Five For Friday – Songs That Inspired My Writing

Hi SE Readers! It’s the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for another Five for Friday. Last month, P. H. shared five Science Fiction/Fantasy books he would like to see made into movies. Since I love music, I decided to share five songs that have inspired my writing.

I won’t quote song lyrics because of the legalities, but if you’re familiar with the songs, you’ll get the idea. If you’re interested in watching You Tube videos of the songs, just click on the titles.

Rocky Mountain High by John Denver – I’ve enjoyed John’s music since way back when and Rocky Mountain High is one of my favorites. A few years ago, I wrote a series on my blog about a young man named David who returned to his hometown. He discovers new things about the place he grew up and finds that there are benefits to living among nature rather than in a big city. While it’s not set in Colorado, the town is in the mountains.

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak – This song inspired a scene in my last novel Unknown Reasons. Main characters, Rachel and Brian, are driving home after an evening out when this song comes on the radio. Rachel wonders if Brian is sending her mixed messages based on a comment he made about the song.

Lyin’ Eyes by the Eagles – This tune from the mid-1970s is the inspiration for the opening scene in my WIP. Yes, you might have guessed—a younger woman married to an older man. Look for Unclear Purposes, the third of my Driscoll Lake series, this fall.

Christmas for Cowboys by John Denver – Yes, this is the second John Denver song I’ve listed. His music probably inspires me to write more than any other recording artist. I wrote my first novel in the 1970s and set it in Colorado. I never did anything with it other than throw it in the trash, but I never forgot my characters. Two years ago, I wrote A Montana Christmas. It’s the story of a ranching family and inspired by Denver’s song. I even used a couple of characters from my first novel. The story is part of a Christmas Anthology, Bright Lights and Candle Glow

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles – Okay, I haven’t written anything based on a Beatles song (yet), but I couldn’t go without mentioning my all-time favorite group. If I’m feeling a bit down, listening to the Beatles cheers me up. If I’m cheerful, I’m more likely to feel inspired to write. George Harrison is my favorite member of the Fab Four and this is my favorite song. I especially like the acoustic version found on Anthology Three. And yes, George wrote about a weeping guitar but the only thing that makes me sad about the song is that he is no longer with us.

Do songs ever inspire your writing? Please share in the comments.

36 thoughts on “Five For Friday – Songs That Inspired My Writing

  1. Wow, I got home from camping, and my “away”post included a song related dialog. Sue Coletta posted about how music inspired her new novel. And now this. Music is huge to me. One of my short stories in the second Notebook was music inspired. I got a license and included partial lyrics from Dark Lady in Will O’ the Wisp. Then there is The Hat. Lizzie has been singing “I’m Down” in the back of my mind to bring this back to The Beatles. (Of course The Hat was also playing his bass.) Sorry I missed this on the day, but I’m home now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome back and no apologies needed. I would love to get away from it all for a few days like you did. Looks like I’m not the only writer inspired by music. I missed Sue’s post but will look for it.

      And now, I just have to listen to that Beatles’ song. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lizzie and the hat are pestering me to write them another story. She’s refusing to sing “I Saw Her Standing There” though. She’s decided not to sing songs where guys are picking up girls. The hat is trying to convince her to just change the words.

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  2. A good friend and I use to make CDs for each of our novels, containing music related to the stories. I only listen to instrumental music when I write, but I love music, and have it playing whenever I’ve doing any other kind of work, including at all times during my day job. When I’m there, I love music with lyrics. Having that in the background keeps me up and focused. I love the Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, and John Denver. They get regular air time whenever I’m working, LOL.
    Weird thing too….I thought of Lyin’ eyes (my favorite Eagles song) while reading that opening of your WIP 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The song inspired that idea (after I had written the first opening and didn’t like it.) Gordon Lightfoot is another fav singer. Jacquie mentioned “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, – it’s one of my favorites by him, along with Carefree Highway and Sundown. I created a playlist on for Unknown Reasons. Wicked Game is of course included. It was fun to do and I often listen to it when driving to and from work.

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  3. A great list of songs, Joan. Yes, songs have inspired me. My latest short story was inspired by Charlie Robison’s “Loving County.” And, I also wrote a story based on Eddie Rabbit’s song, “Rocky Mountain Music.” I love that songs inspire you too.

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    • Carrie, I can’t have music playing when I write (except an occasional instrumental). I listen to and from my drive to work and times when I need to feel inspired. Sounds like music might influence you also!

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  4. I write much better with music in the background. I’ve been inspired by various songs–love John Denver as well! The latest inspiration came during my daughter’s band/choir concert when they played “Wayward Son” (and yes, I am a Supernatural fan, but the idea that coalesced had nothing to do with the show…though the main character, if the idea makes it to paper, may turn out to look a lot like Dean 🙂 ) So many songs, so many ideas!

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  5. I always play music while writing. I can’t cope with the radio, though, as the talking bits intrude too much … the sounds of the human voice get right in there and disrupt my brainwaves. I wrote The Glade entirely to the Twilight soundtrack! In general, I am as eclectic with music as I am with reading and writing.

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    • I don’t care for radio either. Too much talk! I even got a premium subscription to Spotify so that I didn’t have to put up with those annoying ads! When I listen to music when I write, I tend to sing along with the song and that distracts me. So I usually listen before sitting down for a writing session and allow the songs to inspire me!

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