Whale Songs

moby_dick_1My sister, quite the scholar and more knowledgeable about literature than I could ever be, refuses to read Moby-Dick. In fact, she even claimed so in that gonorrhea-like 25 Things Facebook meme thing that everyone seems to have contracted.  So, she will probably hate (and/or altogether ignore) this:  Callmeishmael.org.  It is a site on which Patrick Shea has committed to writing a song for each of the 136 chapters in Moby-Dick. Says the Times, “Combining literary analysis with eclectic musical taste and a dark, clear baritone, Mr. Shea posts a new song each week.”  I imagine, as my sister reads this, she’s pounding her head against her desk repeatedly, though I hope to no permanent damage.  She’d probably rather rather replace every song on her iPod with Hannah Montana than hear rock ditties about Ahab’s quest.

Still!  Hate the White Whale all you might, is this not an interesting idea for other popular novels?  Surely someone can squeeze a few pop rock song cycles out of The Scarlet Letter,  or Brideshead Revisited, or even (my personal head-bashed-on-desk pick)  Gone With the Wind.   Though woe be he who wants to tackle something like War and Peace or Infinite Jest.

Composing Songs for the One That Got Away [NYT via Practicing Writing]

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2 Responses to Whale Songs

  1. …. DO NOT WANT!!!

    Consider this quote and the song it might inspire:

    “Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me, and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-labourers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally, as much as to say, – Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill humour or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness”

    MELVILLE, I HATE YOU.

    But you’re right — the premise is a good idea for an album.

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