Vote for favourite song inspired by a book

Music player and headphones on a newspaper
Category: Press Releases

Book-lovers and music-lovers unite for Book Week Scotland


Scottish Book Trust has today launched the search for the nation’s favourite song inspired by a book, as part of Book Week Scotland 2017.

Members of the public were encouraged to submit their favourite book-inspired songs via social media and the Scottish Book Trust website. This longlist was then evaluated by a panel which helped reduce the submissions into a ‘Top 40’ playlist. The panel consisted of Sarah Mason, Saltire Society Programme Director; Kirsty Baird, Sing in the City Founder and Musical Director; and Nyla Ahmad, Book Week Scotland Young Programmer.

The ‘Top 40’ ranges from modern hits such as Firework by Katy Perry, to more classic songs such as Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. Scottish bands featured include Blue Rose Code, Frightened Rabbit and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite song inspired by a book from today (6 November). Votes can be cast by visiting the Scottish Book Trust website. Listen to the longlist on Scottish Book Trust’s Spotify.

Book Week Scotland runs from 27 November to 3 December and the ‘Top 10’ songs, as voted for by the public, will be revealed during this time, with the winner announced on the Scottish Book Trust website and social media.

The week-long celebration, now in its sixth year, is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. Hundreds of events and activities are taking place all across the country, during the week.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Many famous songs have been inspired by books and we are excited to find out from this poll which one comes out on top. Our Top 40 playlist covers many decades and styles, and has something to appeal to all ages and tastes. Make sure you vote online, it’s a great way to get involved with Book Week Scotland, and perhaps also discover the stories behind some of your favourite songs.”

Book Week Scotland was initiated by the Scottish Government and is supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding, and £24,000 from SLIC.


The ‘Top 40’ playlist:

  • Bright Eyes, Art Garfunkel
  • Bell Jar, The Bangles
  • I Fought in a War, Belle and Sebastian
  • Thieves in the Night, Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli)
  • Song for Clay, Bloc Party
  • True Ways of Knowing, Blue Rose Code
  • Hurricane, Bob Dylan
  • Across 110th Street, Bobby Womack
  • Same Drugs, Chance the Rapper
  • Whip It, Devo
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
  • Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac
  • Backyard Skulls, Frightened Rabbit
  • White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane
  • One Brown Mouse, Jethro Tull
  • Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell
  • Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush
  • Firework, Katy Perry
  • Willie Burke Sherwood, Killer Mike
  • Off to the Races, Lana Del Rey
  • Ramble On, Led Zeppelin
  • The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, Leonard Nimoy
  • Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed
  • Motorcycle Emptiness , Manic Street Preachers
  • The Dark is Rising, Mercury Rev
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, Metallica
  • Red Right Hand, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Atticus, Noisettes
  • The Invisible Man, Queen
  • Paranoid Android, Radiohead
  • I Am A Rock, Simon and Garfunkel
  • Tomorrow Never Knows, The Beatles
  • Video Killed the Radio Star, The Buggles
  • Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
  • The Tomahawk Kid, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • Soma, The Strokes
  • Venus in Furs, The Velvet Underground
  • A Rose for Emily, The Zombies
  • China in Your Hand, T'Pau
  • The Ballad of Tom Joad, Woody Guthrie



Key highlights of music-inspired events during Book Week Scotland include:


Stories and Songs from Palestine

27 November, 6.30pm

Currie Library, Edinburgh

Earlier this year the San Ghanny Choir went to Palestine to sing, to listen and to learn. They sang at the Nablus Music Festival and in refugee camps, in community halls and kindergartens and schools. They also sang in solidarity with the Palestinian people in demonstrations, in farmers’ fields and at the separation wall: wherever they were asked to. San Ghanny means ‘We Shall Sing’ in Arabic, and the group met and listened to many people living their lives of somoud (steadfastness) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Those same people asked the choir to tell Scotland what life is like on the West Bank: the book this event is based on shares their stories and an accompanying CD holds the songs San Ghanny sang.


Boogie with Books

29 & 30 November, 10.30am

Peebles Library, Peebles

Wee tots can enjoy half an hour of creative movement and play based on the wonderfully descriptive adventure We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen. The session is led by freelance dance artist Alex Saunders from LIVEforDance and is suitable for 18 months to 3 years, and their grown-ups - bears not included!


Banter and Beer

1 December, 7pm

AK Bell Library, Perth

Legendary rock DJ, Tom Russell, gives us a behind the scenes look at his life in rock and radio. Through his book The Godfather of Rock, Tom will discuss the bands he has interviewed over the last 50 years. From Ozzy to Motley Crue, Def Leppard to Aerosmith, Alice Cooper to Iron Maiden, this man has met them all. Find out the secrets behind the big names in rock music from the 1960s right through to the present day.


Non Stop Hip-Hop

2 December, 2pm

Hope Kitchen, Oban

Organised by one of our Book Week Scotland Young Programmers, Non Stop Hip-Hop gives you the chance to turn your ideas for raps into reality, and make beats to bring them out sharp. You will learn different techniques including tone, flow, simile and structure and get the chance to record your work before the day is done.


Notes to Editors

For more information or images please contact on or 0131 524 0184.

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure though programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.     @scottishbktrust


For more information about Book Week Scotland, visit Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscot or ‘like’ the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland, please visit Follow us @creativescots and