Song Of The Day: Authors and Literature In Music (Day One).

Welcome to Song Of The Day, a series in which for every day of the week, I will post songs based around a theme, changing the theme every Monday.  This week’s theme is Authors and Literature, so that includes songs about, named after or inspired by either authors or their literature.

The first song is The House That Jack Kerouac Built by The Go-Betweens from their fifth album, 1987’s Tallulah.  Today’s featured band were never shy of a literary reference.  I could have also featured Here Comes A City from the 2005 album Oceans Apart which name checks Fyodor Dostoevsky:  “Why do people who read Dostoevsky look like Dostoevsky?”  This could be the only song I know of to feature Dostoevsky it’s lyrics other than Lie Detector by Sleeper from The It Girl (1996).  The band’s name is even derived from a work of literature, J.P Hartley’s The Go-Between (1953), which was in turn made in to a film with it’s screenplay written by Harold Pinter in 1971.

Despite it’s reference to the most famous American Beat writer, The House That Jack Kerouac built is a song that Robert Forster describes as part of “my Irish phase” and being inspired by spending time with a lot of shady people, hence the line, “Baby, you’re on the road with a bad crowd”, also a reference to Kerouac’s most famous novel, On The Road (1957).  Forster sings of the need for separation from his current situation and surroundings in an increasingly strained manner and new band member Amanda Brown’s slightly unsettling violin work permeates the song with a heavy air of paranoia.  One of the band’s many defining moments and an underrated classic.