Literary inspiration in Music: The Cure

Among my favourite bands is an older band from the 70s/80s called The Cure (still putting out music!). They’re one of exactly two bands I’ve seen in a big stadium/venue (the other was U2, the Achtung Baby! tour). Since I have a passion for literature and poetry, I love The Cure even more because they often include literary references in their songs. Here’s a list of direct and potential literary inspirations The Cure includes in their songs. (If you know of any others, post up below!)

“Killing an Arab”—The Stranger, Albert Camus

“The Drowning Man”—The Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake

“Charlotte Sometimes”—Charlotte Sometimes, Penelope Farmer

“Splintered in Her Head”—Charlotte Sometimes, Penelope Farmer

“The Empty World”—Charlotte Sometimes, Penelope Farmer

“Bananafishbones”—“A Perfect Day for Bananafish”, J.D. Salinger

“Birdmad Girl”—“Love in the Asylum”, Dylan Thomas

“How Beautiful You Are…”—“The Eyes of the Poor/Les Yeux des Pauvres”, Charles Baudelaire

“Adonais”—“Adonais”, Shelley

“Treasure”—“Remember”, Christina Rossetti


“Like Cockatoos”—The Cockatoos, Patrick White

“At Night”/ “All Cats Are Grey”—Keep the Aspidistra Flying—George Orwell

“A Letter to Elise”—Les Enfants Terribles, Jean Cocteau

“Ariel”—Keats/Shelley/Byron? Sylvia Plath?

Here’s some other websites that list a selection of songs from different artists that have literary references, for Monday fun!:



Author: The Chaos Realm

Copy Editor/Proofreader, Historian, Freelance Writer, Virtual Assistant.

2 thoughts on “Literary inspiration in Music: The Cure”

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