had first been published in the collection ‘Songs of Experience' (1794).
    Tangerine Dream did a rendition of Blake's poem on their album ‘Tyger' (1987).

  33. Giovanni Boccaccio: Decamerone
    This is maybe the most famous collection of short novels. Boccaccio wrote 100 of them and a fame narrative about the pestilence in Florence (1348) between 1349 and 1353. Decameron, a seventies band from the UK got their name from there.

  34. Paul Bowles: The sheltering Sky
    The title of the King Crimson song from their 1981 album ‘Discipline' comes from Bowles' novel, published in 1949. This existentialist book about two people, Port and Kit Moresby, is set in the desert of Tangier. The book has also been inspirational for the song ‘Sartori in Tangier' from ‘Beat', 1982. See also Jack Kerouac: Satori in Paris.

  35. Hermann Bote: Ein kurtzweilig Lesen von Dyl Ulenspiegel geboren uss dem Land zu Brunsswick.
    It is unclear, but probable, that Bote is the author of the book about the famous german fool. There was a german band called Eulenspygel in the seventies and Ougenweide, another german band called their 1976 album ‘Eulenspiegel'

  36. Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles
    The Martian Chronicles (1950) is a collection of linked short stories rather than as a novel. They tell the story of an attempt to colonize Mars and the first contact with the martians. One striking feature of many of these stories is the progressive political values which they embrace. Written during the height of the Cold War anti-Communist hysteria, they criticize imperialism, racism, environmental pollution, censorship, and the nuclear arms race.
    Solaris from Hungary recorded an album called ‘Marsbéli Kronikak - The martian Chronicles' in 1984.

  37. Bertold Brecht
    Heiner Goebbels' and Alfred Harth's album ‘Brecht - Zeit wird knapp' (1981) is a setting to music of some of Brecht's texts.

  38. Bertold Brecht: Über den Selbstmord
    The Art Bears put Brecht's poem ‘On suicide' to music on their album ‘Hope and Fears' (1978).

  39. Emily Jane Brontë: Wuthering Heights
    First published by 'Ellis Bell' in 1847, this is Brontë's/Bell's only novel. A book about elemantary forces and revenge, it was quite inspirational for Phil Collins' old band. It inspired the title and cover art of Genesis' 'Wind and Wuthering' album, as well as the instrumentals ''unquiet slumbers for the sleepers...' and ' that quiet earth'', the titels of which are, in fact, the final words of the book.

  40. Peter Currell Brown: Smallcreep's Day
    (A 1965 novel, described as a ‘surreal satire of automation', that inspired Mike Rutherford's first solo album. Side one tells the story of Mr. Nobody, who goes about his daily tasks at the factory, ensnared in a nine to five routine, and a boring life style alleviated by dreams of love.)

  41. William Seward Burroughs: The Soft Machine
    A novel that gave it's name to one of the most important bands of the late sixties. When Robert Wyatt left the band after 'Four', his new outfit was named 'Matching Mole' which is a pun on the french translation of 'soft machine', 'machine molle'.

  42. Samuel Butler: Erewhon
    Erewhon (an anagram of the word "nowhere") is a fictitious land providing the background for this satire on victorian England, published in 1872. Notturno Concertante from Italy recorded an album called ‘Erewhon' in 1993.

  43. George Gordon Lord Byron: Don Juan
    Byron's opus magnum, a satirical epic published between 1819 and 1824, has inspired Gentle Giant's 'Wreck" from 'Acquiring the Taste" (1971).

  44. George Gordon Lord Byron: When we Two parted
    A line in ‘Think Of Me With Kindness', from Gentle Giant's 1972 album ‘Octopus' is a slightly changed quote from Lord Byron's poem (written in 1808, first published 1816): ‘When we two parted in silence and tears,/half-broken-hearted to sever for years,/pale grew thy cheek and cold,/colder thy kiss.' Gentle Giant changed it into: ‘when we two parted in tears and silence'.

  45. Albert Camus
    Gentle Giant's ‘A Cry for Everyone' from their 1973 album ‘Octopus' is inspired by the literature and philosophy of Albert Camus.

  46. Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    Bill Bruford's 1979 album ‘One of a Kind' includes the song ‘Fainting in Coils', with words taken from Carroll's famous novel from 1865.
    Annie Haslam, singer of the UK band Renaissance, recorded her first solo album, called 'Annie in Wonderland' in 1977.
    On the first album by Hatfield and the North (1973), there is a song called „Lobster in Cleavage Probe". The sixth line, "like a teatray in the sky", is a parody of a line in „Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", spoken by the Mad Hatter. Thanks to Peter Gunther.
    Shadowland (UK) recorded an album called 'Mad as a hatter' in 1996, the title is a allusion to the figure of the Mad Hatter.
    Another figure, the March Hare features in Jon Anderson's song 'We have heaven' from 'Fragile' (1972).

  47. Lewis Carroll: Jabberwocky
    This poem has been inspirational for Clive Nolan's collaboration with Oliver Wakeman.

  48. Lewis Carroll: Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there
    The follow-up to the surprisingly successful ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', published in 1872 tells the story of Alice's adventures in the world behind the mirror.
    It inspired the Neo-Prog band Shadowland to write their album ‘Through the looking glass' (1994).
    Peter Hammill had a song called "This side of the looking glass" on "Over" (1976).

  49. Carolyn Casady: Heartbeat
    Revisiting the Beat writers during the time of recording ‘Beat', Adrian Belew christened his song after Casady's memoirs of her times with Jack Kerouac and Neal Casady, published in 1976.

  50. Carlos Castaneda: Journey to Ixtlan
    The Jon and Vangelis song ‘Journey to Ixtlan' from 'Page of Life' (1991) is named after Castaneda's book, published in 1986.
    There has been an album called 'New voyage to Ixtlan' by the brasilian band Alpha III (2000), but I'm not sure that there is a connection.

  51. Carlos Castaneda: The Power of Silence
    This book (published in 1991) and other mystical/spiritual writings by Castaneda were used by Jon Anderson as the subject of his solo album ‘Toltec', which was originally to be titled ‘The Power of Silence'. On Jon's Opio website, several other Toltec books are mentioned: Ken Eagle Feather: A Toltec Path and Victor Sanchez: Toltecs of the New Millennium.

  52. Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
    This collection of tales in verse and prose has been published posthumously around 1478. Caravan released an album of the same title in 1976.
    „A Nod and a Wink" (2002) is the title of a Camel album. The title of the song „The Miller's Tale" is also the name of a chapter of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Well, actually it's called „The Miller's Prologue and Tale". It is the counterpart of the Knight's Tale, for it is a vulgar, ribald, and satirical fabliau in stark contrast to the courtly love of the former. Don't know if there really is a connection to the Camel song, but anyway, thanks to Peter Gunther.

  53. Marcus Tullius Cicero: De re publica
    De re publica is a discussion of political theory in six books. It deals with topics like political constitution, realization of Justice, legislation etc. The italian band Deus ex Machina recorded an album called De re publica in 1995.

  54. Arthur Charles Clarke: Childhood's End
    ‘Watcher of the Skies', from Genesis' 1972 album ‘Foxtrot', is based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel from 1953, as well as Van der Graaf Generator's ‘A childlike faith in childhood's end', the last track on ‘Still Life' (1976). The Overlords, an alien race, have been sent to Earth by a higher power to prepare the human race to transcend their present form of existence to a ‘spiritual realm', a higher level of existance. Thanks to Julius J. Saroha.
    The line ‘Watcher of the Skies' also appears in Keats' 1817 sonnet ‘On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer', where the experience of reading Chapman's translation of Homer (1616) is compared to the feeling Cortez must have had, but I doubt that you could easily bring the two together. I think the Appearance of the same line in the Genesis song is merely a coincidence because the lyrics of the song clearly go into a different direction.
              "Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
              When a new planet swims into his ken
              Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
              He stared at the Pacific -- and all his men
              Looked at each other with a wild surmise
              Silent, upon a peak in Darien."

  55. Arthur Charles Clarke: The Sentinel
    Mike Oldfield's ‘Tubular Bells 2' (1992) starts with a track named ‘Sentinel'. Oldfield fans had had some discussion about its links to the story of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke. This short story first appeared in "10 story fantasy" in 1951, under the title "Sentinel of eternity" and was the inspiration for the theme developed in the film '2001: A space odyssey'. Oldfield's next album was based on one of Clarke's early novels, 'The Songs Of Distant Earth'. Thanks to Martín Hernández.

  56. Arthur Charles Clarke: The songs of distant earth
    Arthur C. Clarkes science fiction novel, first published in 1958, about an attempt to colonize other planets after the destruction of earth, inspired Mike Oldfield to record his 1994 album of the same name. Clarke was impressed enough with the music to write the liner notes. Thanks to John Kuge.

  57. Arthur Charles Clarke: Sunjammer
    ‘Sunjammer' (1964) is another Clarke story title (now known as ‘The Wind From The Sun') used by Mike Oldfield. There is a songs of the same name on ‘Tubular Bells 2' (1992).

  58. Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Rime of the ancyent Marinere
    First published in 1798, re-worked and republished as ‘The Ancient Mariner. A Poet's Reverie', this lyrical ballad has been inspirational to David Bedford, who released his musical version as ‘The rime of the ancient mariner' in 1975. The narrative was provided by actor Robert Powell and Mike Oldfield added some guitar work.

  59. Erich von Däniken
    Erich von Däniken is a swiss author, who holds the firm opinion, that the human race has been influenced by aliens several times during its development. Not really literature, but interesting (if somewhat adventurous) enough to be mentioned here as influential to the nineties band Von Däniken (UK).

  60. Samuel R. Delany: Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones
    Happy the Man's ‘Time Considered as a Helix of Precious Laughs' from the 1977 album ‘Happy the Man' is based on Delany's science fiction story (published in 1968).

  61. August Derleth: The Lurker at the Threshold
    On ‘Grendel', Marillion's longest track (from ‘Script for a Jester's Tear', 1983), a reference is made to ‘The Lurker at the Threshold', a short story similar to H. P. Lovecraft's work, and sometimes even published under the wrong name. First collected in 1945.

  62. René Descartes (Renatus Cartesius)
    Descartes (1596 - 1650) is regarded as the father of modern rationalism. His sentence "cogito, ergo sum" inspired quite a number of people, including the french band Ergo sum who recorded only one album, ‘Mexico' back in 1971.

  63. Philip K. Dick: Do androids dream of electric sheep?
    ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep', originally published 1968, is Dick's most well known novel, due to the fact that the movie ‘Blade Runner' was based on this story. It is the futuristic story of Rick Deckard, a Blade Runner. He is a special police officer assigned to terminate human replicants who live unnoticed in the San Francisco of 2021. The replicants are perfect reproductions of humans who are manufactured to do hard physical labor in the colonization of distant planets. When a group of replicants go on a murder spree, hijack a ship and return to Earth, it is Deckard's job to search and destroy these villianous Androids. Throughout the course of the book, Deckard finds himself caught between his own feelings and the requirements of his job to kill.
    Teru's Symphonia from Japan recorded an album called ‘Do androids dream of electric camel?' (sic) in 1997.

  64. Salvatore Di Giacomo
    Check the bottom of this page.

  65. Stephen R. Donaldson: Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
    ‘Home by the Sea' from ‘Genesis' may be a description of the Caamora Giants in Stephen R. Donaldson's ‘Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant' (1980, part of the ‘Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever' series). This is a story about a visitor (thief?) who enters a large, old house by the sea. Once inside, he is trapped along with the other ghosts who erred similarly and are doomed to tell their stories over and over again.

  66. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
    The latest collaboration of Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles' (2002) is based on Doyles classic Sherlock Holmes-novel from 1901/02.

  67. Ken Eagle Feather: A Toltec Path A User's Guide to the Teachings of Don Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda, and Other Toltec Seers
    Jon Anderson's album ‘Toltec', which was originally to be titled ‘The Power of Silence' seems to have been inspired by several writings of Carlos Castaneda (‘The Power of Silence'), Victor Sanchez and Ken Eagle Feather. Eagle Feather delves into things like chakras, out-of-body experiences and chanelling. The book has been published in 1995. See also: Victor Sanchez: Toltecs of the New Millennium and Carlos Castaneda: The Power of Silence.

  68. Umberto Eco: Il nome della rosa
    The lyrics for the song 'The Abbey of Synn' from Ayreons 1996 album 'Actual Fantasy' were inspired by this 1980ies classic about the power of literature.

  69. E. R. Eddison: Worm Ouroborous
    National Health's song ‘Tenemos Roads' (from their 1977 album ‘National Health') is about ancient civilizations on the planet Mercury and was inspired by ‘The Worm Ouroborous' (first published in 1926).

  70. Eilhard von Oberge: Tristrant
    Go to Thomas d'Angleterre.

  71. Thomas Stearns Eliot: Burnt Norton
    The Title ‘The Deception of the Thrush' (on ProjeKct Two's ‘Live Groove', 1998, on ProjeKct Four's ‘West Coast Live', 1999 and on King Crimson's ‘Heavy ConstruKction', 2000) is taken from Eliot's poem ‘Burnt Norton' (written in 1934), which is part of ‘The four Quartets'. See also Thomas Stearns Eliot: The waste Land.

  72. Thomas Stearns Eliot: The waste Land
    In their song 'The Cinema Show' from their 'Selling England by the pound' album (1973), Genesis cleverly combined several literary traditions. The basic substance of the lyrics is derived from Eliot's poem 'The waste Land' (1922), maybe the peak of his early work. This is where they also took the personal from, such as Tiresias, a seer from grecian mythology, who plays an important role in Sophokles tragedy 'Oidipus Tyrannos' and in Homer's Odysseia (see also William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Homer: Odysseia, Sophokles: Oidipus Tyrannos).
    A song on Curved Airs' 'Second' album (1971) is called 'Piece of Mind' and contains some lyrics from 'The waste Land'.
    The ProjeKcts (ProjeKct Two on ‘Live Groove', 1998, ProjeKct Four on ‘West Coast Live', 1999) and King Crimson (on ‘Heavy ConstruKction', 2000) used a tape of Eliot reading his poem on the live performances of "The Deception of the Thrush". See also T. S. Eliot: Burnt Norton.

  73. Euripides: Bacchae
    The Ottawa Music Company (a bandcollective with Henry Cow, Egg and Khan) recorded music for Rob Walker's production of Euripides' 'The Bacchae' (written before 406 a. d.) in 1972.

  74. Valerio Evangelisti: Cherudek
    Time Machine's album 'Evil' (2001) tells a story about the spreading of the evil (whatever this may be, we should ask George W. Bush about that one, I guess) and it is inspired by Evangelisti's novel, published in 1997.

  75. Todd Brendan Fahey: Room 55, the Hotel von Onna, Amsterdam
    Frank Wyatt, one of the founders of the prog-jazz/rock quintet Happy The Man, has released a solo CD (‘A Certain Whisper' (2001)) featuring a track called ‘A Dream of Amsterdam', which was written for and dedicated to author Todd Brendan Fahey, after Wyatt's reading of his essay ‘Room 55, the Hotel von Onna, Amsterdam' from the unpublished ‘Essential preMortem: Fugitive Writings of Todd Brendan Fahey'.

  76. Howard Fast: The Vision of Milty Boil
    Genesis' ‘Get 'em Out by Friday' (from ‘Foxtrot') is a retelling of Howard Fast's ‘The Vision of Milty Boil' from the collection ‘The General Zapped an Angel' (1970), which is part fantasy, part vicious satire on marketing.

  77. Tiberio Fiorillo
    Scaramouche is a figure o f the Commedia dell'arte (the italian form of extempore comedy), a braggart, created by Tiberio Fiorillo around 1640. A german band called Scaramouche released an album of the same name in 1981.

  78. Gustave Flaubert: Salammbô
    Gustave Flaubert's Salammbô (1862) is an historical novel, which interweaves historical and fictional characters. The blood-and-thunder action of sensuous and violent exoticism takes place immediately before and during the Mercenary Revolt against Carthage in the third century BC. „Salammbô" is the name of a fictional priestess and daughter of Hamilcar Barca, an aristocratic Carthaginian general, who is the object of the obsessive lust of Matho, a leader of the mercenaries.
    French band Wapassou's 1977 album was called „Salammbo". Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  79. Robert Frost: Nothing Gold can stay
    A song on Farpoint's album ‘From Dreaming To Dreaming' (2004) is called ‘O lost" which is obviously inspired by Thomas Wolfe's book 'Look homeward Angel' and Robert Frost's ‘Nothing Gold can stay'. In its first published version, in The Yale Review (October 1923), under the present title, the poet caught both the moment of transitory perfection and the sense that the Edenic ideal must give way to earthly dying beauty:
              Nature's first green is gold,
              Her hardest hue to hold.
              Her early leafs a flower;
              But only so an hour.
              Then leaf subsides to leaf.
              So Eden sank to grief,
              So dawn goes down to day.
              Nothing gold can stay .

  80. Paul Gallico: The Snow Goose
    Camel's album of the same name has been a musical interpretation of this book. The author was not very content with what the band had done, for he had had different ideas. Above all, Gallico had not been consulted on the use of the book's name, which caused legal action.

  81. John Champlin Gardner: Grendel
    Published 1971, 'Grendel' is Gardner's most important book and one of his best known works. It is a parody of 'Beowulf', telling the story from the monster's point of view. Grendel, the cynical nihilist is a sarcastic critic of men. The existentialist and post-modernist traditions are obvious. Fish based the lyrics of Marillion's epic 'Grendel' on this book.

  82. John Gay: The Beggar's Opera
    This famous parody, first performed in 1728 connects dialogue and ballads and shows the opposite of the High Society. It has been the source for Brecht's and Weill's 'Dreigroschenoper' and gave it's name to a scottish Progressive Rock band.

  83. Alan Ginsberg: Howl and other Poems
    On King Crimson's ‘Beat'-Album (1982), the song "The Howler" might allude to Alan Ginsberg's poem ‘Howl', published 1956 in his debut bundle of poetry, called ‘Howl and other Poems'. Thanks to Robert Eksteen.

  84. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust
    Goethe's famous tragedy in two parts (published in 1808 and 1832) is the german adaption of the Doctor Faustus story. The italian band Aton's based their 1994 album 'Dr. Faust' on it.
    A german band from the seventies called themselves Faust.
    An album called 'Mephistopheles' has been released by the australian band Mephistopheles in 1975.

  85. René Goscinny/Albert Uderzo: Astérix le Gaulois
    This french comic strip series is world famous for it's great stories and educational content. It tells the story of the inhabitants of a little gaulish village who fight against the roman conquerors. The german band Asterix took it's name from there and also called their debut album ‘Asterix' (1970).

  86. Guido Gozzano
    Check the bottom of this page.

  87. Günter Grass: Die Blechtrommel
    Grass's debut novel from 1959 is the first of a trilogy (Danziger Trilogie) and tells the story of the life of Oskar Matzerath, his parents and grandparents between 1899 and 1952. The book is named after Oskar's tin drum, which is also the name of a german Neo-Prog band.

  88. Robert Graves: The White Goddess
    In 1998, The Enid released `White Goddess,' an ecological parable loosely based on the legendary work of Robert Graves (1895 - 1985). He was a poet, novelist, classicist, mythographer and lecturer. In his career he was first admired for the poems he wrote from the front as a combatant in the first world war. He then became recognised as one of the finest love poets writing in the English language. ‘The White Goddess' is a key book for modern Pagans and Wiccans. Subtitled 'A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth', Robert Graves investigates the links between poetry, mythology and the worship of "The Goddess". ‘The White Goddess' was one of the first widely available books which uncompromisingly advocated a Goddess-centered spirituality. It is written from the point of view of a working poet struggling to reconcile the ancient crafts of poetry and mythology with the brutality of the twentieth century.

  89. William Golding: Lord of the Flies
    The song "Flower King of Flies" from The Nice's debut "The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack" (1967) has been inspired by Golding's classic novel about fascism, published in 1954.

  90. Tommaso Grossi
    Check the bottom of this page.

  91. Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff: Beelzebub's tales to his grandson
    It is known, that Robert Fripp came in touch with the teachings of Gurdjieff and his follower H. G. Bennett during the seventies. There has been a bibliography of Gurdjieff's works, compiled by J. Walter Driscoll, which lists over 1,700 books, so the one mentioned here can only be a vicarious one. I chose it, because it is widely regarded as Gurdjieff's most important work. The three volume thing starts with the advice to read it thrice to get the full meaning, and - of course - to get a greater awareness and full self-confidence. But I guess, if you ignore that advice, it shows that you already have gained a considerable amount of self-confidence...

  92. Robert Anson Heinlein: Starship Troopers
    This fascistoid classic science fiction novel from 1959 about a young man growing up in a militaristic society and his career in the army during a war aginst the 'bugs', primitive insectoid aliens strangely provided Jon Anderson with the title and perhaps some of the imagery for the song 'Starship Trooper' from 'The Yes Album'. Thanks to John Kuge.

  93. Robert Anson Heinlein: Stranger in a strange land
    This counterculture bible of the 60ies, tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, orphaned progeny of the first manned expedition to Mars, who has been raised by Martians and brought back to Earth by a second human expedition. Though he is a man in his twenties, Smith looks at absolutely everything on this new planet through the ignorant eyes of a baby, and faces the job of learning how to be a human being. If the world government of Earth will let him, that is, for Smith, through a legal fluke, not only has sole survivor rights to the space drive that his mother invented, but also to the surface of Mars. In a Byzantine maneuver that makes Watergate seem minor, the government holds Smith hostage while it tries to figure out how to seize his assets. Ben Caxton, a muckraking reporter, suspects the worst and attempts to rescue Smith. The problem is, if you can't fight City Hall, how can you even begin to fight a world government? Enter Caxton's friend, Jubal Harshaw, attorney, physician, hack writer, bon vivant, curmudgeon, anarchist. He caches Smith in Freedom Hall, his Poconos enclave, and takes on the dual chore of fighting the world federation for Smith's liberty and of educating Smith in the ways of his biological race. The youth is an apt student, a strange admixture of human infant and Martian superman, and as time goes on, he manages to win more and more people over to his own alien viewpoint. He becomes a kind of messiah--with explosive results.
    Sounds quite like an inspiration for Spock's Beard's ‘Snow' album (2002), doesn't it? In fact, the album contains a song called ‘Stranger in a strange land'.

  94. Ernest Hemingway: The old man and the sea
    This short novel, his last completed work was published in 1952. It tells the story of an old fisherman and his fight against a huge sword-fish. The Old Man And The Sea, a band from Denmark, recorded an album of the same name in 1972.

  95. Frank Herbert: Dune
    Frank Herbert's philosophical science fiction novels have been inspirational for David Matthews, who recorded a fusion album called Dune in 1977.
    There is a french Neo Prog band called Arrakeen, after the capital of the planet Arrakis.

  96. Hesiodos: Theogonia
    The greek Hesiodos tells the story of the creation of the first woman, Pandora by Hephaistos in v. 507 - 616. This has been inspirational for a couple of bands:
    Caja de Pandora, a band from Mexico, recorded an album of the same name in 1991.
    Gerard from Japan released their album 'Pandora's Box' in 1997.
    Prometheus from the US took their name from the story of Prometheus, who stole the fire from the gods and brought it to the human beings, which is also being told by Hesiodos (v. 507 - 616). They released their self-titled album 'Prometheus' in 1994.

  97. Hermann Hesse
    The German band Between recorded an Album called ‘Hesse between Music' in 1974, a record that contained lyrics by Hermann Hesse.

  98. Hermann Hesse: Die Morgenlandfahrt
    Jon Anderson quoted Hesse's book as an inspirational source for the ‘Close to the Edge' times. The book has been published in 1932.
    I'm not sure about this one: There has been an album called 'Journey to the east' by Castanarc (1984) which may have been inspired by Hesse's book

  99. Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha
    Written between 1919 and 1922
    Nowadays regarded as puberty literature, Hesse's works have been read by a lot of people in the sixties and seventies. For those who want to find out about the background of Yes' 'Close to the edge', Siddhartha is the book to read. The river you hear at the beginning and at the end of the song plays an important role for young Siddhartha, Hesse's protagonist.
    There has also been a german band called Siddharta in the seventies.

  100. Hippokrates
    „Ars longa, vita brevis" („art is long, life is short") is part of an aphorism by Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460-357 BC). The full text (after Seneca's rendering in De Brevitate Vitae sect. 1.) translates as "Life is short, [the] art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult: The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate." The first two phrases are often quoted by themselves, and thus misconstrued to mean that art is longer-lasting than individual lives. It seems more likely that Hippocrates meant that learning one's craft is a process that only ends with one's death. I don't know which meaning The Nice had in mind when they recorded their album „Ars Longa Vita Brevis" in 1968. Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  101. Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin
    A german Prog band named itself Hölderlin, after a german poet (1770 - 1843).
    A nineties band from Germany is called Hölderlin Express.

  102. Homeros: Ilias
    This epic in 15.000 verses is the earliest text of greek poetry. The title ‘Ilias' is derived from ‘Ilion', which is another name for the city of Troy.
    Troya is also the name of a german band from the seventies.

  103. Homeros: Odysseia
    In their song 'The Cinema Show' from their 'Selling England by the pound' album (1973), Genesis cleverly combined several literary traditions. The basic substance of the lyrics is derived from Eliot's poem 'The waste Land' (1922). Tiresias, a seer from grecian mythology, does not only appear in the poem and in Sophokles' tragedy 'Oidipus Tyrannos', but also in Homer's Odysseia (ca. 700 b. c.). (see also Thomas Stearns Eliot: The waste Land, William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Sophokles: Oidipus Tyrannos).
    XII Alfonso from France recorded an album called 'Odyssees' in 1999.
    The french band Artcane recorded an album called „Odyssee" in 1977. Thanks to Peter Gunther.
    'Odyssey' is also a song on the album 'Paradise Lost' by US Band Aztec Jade (2000).
    David Bedford released an album called 'The odyssey' in 1976.
    On Caravan's first album (1968) there's a songs called 'Where But For Caravan Would I?'. The first line of the second stanza starts with the words "Wine coloured sea". In the Odyssey "Wine dark sea" describes Odysseus' wet surroundings in many chapters.
    A song by Eloy which is called 'End of an Odyssey', originally apperared on 'Time to turn' (1982) and, reworked, I think, on 'Chronicles I' (1993)
    King Crimson's 'Islands' is a loose concept album that evokes the Homeric ideal of seafaring travel. Circe and Odysseus are mentioned in the first song on the album, 'Formentera Lady'. There have also been speculations of a connection between 'Islands' and James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.
    Odissea, a band from Italy, released an album called 'Odissea' in 1973.
    Polifemo from Argentina named themselves after the one-eyed giant and recorded an album called 'Polifemo' in 1976.
    A Symphony X album was called 'The Odyssey'.
    A nineties band from Germany called 'Ulysses' released their only album 'Neronia' in 1993. They might also be named after James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.

  104. Victor Hugo: Notre-Dame de Paris
    This novel, published in 1831 caused a revolution of the literary taste in france. Main protagonist of this roman poème in three volumes is Quasimodo, the bellringer of the gothic cathedral Notre-Dame. Quasimodo is the name of a US band from the nineties and of an album by Quaterna Requiem (Brasil) released in 1994.

  105. Johan Huizinga: Homo ludens
    Krabat's 1997 album ‘Homo ludens' appears to be influenced by this classic on history of civilization published in 1938.

  106. Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
    The album title ‘Grave new world' (1972) by the Strawbs might be an allusion to this famous dystopy.
    Saens' album 'Prophet in a statistical world" (2004) was inspired by the dystopic novels '1984", 'Brave new world", 'The Time Machine" and 'This Perfect Day"

  107. Hywel Fychan fab Hywel Goch of Fuellt: The Red Book of Hergest
    See The Mabinogion.

  108. Robert Jordan: The Wheel of Time
    Robert Berry's ‘A Soundtrack for ‘The Wheel of Time' (2001) features music inspired by the 9 books of Jordan's ‘The Wheel of Time' series which started in 1990 with ‘The Eye of the World'. The books tell the story of the battles against the Dark One in the recurring Age of Legends.

  109. James Joyce: A portrait of the artist as a young man
    Richard Palmer-James says about ‘Exiles' (in Sid Smith's book about King Crimson): "The atmosphere of the piece is influenced by the last couple of paragraphs of James Joyce's ‘A portrait of the artist as a young man'". ‘Portrait', a book about the development of a young artist, was Joyce's first novel, published in 1916.

  110. James Joyce: Finnegan's Wake
    Finnegan's Wake, a nineties band from Belgium, took their name from Joyce's "strangest dream that was ever half dreamt", an epical history of mankind.

  111. James Joyce: Ulysses
    Written between 1914 and 1921, this milestone of 20th century literature has been considered as having been inspirational to Peter Sinfield, who wrote the lyrics for King Crimson's 1971 classic 'Islands'. Whether this is the case or not, I cannot decide, neither Robert Fripp nor Peter Sinfield have made statements concerning this topic. But the are a couple of connections: In the chapter 'Eumaeus' there is a sailor's tale and the chapter 'Lestrygonians' begins with Leopold Bloom feeding seagulls...
    See also Homer: Odysseia.
    A nineties band from Germany called 'Ulysses' released their only album 'Neronia' in 1993. They might also be named after Homer's Odysseia.

  112. Mary Margaret Kaye: Palace of the Winds
    "Hawa Mahal" is also known as the Palace of the Winds. It forms the east wall of the City Palace complex in Jaipur. It is the most famous building in Jaipur because of its western facade which contains 953 small casements in a huge curve, each containing a balcony and a crowning arch. The windows let cool air circulate throughout the palace and they provide a place for the women to watch what is going on in the city without being seen.
    Mary Margaret Kaye published a novel called "Palace of the Winds", but I am not sure whether this was the inspiration for the german band Mind Over Matter to record their album ‘Palace of the Winds' (1995).

  113. John Keats: Fall of Hyperion
    Robert John Godfrey, mastermind of The Enid, released a solo album called ‘Fall of Hyperion' in 1974. The album comes to a close with ‘The Dreamer', which on the album is accompanied by a quotation from Keats, "Turn the Key deftly in the oiled wards And seal the hushed casket of my soul".

  114. John Keats: Lamia
    ‘The Lamia' from Genesis' 1974 concept album ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' seems to be derived from ‘Lamia', published in 1820. The Lamia are fabulous creatures, similar to vampires, used as bugbears in the antiquity. The content of ‘Lamia' is mainly derived from an episode of Philostratos' ‘Life of Apollonios of Tyana', which was used by Robert Burton in his ‘Anatomy of Melancholy' (1621).

  115. Wilfred Kellogg: The Urantia Book
    It was published by the Urantia Foundation, 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago 14, Illinois, in 1955 and contains 2097 pages. Examining its contents you will discover that it claims to be written by numerous celestial beings as a special revelation to man living on this world, Urantia. In fact, it's a mixture of science fiction and (sometimes pseudoreligious) adventist writings by Wilfred Kellogg, that tries to combine scientific knowledge and (christian) religion, and retells the commonly known episodes from the Bible, most importantly the 'Life and Teachings of Jesus'. Fun reading, but spanning over 2000 pages, I doubt anybody has read it through at all. Not very well known outside the US (surprise, surprise!) it inspired Christian Vander and Klaus Blasquiz of Magma.
    The brazilian Band Ashtar recorded an album called 'Urantia' in 2002. It's a mixture of Prog, Metal and Folk.

  116. Jack Kerouac: On the road
    'mei', the echolyn album (2002), is being described by the band as "...a combination of Jack Kerouac's 'on the road' (first published in 1957) and Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno'.

  117. Jack Kerouac: Satori in Paris
    This novel about Kerouac's search into his own heritage, published in 1966, has been, along with Paul Bowles' ‘The sheltering Sky', inspirational for King Crimson's ‘Sartori in Tangier' from ‘Beat', 1982. ‘Satori' is a Zen phrase, meaning enlightenment.

  118. Stephen King: Wizard and Glass.
    A song on Farpoint's album 'Grace' (2003) is called 'Nevermore' and might be inspired by Stephen King's book 'Wizard and Glass' (1997), book 4 of a fantasy series called 'The dark Tower'.

  119. Heinrich Kramer (Heinrich Institor): Malleus Maleficarum
    The Malleus Maleficarum is a writing against witches, the central text of the hysterical european witch-hunt. It was first printed in 1486 in Speyer, Germany.
    A nineties band from Italy called themselves Malleus, maybe an allusion to the title of the book.
    'White Hammer' by Van Der Graaf Generator (from their 1969 album 'The least we can do is wave to each other') is about the 'Malleus Maleficarum'. Thanks to Robert Eksteen

  120. R. D. Laing: Knots
    The lyrics for ‘Knots', from Gentle Giant's 1973 album ‘Octopus', come from the small book of word games, poems and thought exercises by the psychologist R.D. Laing, published in 1970. They used various poems to build the lyrics for the song. For the sources, see here.
    The line ‘Each man in all men/All men in each man' has not been written by Jean-Paul Sartre, as some websites report.
    'Knots" also provided lyrical inspiration for 'Playing the Game" from Gentle Giant's 'The Power and the Glory" (1974)

  121. Edward Lear: The Owl and the Pussycat
    "The Owl and the Pussycat" is a famous nonsense poem by Edward Lear, first published in 1871. It features four anthropomorphised animals, the owl, the pussycat, the 'piggy-wig' and a turkey, and revolves around the love between the title characters, who are married by the Turkey in the final stanza.
    On the Kevin Ayers album „Yes, We Have No Mananas" (from 1976) there is a song called „The Owl". This is a take on Lear's poem, from the Pussycat's point of view. Thanks to Peter Gunther

  122. Clive Staples Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia
    Steve Hackett's song 'Narnia,' from his second solo album, Please Don't Touch, was inspired by this series of fantasy children's books, particularly volume 1: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The Chronicles have been published in seven volumes between 1950 and 1956.
    There has been a UK band called Narnia in the seventies, but I don't know for sure if they took their name from the chronicles.

  123. Clive Staples Lewis: The Screwtape Letters
    'My dear Wormwood', part three of echolyn's suite 'Letters' is directly inspired by Clive Staples Lewis's 'The Screwtape Letters'. This is a satire in 31 letters, first published in 1942. In these letters Screwtape, an experienced devil, advises his nephew Wormwood how to win the soul of his mortal charge by utilisation of his little weaknesses.

  124. Clive Staples Lewis: The weight of glory
    A story by Glass hammer member Steve Babb called „The Lady of Lirazel", which is based on Alfred Lord Tennyson 1832 poem „The Lady of Shallot" is the basis for the album „The inconsolable secret" (2005). The album's title comes from Lewis' book „The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses", a compilation of essays on Christianity by C.S. Lewis. "The Weight of Glory" was first given at Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, June 8th, 1941. See also Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany: The King of Elfland's Daughter.

  125. Elias Lönnet: Kalevala
    See under Kalevala.

  126. Howard Phillips Lovecraft

    On Arzachel's eponomymoulsy titled debut from 1969, there is a song called ‘Azathoth'. Azathoth, a creature that appears in several texts, is described by Lovecraft in ‘The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath' (a short story first published in 1938) as: "...that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity—the boundless daemon-sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes; to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic ultimate gods, the blind, voiceless, tenebrous, mindless Other Gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep."

    C'thlu Thlu
    ‘C'thlu Thlu' is the name of a song on Caravan's album ‘For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" (1973)
    The artwork of Vangelis' ‘The Dragon' (1971) is said to depict C'thlu Thlu rising from R'lyeh, but I am not really convinced.
    C'thlu Thlu is a monster-god appearing in several of Lovecraft's texts, most obviously in ‘The Call of C'thlu Thlu', a short story written in 1926 and published in 1928. It is described as: "If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings... It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence..."
    The name "C'thlu Thlu" doesn't come from Sumerian mythology. This is a hoax perpetrated by the "Simon" edition of Lovecraft's ‘Necronomicon' which combines elements of Sumerian mythology and the Lovecraft myths. The name was purely an invention of Lovecraft's.

    Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth
    Shub-Niggurath (also called "The goat with a thousand young", a god of fertility) and Yog-Sothoth are two creatures that feature in several narratives by Lovecraft.
    Shub-Niggurath is also the name of a French band whose influences range from "electroacoustic and modern jazz to 17th century Italian and contemporary classical." They recorded a song called ‘Yog-Sothoth' on their 1985 album ‘Shub-Niggurath' which reappears on 1987's ‘ Les morts vont vite'
    Yoggy is described in ‘Through the Gates of the Silver Key': "It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self—not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence's whole unbounded sweep—the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of earth have whispered of as Yog-Sothoth, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable Sign..."

    The Band Halloween used texts written by Lovecraft for four songs on their album ‘Laz' (1989):
              - 'The Wood': Lyrics are from Lovecraft's poem of the same name (January 1929)
              - 'Waltz': Lyrics are from Lovecraft's 'Clouds' (From: A Cycle of Verse [November-December 1918])
                 and the first stanza of 'Psychopompos: A Tale in Rhyme.' (late 1917-summer 1918)
              - 'Yule Horror': Lyrics are from Lovecraft's 'Festival.' (December 1925)
              - 'Laz': Lyrics are from Lovecraft's 'The Nightmare Lake.' (December 1919)

  127. H. P. Lovecraft: At the Mountains of Madness
    Djam Karet, californian progressive band, recorded a song called „At the Mountains of Madness" for their 1991 album „Burning the Hard City". „At the Mountains of Madness" is a novella by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in February/March 1931 and originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of „Astounding Stories". It has been reproduced in numerous collections since Lovecraft's death.

  128. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Call of C'thlu Thlu
    On Solstice's album ‘New Dark Age' (1998) there is a song of the same name on which the opening paragraph of Lovecraft's ‘The Call of Cthulhu' is read.
    C'thlu Thlu is a monster-god appearing in several of Lovecraft's texts, most obviously in ‘The Call of C'thlu Thlu', a short story written in 1926 and published in 1928. It is described as: "If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings... It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence..."
    The name "C'thlu Thlu" doesn't come from Sumerian mythology. This is a hoax perpetrated by the "Simon" edition of Lovecraft's ‘Necronomicon' which combines elements of Sumerian mythology and the Lovecraft myths. The name was purely an invention of Lovecraft's.

  129. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
    The german progmetal band Payne's Gray described their sole album 'Kadath decoded' (1995) as "the musical interpretation of H.P. Lovecraft's masterpiece ‘The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath'", a short story, written in January of 1927, first published in 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep' in 1943.
    Le Orme, an Italian progressive rock band recorded an album called 'Beyond Leng' in 1975. The album title is a phrase from 'The Dream-Quest'.

  130. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Music of Erich Zann
    Univers Zero put Lovecraft's short story (published in 1922) to music, on their album ‘Ceux Du Dehors' (1981), by a short collective improvisation called ‘La Musique D'Erich Zann'. The liner notes describe it as "a collective improvisation inspired by a short story by H.P. Lovecraft."

  131. newly addedMarion Lowndes: The House of Ocean born Mary
    "The House of Ocean born Mary" is a New England ghost story, first published in "Ghosts that still walk" (1941) put to Music by Keith Emerson and Marc Bonilla on their 2008 Album "The Keith Emerson band featuring Marc Bonilla".

  132. Niccoló Macchiavelli
    Check the bottom of this page.

  133. John Malloy/Willy Malloy: Gallowglass
    According to Sid Smith, on ‘Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I' (1973) King Crimson used voices from the play ‘Gallowglass' by John and Willy Malloy which had been recorded by Bill Bruford off his radio at home. It was Jamie Muir's idea to use voices on that track, and ‘Gallowglass' was chosen at random. I couldn't find out anything about the play, it is even probable, that it has never been published at all. More information welcome!

  134. Mao Tse Tung: Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung
    Matching Mole's "Little red record" (1972) has the book depicted on cover.
    The Nice's song title "The thoughts of Emerlist Davjack" (from the 1967 album of the same title) is an allusion to the book title "The thoughts of Chairman Mao Tse-tung".

  135. Gustav Meyrink: Der Golem
    Gustav Meyrink used the old jewish legend about Rabbi Löw and his creation, a being made of loam for his novel (1915). A german band from the seventies named themselves Golem, but I am not sure which source they used. There has also been a drama called ‘Der Golem' by Leiwick Halpern which is unfortunately not as famous as the novel, so it is improbable that the musicians of Golem knew it.

  136. John Milton: Paradise Lost
    This epic poem of 19565 verses, first published in 1667 in ten books and written in blank verse (a second, reworked edition with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification was published in 1674) tells the story of the fight between Satan and his evil forces against god, the creation of the world and the fall of man.
    ‘Paradise Lost' is a song by After Crying (on „Show", 2003).
    It's also the name of an album by the US Band Aztec Jade (released in 2000).
    Novela from Japan released an album called ‘Paradise Lost' in 1981.

  137. Heiner Müller: Der Auftrag
    Heiner Goebbels' album ‘Der Mann im Fahrstuhl' (1988), featuring an appearance of Fred Frith and several other german and english musicians, is based on the play by the german author Heiner Müller (1980) which deals with the morals of french revolutionaries.

  138. Friedrich Nietzsche: Also sprach Zarathustra
    'Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None' (english title) is a book written during the 1880s by the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. The work is a treatise on philosophy, a work of literature, and in parts a collection of poetry and in others a parody of and amendment to the Bible. Consisting largely of speeches by the book's hero and prophet Zarathustra, the work's content extends across a vast range of styles and subject matter.
    The album 'Zarathustra' by the italian group Museo Rosenbach (released in 1973) contains songs like "L'Ultimo uomo" and "Superuomo", named after certain chapters from Nietzsche's book. Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  139. Nostradamus (alias Michel de Nostredame): Les Prophéties de Michel de Nostredame (1555 - 1568)
    This drug addict and deceiver from the sixteenth century has often been misunderstood as a seer of future times.
    Pelema Bokiou/Nostradamos from Greece recorded an album called ‘Pelema Bokiou/Nostradamos' in 1972.
    Solaris from Hungary released an album called ‘Nostradamus - Book of Prophecies' in 1999.

  140. Novalis (alias Friedrich von Hardenberg)
    The song 'Novalis' on Steve Howe's 1991 album 'Turbulence' refers to the german poet Novalis (1772 - 1801), who also gave his name to a german band.

  141. George Orwell: Coming Up For Air
    According to Derek Shulman, Gentle Giant's song ‘Memories Of Old Days' (on ‘The Missing Piece', 1977) refers to a George Orwell novel, which might be ‘Coming Up For Air'. This is suggested by the line ‘He should come up for air....'. The novel is about a man who returns to the small village where he grew up. He has to realise, that all he remembers from his childhood has gone. Orwell's interest in political development can already be detected in this 1939 text.

  142. George Orwell: 1984
    Orwell's dystopical novel about a totalitarian regime, first published in 1949 (!) served as the inspiration for three progressive artists: Rick Wakeman, Hugh Hopper and Anthony Phillips released concept albums based on this book.
    Saens' album 'Prophet in a statistical world' (2004) was inspired by the dystopic novels '1984', 'Brave new world', 'The Time Machine' and 'This Perfect Day'

  143. Publius Ovidius Naso: Metamorphoses
    Finished ca. 8 a. d.
    Names that aren't listed here may be found under Greek Mythology.
    Anyone's Daughter released an album called 'Adonis' in 1979 (read book X, verses 503 - 739).
    The story of Hermaphroditus and the nymph, told in book IV, verses 285 - 388, has been put to music by Genesis, in the song 'Fountain of Salmacis' on their 1972 album 'Nursery Cryme'.
    The story of Daphne and Apollon (I 452-567) apparently impressed the members of an Italian band enough to call themselves Daphne and record an album of the same name in (1996).
    There was a band called Dedalus from Italy, who recorded an album of the same name in 1973 (reference to book VIII, verses 182 - 235).
    Icarus from the UK named their 1972 album 'The marvel world of Icarus'.
    Ikarus from Germany released their album 'Ikarus' in 1971.
    Kansas took the character of Icarus for ‘Icarus: Borne on Wings of Steel' (from ‘Masque' (1975)) from the Metamorphoses.
    It has also been used by the italian band St. Tropez, on their album 'Icarus' (1992).
    Minotaurus a seventies band from Germany, who recorded an album called 'Fly away' in 1978, seem to have been inspired by the story of the Minotaurus living in King Minos' Labyrinth on Crete (VIII 152 - 182).
    The story of King Midas (IX 85), who converted everything he touched into gold, inspired the Japanese neo-prog band Midas and the UK band Renaissance, who recorded a song called 'Midas Man' on their album 'Novella'.
    On „Odyssee" (1977) by french band Artcane, there is a song called „Le Chant D'orphee".
    The character of Orpheus (X and XI) has also inspired the band Skryvania to the write the song 'Le Chateau d'Orphee' (on their album Skryvania (1978)).
    The story of Sisyphos (X 44) seemingly inspired the suisse band Sisyphos.
    Visible Wind from Canada used the imagery of the beautiful boy, who fell in love with his own reflection for their album 'Narcissus goes to the moon' (1997) (book III, verses 341 - 510).

  144. Giuseppe Parini
    Check the bottom of this page.

  145. Kenneth Patchen
    ‘Avant-garde: Moderne Chormusik' (1969) includes 'Two Poems for Chorus on Words of Kenneth Patchen' by David Bedford and his album 'Instructions For Angels' (1977) was apparently inspired by Patchens' poems about angels.

  146. Mervyn Peake: Gormenghast
    A song by the Strawbs called ‘Lady Fuchsia', from their 1973 album ‘Bursting at the seams' is based on the character from Mervyn Peake's ‘Gormenghast' (‘Titus Groan') trilogy (1946 - 1959). Fuchsia is the sister of Titus Groan, the rebellious seventy-seventh earl of Gormenghast.
    The british band Fruupp recorded a song called ‘Gormenghast' on their album ‘Modern Masquerades' (1975).

  147. Tom Phillips: A Humument
    The words ‘this night wounds time' from from the back cover of ‘Starless and bible black' come from cover artist Tom Phillips' epic work ‘A Humument'. ‘A Humument' is Tom Phillips' treated version of a Victorian novel. Phillips buys copies of William´Mallock's novel "A Human Document" and covers the pages with paint and other artwork, leaving bits of text peeking through as a sort of poetry. The first Humument pages were made in 1966 and it continues its life as a work in progress right up to the present with eight new pages published since the last Thames and Hudson revised edition in 1997. (A Humument homepage. Scans of every page of the first edition are available online here. The original version of "This night wounds time" is here)

  148. Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    MAO Inhibitor's first album is going to be called ‘Culture of one'. In an interview, Igor Khoroshev said: "The phrase came from Robert Pirsig's book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' (first published in 1974). He uses it to describe the personal insanity of a genius. Both Carl [Jacobson] and I were very impressed by the book."

  149. Platon: Kritias (ca. 340 b. c.)/Timaios (ca. 340 b. c.)
    The Fall of the island's civilization has been described by Platon in the two famous dialogues.
    Several bands have named themselves and/or their albums "Atlantis": Atlantis from Germany (album 'Atlantis', 1972), Atlantis from the US (album 'Atlantis', 1997) and Atlantis Philharmonic from the US (album 'Atlantis Philharmonic' 1974).
    Earth & Fire from the Netherlands called their 1973 album 'Atlantis'.
    The german band Eloy based their 1977 album ‘Ocean' on the Atlantis myth. It contained a song funnily called 'Atlantis - Agony at June 5th, 8498, 13p.m.'.
    Group Therapy from Japan recorded an album called Atlantis in 1999.
    The album ‘The Sentinel' by Pallas (released 1984) contains ‘Rise and Fall' and ‘Atlantis', which are both about Atlantis.
    The ELP influenced italian Band The Trip released an album called ‘Atlantide' in 1972.

  150. Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany: The King of Elfland's Daughter
    A story by Glass hammer member Steve Babb called „The Lady of Lirazel", which is based on Alfred Lord Tennyson 1832 poem „The Lady of Shallot" is the basis for the album „The inconsolable secret" (2005). The name „Lirazel" comes from Lord Dunsany's fantasy novel „The King of Elfland's Daughter" (1924). See also Clive Staples Lewis: The weight of glory.

  151. Edgar Allan Poe
    The Italian band E. A. Poe was named after the american Poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849).

  152. Edgar Allan Poe: The Fall of the House of Usher
    Peter Hammill has done an operatic treatment of Poes short story, published in 1839. It was released in 1991 and later reworked and rereleased in 1999.

  153. Terry Pratchett: Discworld
    David Greenslade released his album ‘From the Diskworld' in 1994 which is based on and using quotes from Terry Pratchett's ‘Discworld', a series of fantasy novels, which started in 1983 with ‘The Colour of Magic'.

  154. Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas
    Check the bottom of this page.

  155. François Rabelais: Gargantua et Pantagruel
    First published in five independent volumes 1532 - 1564, it has been named 'Gargantua et Pantagruel' by later editors, to emphasize the connection between the five books.
    This is one of the main works of french literature. It tells the story of two giants, Gargantua and Pantagruel, a ludicrous aventure without a linear structure. The work is full of irony and humour, but also there are a lot of critical comments on religion, science, medizine and all the rest.
    The work has been the inspirational source for several Gentle Giant tracks, most of them featured on 'Acquiring the taste' and 'Octopus'. Gentle Giant have also been inspired by the writings of Jean Paul Sartre.

  156. Sri Ramakrishna
    In recent years, in line with his fascination with Eastern religions, Jon Anderson has taken an interest in the writings of Sri Ramakrishna. Apparently, Sri Ramakrishna had a vision that he was to be the "string that runs through the pearls of the world". The pearls being the world's religions and their leaders. He's been dead many years now. The current keeper of the faith is a Hawaiian women, Audrey Kitagawa. She is the leader of a group known as "The Spiritual Family", probably not nearly as cultish as it might sound. The relationship between Ms. Kitagawa, Jon, his wife Jane and his 3 children led to a lot of the themes on Yes' 'Magnification' (2001), especially "In the Presence of...". Thanks to Kornegay.

  157. Arthur Rimbaud
    Check the bottom of this page.

  158. Arthur Rimbaud: Le Bateau ivre
    'Le Bateau ivre' ('The drunken boat') is a verse-poem written by french poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1871, which is considered to be revolutionary in its use of imagery and symbolism. It is weaved around the delirious visions of a personified boat, lost at sea. The poem is one of the longest of Rimbaud's oeuvre.
    There is a song called 'Once Upon an Ocean' on Kevin Ayers' album „Sweet Deciever" (1975), Which contains the words "drunken boat". Thanks to Peter Gunther

  159. Franco Sacchetti
    Check the bottom of this page.

  160. Umberto Saba
    Check the bottom of this page.

  161. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Le petit prince
    You may have already wondered, when this one would come up. This humanist fairy-tale about the discovery of friendship has been published in 1943 and has become one of the most succesful books ever since. Ekseption's third album, simply entitled 'Ekseption 3' claims to be inspired by the book, but I just can't see why. It doesn't contain anything else than the Bach, Beethoven or Rachmaninov adaption usually played by the band.

  162. Victor Sanchez: Toltecs of the New Millennium
    Jon Anderson's album ‘Toltec', which was originally to be titled ‘The Power of Silence' seems to have been inspired by several writings of Carlos Castaneda, Ken Eagle Feather and Victor Sanchez
    This is a book review I found at
    ‘Having lived among Mesoamerican Indians for 15 years, the anthropologist Victor Sanchez informs his readers that Toltecs do not believe in their gods but perceive them directly. Sanchez identifies these natives as living descendants of the famous Toltec sages of Pre-Columbian times and, noting that their ‘separate reality' cannot be understood unless directly experienced, he takes us into their world, introducing their rituals and beliefs, which, incredibly, seem to substantiate much of Carlos Castaneda's depiction of Indian spirituality. In their profound communion with nature, the living Toltecs have much to teach the urban spiritual warrior.' The book has been published in 1996. See also: Ken Eagle Feather: A Toltec Path and Carlos Castaneda: The Power of Silence.

  163. Theodor Schwenk: Das sensible Chaos : Strömendes Formenschaffen in Wasser und Luft
    This book, first published in 1962, combines aesthetics with science to emphasize the nature of water and its link with life inspired Stve Howe to the piece 'Sensitive Chaos" on his album 'Turbulence" (1991).

  164. Sir Walter Scott: Ivanhoe
    Not hist best, but certainly one of his most popular works, this three part novel (published in 1819) tells a story from the times of the crusades. A german band from the nineties called themselves Ivanhoe.

  165. Sir Walter Scott: Lady of the Lake
    This narrative in verses, first published in 1810, tells a story from 16th century england.
    Starcastle's first album ‘Starcastle' (1976) has a nice piece called ‘Lady of the Lake'.

  166. William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream
    First performed an published in 1600 (as 'A Midsommer Nights Dreame'), Shakespeare's play has been inspirational for quite a number of musicians and composers, including Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Benjamin Britten and Carl Orff. Also among them is Steve Hackett, who's 1997 album of the same name is an instrumental interpretation of Shakespeare's play for acoustic guitar and orchestra.
    The british band Oberon recorded an album called 'A midsummer night's dream' in 1971.
    Red Jasper (UK) released an album of the same name in 1993.

  167. William Shakespeare: Comedy of Errors
    Shakespeare's shortest play, written between 1591 an 1594 deals with the power of faith. It inspired the band Comedy of Errors (from the UK) to write their album - surprise - ‘Comedy of Errors' (1986).

  168. William Shakespeare: Hamlet
    First performed in 1602, 'The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke' this famous play has been less inspirational than one might expect. It took me a while to realise that the album title 'Essere o non essere? Essere, essere, essere!' by the italian band Il Volo is based on a quotation from the play (it is easy to guess which one).

  169. William Shakespeare: Macbeth
    First performed in 1606, Shakespeare's tragedy seems to have inspired Gentle Giant to write their song ‘The Moon Is Down' (from their 1971 album ‘Acquiring the taste'). The line appears in Act II, Scene 1, Line 2. But it is also discussed, that John Steinbeck's World War II story ‘The Moon Is Down' (1942) is the source for the lyrics.
    Social Tension from Japan called their 1989 album 'Macbethia' and their 1999 album 'It reminds me of Macbethia'.
    'Tomorrow and Tomorrow', a section of 'Epitaph' on King Crimson's first album 'In the court of the crimson King' (1969) is the beginning of a speech by Macbeth. (Thanks to Peter Gunther).

  170. William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
    First published in 1600 - as ‘The Most Excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice' - the figure of the Jew Shylock might have given his name to the french seventies band Shylock, but I am not sure about this one.

  171. William Shakespeare: Othello
    First performed in 1604, 'The Tragoedy of Othello, the Moore of Venice' this famous play about Jealousy gave its name to the nineties band The Othello Syndrome from the UK.

  172. William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
    First published in 1597 as 'An Excellent Conceited Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet'. In their song 'The Cinema Show' from their 'Selling England by the pound' album (1973), Genesis cleverly combined several literary traditions. The basic substance of the lyrics is derived from Eliot's poem 'The waste Land' (1922). Romeo and Juliet certainly came from Shakespeares tragedy. (see also Thomas Stearns Eliot: The waste Land, Sophokles: Oidipus Tyrannos, Homer: Odysseia).

  173. William Shakespeare: The Tempest
    Henry Cow wrote the music for a performance of Shakespeare's comedy, which may have been his last work (first performed in 1611). Here is what Chris Cutler says about the event: "During this tour, we were simultaneously preparing music for a second play, Shakespeare's The Tempest, for which we nominated our own director, John Chadwick. The play was a success I think: it was certainly quite unorthodox and provocative - a strong alternative reading of the text. Our musical contribution, though, seemed not really to do it justice. That was my feeling anyway. Perhaps we were over-confident, or just over-stretched? Whatever the reason, we ended up with too little time to do the job thoroughly. Fred's ‘Solemn Music' is the only music that survived from this (on side two of ‘Unrest')." (source:

  174. William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, or What You Will
    Twelfth Night, a Neo-Prog band from the UK took their name from this last romantic comedy Shakespeare wrote, which was first published in 1602.

  175. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus
    This classic horror novel about a creator and his responsibility for the creature has been first published anonymously in 1818, in it's final version in 1831. The name 'Electric Frankenstein' was taken as a pseudonym by the italian guitarist Paolo Tofani (of Area) for his solo projects in the mid-seventies.

  176. Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ozymandias
    Featuring a variety of inspired settings incorporating neo-classical, ambient and rock motifs, Tom Newman provides a musical backdrop for the powerful and much acclaimed poem of Percy. B. Shelley which has been published in 1818 on his album ‘Ozymandias' (1988).

  177. Clifford Donald Simak: Our Children's Children (1974)
    It has often been said that Moody Blues' ‘To Our Children's Children's Children' seems to be a musical score for Simak's novel, but it isn't! The record has been released in 1969, the novel has been published in 1974...!
    But here's another one: Gandalf from Austria recorded an album called 'To our children's children' in 1994.

  178. Socrates (470 - 399 b. c.)
    Socrates from Greece recorded an albm called 'Socrates drank the conium' in 1972.

  179. Alexander Solshenizyn
    ‘Mother Russia', a track from Renaissance's ‘Turn of the cards' (1974) is about Alexander Solshenizyn. Thanks to Joe Lynn, Northern Lights Web Site.

  180. Sophokles: Oidipus Tyrannos
    In their song 'The Cinema Show' from their 'Selling England by the pound' album (1973), Genesis cleverly combined several literary traditions. The basic substance of the lyrics is derived from Eliot's poem 'The waste Land' (1922). Tiresias, a seer from grecian mythology, does not only appear in the poem, he also plays an important role in Sophokles' tragedy 'Oidipus Tyrannos' (ca. 425 b. c.), warning Oidipus an Kreon. (see also Thomas Stearns Eliot: The waste Land, William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Homer: Odysseia).

  181. Norman Spinrad
    Spinrad wrote lyrics for Heldon's album ‘Only Chaos is Real' (2001) and can be heard singing here and there on their albums: His words and voice, often processed through a vocorder, can be heard on ‘East/West' (by Richard Pinhas, 1980) and ‘Only Chaos is real' (by Pinhas' band Heldon, 1998).

  182. Norman Spinrad: The Iron Dream
    Norman Spinrad has been involved in music for many years, recording several albums with Richard Pinhas' band Heldon. In fact, the group Heldon itself derives its name from an allegorical locale in an early Spinrad novel called ‘The Iron Dream' (1972).

  183. John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
    Camel's ‘Dust and Dreams' (1991) is based on ‘Grapes of Wrath', first published in 1939.

  184. John Steinbeck: The Moon Is Down
    In this masterful account set in Norway during World War II, Steinbeck explores the effects of invasion on both the conquered and the conquerors. Occupied by Nazi troops, a small, peaceable town comes face to face with evil imposed from the outside -- and betrayal born within the close-knit community. The story, published in 1942 might have been the inspiration for Gentle Giant's song ‘The Moon Is Down' from their 1971 album ‘Acquiring the taste'. But it is also discussed, that the source was a line from Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth'.

  185. Robert Louis Stevenson: The strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    This classic horror novel from 1886 has been put to music by Renaissance (‘Jekyll and Hyde') on their 1979 album ‘Azure D'Or'.

  186. Bram Stoker: Dracula
    The German band Birth Control called their 1980 album 'Count on Dracula!'.
    A 70s band from the UK called themselves 'Bram Stoker'.
    A band called Dracula from Romania called their 1996 album 'Dracula'.
    Gentle Giant's ‘Alucard' from their 1970 debut album is derived from this most famous horror story, published in 1897. No doubt about this one: Read the song title backwards...

  187. Alfred Lord Tennyson: The Lady of Shallot
    The Glass Hammer-album „The inconsolable secret" (2005) is based on band member Steve Babb's ballad „The Lady of Lirazel" which is based on Alfred Lord Tennyson 1832 poem „The Lady of Shallot", a tragic story about a young lady, a curse and a knight. See also Clive Staples Lewis: The weight of glory and Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany: The King of Elfland's Daughter.

  188. Thomas d'Angleterre: Tristan
    Maybe the earliest delivered Tristan-romance (around 1150-1160?). Only fragments have survived. it tells the tragic love story of Tristan and Iseut. On Skryvania's album 'Skryvania" (1978) there is a song called: 'Tristan & Iseult". And of course there is the album 'Wurdah tah" by Zeuhl godfather Christian Vander, the music of which was used as the soundtrack of Yvan Lagrange's film 'Tristan & Iseult".

  189. Dylan Thomas: Under milk wood
    The line ‘Starless and bible black', used by King Crimson on various occasions (e. g. as an album title in 1974) is from Dylan Thomas' poem ‘Under Milk Wood', published in 1954. This ‘play for voices', in its earlier stages entitled ‘Llareggub, a Piece for Radio Perhaps' was performed at the YMHA in New York City in 1953, with Thomas himself reading the parts of First Voice and the Reverend Eli Jenkins. It's first words are:
    "FIRST VOICE [very softly]: To begin at the beginning: It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and- rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea."

  190. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: The Hobbit
    First published in 1937.
    There is a band called ‘Hobbit'.
    The Prelude to 'The Lord of the Rings' has been inspirational for Pär Lindh, who based his 1996 Album 'Bilbo' on it.

  191. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings
    Written between 1937 and 1949, first published 1954/55.
    Surely the work that had the greatest impact on Prog Musicians. All the bands' names come from here (Isildur's Bane, Gandalf etc.)! And there are a lot more albums that deal with this book than just Bo Hansson's 'Lord of the Rings':
    On Anyone's Daughter's 1980 album ‘Anyone's Daughter' there is a song called ‘Moria'.
    There is a song called ‘Lothlórien' on Argent's 1971 album ‘Ring of Hands'.
    The band Calm from Finland recorded a song called 'Burial Song Of Theoden' in 1997.
    Camel's album ‘Mirage', released in 1974, contains the song ‘White Rider' (as part of suite ‘Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider'), which apparently is about Gandalf.
    Dagorlad is the name of a great plain in the north of Mordor. An Italian Band named themselves after thos plain.
    Prog Metal band Fates Warning recorded a Tolkien inspired track called ‘Shadowfax' on their album ‘Night on Brocken' (1984).
    There have been two Prog bands called Galadriel: one from Australia, who recorded an album of the same name in 1971, and a Neo-Prog band from Spain.
    There is a Progressive Rock/New Age artist from Austria called Gandalf.
    a US band called Gandalf recorded an album of the same name in 1969.
    Glass Hammer from the USA recorded an album called 'Journey of the Dunadan' in 1993.
    Isildur's Bane, who also took their name from Tolkien's writings, put 'The Lord of the Rings' to music on their Album ‘Sagan om ringen' (1988). On ‘Sea Reflections' (1985) there is a song called ‘Bilbo'.
    On Krabat's 1997 album ‘Homo ludens' there is a track called ‘Lord of the Rings'.
    Lothlórien from Italy, also a nineties band, took their name from the home of the Galadhrim.
    There has been a band called Minas Tirith which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore (Thanks to Rudo Jockin, once a member of the band).
    A US band from the seventies where called Mithrandir, which is another name of Gandalf.
    ‘Mines of Moria' is the title of a track on The Moor's album ‘Every Pixie Sells a Story' from 1993.
    Moria Falls is a nineties band from the UK.
    There is a track called ‘Helms Deep' on Mostly Autumn's album ‘The Last Bright Light' (2001)and another album: ‘The Unexpected Album: Music Inspired by The Lord of the Rings' (2001).
    The band The Nazgûl from Germany recorded an album of the same name in 1976.
    Mike Oldfield's album "Amarok" lists a "Glorfindel guitar" as one of the instruments played.
    The Norwegian band Prudence have a song called ‘Gandalf' on their ‘No. 3' album (1974).
    Rivendell is one of the names for the hidden refuge of Elrond Peredhil, founded in the Second Age against the assaults of Sauron in Eriador. It lay in a deep valley in the western foothills of the Misty Mountains, and endured under the Lordship of Elrond through the War of the Ring and beyond.
    A spanish band from the nineties is called Rivendel (sic).
    Rivendell is a band from Finland who put a couple of Tolkien's poems to music.
    Shadowfax is a US band who recorded an album called 'Watercourse way' in 1975.
    St. Elmo's Fire, a US band recorded a song called ‘The Balrog' for their album ‘Splitting Ions in the Ether' (1980).
    On german Prog band Sylvan's album ‘Deliverance' (1998) there is a Tolkien inspired song called ‘A Fairytale Ending'.
    Under The Sun, a US prog band, recorded a Tolkien-inspired song called ‘The Time Being' on their 2000 album ‘Under the Sun'.

  192. Tolkien: The Silmarillion
    Ainur is an italian Progressive Rock project who recorded an album called 'From Ancient Times' in 2007.
    The band Glass Hammer has recorded two Tolkien albums: ‘Journey of the Dunadan' (1993) and ‘The Middle Earth Album' (2001).
    Ilúvatar released an album called ‘Ilúvatar' in 1993.
    Lórien, a nineties band from Germany, named themselves after the gardens of Valinor.
    The Ex-Prog-band Marillion, formerly known as ‘Silmarillion', found their name when they cut off the first syllable of the title. The Silmarillion has been published in 1954/55.
    A nineties band from Sweden is called Valinor's Tree.
    The german band Yavanna recorded an album called 'Bilder aus Mittelerde' in 1984.

  193. Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoj: War and Peace
    First published as 'Vojna I Mir' in 1868/69
    As many Yes fans may know, this has been the source for 'Gates of Delirium' on 'Relayer' (1974).

  194. Laurens Van Der Post: The Seed and the Sower
    The album `The Seed and the Sower', released by two members of The Enid under the name Godfrey and Stewart was based on the book by Laurens Van Der Post, first published in 1963. This post-World War II tale is a joint reminiscence rendered by two Englishmen who have survived the war in the South Pacific, including concomitant internment in a Japanese POW camp.

  195. Jules Verne
    Mangala Vallis is a new prog-rock band from Italy, whose debut, "The book of dreams", is a concept album inspired by Jules Verne, which was realeased on February 8th 2002, Verne's birthday.

  196. Jules Verne: Journey to the centre of the Earth
    An obvious one. This book, first published as 'Voyages au centre de la terre' in 1864, has been the inspirational source of one of the seventies' classical albums, Rick Wakeman's 'Journey to the centre of the earth' and his ‘Episode II', 'Return to the centre of the earth', an album which is a lot better than your friends might want to make you think...

  197. Jules Verne: Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    The character of Little Nemo in the song ‘Scenes From A Night's Dream' from the Genesis album ‘...And Then There Were Three...' (1978) may be an allusion to Jules Verne's classic novel ‘Vingt mille lieues sous les mers' (1870) about three men who discover that a ship-sinking "monster" is if fact a submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo.

  198. Richard Wagner: Götterdämmerung
    I know this is an opera, but I also know, that Wagner's texts (he wrote them himself) are widely regarded as exceptional works of late german romanticism. I don't know if Asgard read it, but I want to mention it here fore the sake of completeness. "Götterdämmerung" (1848) is the last opera in a circle of four called "Der Ring des Nibelungen". Wagner combined the Nibelungenlied and certain norse myths for this huge body of work. The italian band Asgard recorded an album called ‘Götterdämmerung' in 1991.

  199. Robert James Waller: Bridges of Madison County
    Neal Morse says he's been inspired to write the song ‘Bridge across forever' on Transatlantic's album of the same name (2001) by the books ‘Bridges of Madison County' (1992) and Richard Bach's ‘The Bridge across forever' (1970). He said he actually "stole" a line from the former.
    ‘Bridges of Madison County' tells a love story, which has been the source for motion picture starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. This is the story of Robert Kincaid, photographer and free spirit searching for the covered bridges of Madison County, and Francesca Johnson, the farm wife waiting for fulfillment of a girlhood dream. "It shows readers what it is to love and be loved so intensely that life is never the same again".

  200. Herbert George Wells: The Time Machine
    H. G. Wells' novel, published in 1895, seems to have inspired the german band Eloy, for the name of the band was based on the Eloi race featuring in the book.
    Dzyan released an album called „Time Machine" in 1973. Thanks to Peter Gunther.
    Rick Wakeman released an album called ‘Time Machine' in 1988, but it doesn't seem to have any relationship to the H.G. Wells novel.
    Saens' album 'Prophet in a statistical world' (2004) was inspired by the dystopic novels '1984', 'Brave new world', 'The Time Machine' and 'This Perfect Day'
    On Beggar's Opera's album „Waters of Change" (1971) is a song called „Time Machine". Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  201. Oscar Wilde: The picture of Dorian Gray
    Oscar Wilde's Paraphrase of the greek myth of Narcissus (published in 1891) gave it's name to the german Dorian Gray, a band from the seventies.
    There was an italian seventies band called Il Ritratto di Dorian Grey.
    Cherry Five's album 'Cherry Five" (1974) features a track called "Picture of Dorian Grey".

  202. Charles Walter Stansby Williams: The Region of the Summer Stars
    The Enid released their first recording - a concept album called `In the Region of the Summer Stars' - in 1976. The album was based on the Tarot sequence and on the writings of Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945). Charles Williams was a leading member of the Oxford literary group "The Inklings", whose chief figures were C. S. Lewis and J. R. R Tolkien. He was a prolific author of plays, fantasy novels, poetry, theology, biography and criticism.
    His novels deal with the irruption of supernatural elements into everyday life. A legal officer has bequeathed to him the original set of Tarot cards; the investigation of a murder in a publisher's office merges with the rediscovery of the Holy Grail; the ghost of a girl killed in an accident helps thwart a plot for world domination.... His poetry included a volume of poems on themes connected with the Arthurian cycle, called ‘The Region of the Summer Stars' (1944).

  203. Henry Williamson: Tarka the Otter
    ‘Tarka' is a project Anthony Phillips began recording in 1977 and finished in 1988. It is a collaboration with the author's son and guitarist Harry Williamson (a former member of Gong Maison and Mother Gong), recorded with a full symphony orchestra. It has been originally written as the film score for the classic British children's novel (written in the 1920s and published in 1927), however, it was never used.

  204. Thomas Wolfe: Look homeward Angel
    An autobiographical novel, published in 1929, that tells the story of a family and their son Eugene Gant, hungry for life. A song on Farpoint's album ‘From Dreaming To Dreaming' (2004) is called ‘O lost' which may be inspired by Thomas Wolfe's book and Robert Frost's poem ‘Nothing Gold can stay'.

  205. Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival
    This epic in 25810 verses, written between 1200 and 1210 tells the story of Parzival, an knight of king Arthur's round table. His educator, Gurnemanz, gave his name to the german seventies band.
    Another german band from the seventies was called Parzival.
    I Pooh from Italy wrote an album called Parsifal in 1973. The difference in the spelling might be owed to the german composer Richard Wagner, who used this version of the name as the title of an opera.

  206. William Wordsworth: I wandered Lonely As a Cloud („The Daffodils")
    On Genesis' opus magnum „The Lamb Lies Down on broadway" there is a song called „The Colony of Slippermen". The first verse runs "I wandered Lonely As a Cloud" which happens to be the title of a poem by William Wordsworth (1804). It was inspired by an event two years earlier when Wordsworth and his sister came across a "long belt" of daffodils. It was first published in 1807 (revised version 1815). Thanks to Peter Gunther.

  207. Émile Zola: Germinal
    This is the thirteenth novel of the set "Les Rougon-Macquart". It deals with the hard life of the Mineurs and their families in a coal-district in the north of france. The novel has been published in 1885. The italian band Germinale recorded an album of the same name in 1994.

  208. Various Poets
    The italian band La stanza della musica recorded only one self-titled album (in 1978). The lyrics are all taken from poetry:

    1. Er giorno der giudizzio (G. Belli)
    2. Pensiero buono del mattino (Arthur Rimbaud). Find the italian version here and the french original and an english translation here.
    3. L'addio (Umberto Saba)
    4. O vaghe montanine pasturelle (Franco Sacchetti)
    5. Pianefforte 'e notte (Salvatore Di Giacomo)
    6. Chi non è innamorato (L. de Medici)
    7. Scherzi per ventagli (Giuseppe Parini)
    8. Definendo l'amore (Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas)
    9. Rondinella Pellegrina (Tommaso Grossi)
    10. Canzone di Niccolò (Niccoló Macchiavelli)
    11. L'assenza (Guido Gozzano)

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