When popular artforms collide: songs about movies

I’m involved in a mix CD trading project. One of the track requirements is “a song about a specific movie,” or that at least mentions a movie by name.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few songs about movies:

“Debaser,” by the Pixies, about Un chien Andalou
“The Union Forever,” by the White Stripes, about Citizen Kane
“Carlotta Valdez,” by Harvey Danger, about Vertigo
“The Saga Begins,” by Weird Al Yankovic, about The Phantom Menace

How many others are out there? Note that these must be songs about a movie, not written for a movie and featured in the credits or something.

You’re not going to like the first example I thought of …

“Heartlight,” by Neil Diamond. Ick.


“White Heat,” Madonna
“Key Largo,” Bertie Higgins (also references Casablanca)
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Deep Blue Something

More as they come to me …

“It’s a Wonderful Life” by Fishbone is about a movie. I can’t remember which one, though. I think it was Jaws.

Yoda, Weird Al
Spectacular Spectacular, Moulin Rouge- it is about the movie, though it’s also in it.

A New Hope Blink 182

Weird Al’s got a ton:
Jurassic Park,Ode to Hero (Spiderman, specifically the movie), and Gump in addition to the ones mentined.

“The Wicker Man” by Iron Maiden

“James Bond” by The Selecter references the character/franchise.

I don’t know if “White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground is supposed to be a reference to the James Cagney movie or not (it could just be a drug reference for all I know).

“Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks references a couple in love named “Julie and Terry,” which was widely understood at the time to be Julie Christie and Terrence Stamp, who had just made “Far From the Madding Crowd” together.

Belle and Sebastian - Like Dylan In The Movies

I don’t think it’s really about Don’t Look Back per se, but it makes reference to it.

“Science Fiction Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show mentions several sci-fi and horror. “The Friends of Mr. Cairo” by Jon & Vangelis mentions the The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane.

“Valentine” by Shades Apart makes references to both Casablanca and Roman Holiday, and it would be a good choice if you like Harvey Danger.

I didn’t know “Debaser” was about Un Chien Andalou, but then again, I never could figure out just what Frank Black was screaming anyways.

“Citizen Kane” by the Byrds
“My Baby’s the Star of a Driver’s Ed Movie” and “Mr. Bond” by Blotto

A couple from the Smithereens:

In A Lonely Place (with Suzanne Vega on backing vocals)

Blood and Roses (to be honest, although I’m sure there was a movie by that name, I don’t know if the song was actually about the movie)

“Cheepnis” by Frank Zappa. He mentions the movie It Conquered the World at the beginning, but it’s really about his concept of “cheepnis” (known by the Church of the SubGenius as “bulldada,” and by geeks everywhere as MST3K fodder), and a hypothetical movie involving a giant monster poodle named Frunobulax.

Omega Man by The Police was based on the Charleton Heston movie of the same title, about the last man alive on Earth after the nuclear holocaust. (“Always talking to myself…”)

“Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult

“Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart (which refers generically to “a Bogart movie, in a country where they’ve turned back time/ You go walking through the crowd like Peter Lorre contemplating a crime.” I think that narrows it down to Casablanca.)

“I Wanna Be a Boss” Artist forgotten; this was a one-hit from the 80s containing the lyric “or stay at home and watch ‘Ice Station Zebra’ in the nude,” a reference to Howard Hughes’ favorite hobby.

“Song of the South” by Alabama is a two-fer; the eponymous Disney movie and Gone with the Wind are both mentioned.

How about Aimee Mann’s Ghost World? I mean, I think it’s actually written about a graphic novel, and then the graphic novel got turned into a movie. But that counts, right?

Franks shouting: “girly so groovy oh-ho-hoh-ho i want you to know, slicing up eyeballs oh-ho-ho andalucia I am un chien” etc etc,
which if youve seen Un Chien Andalou, is direct reference to it and its most famous, er, interesting scene.

Most of the one’s I’ve thought of were already taken, except one–“So Long, Astoria” by the Ataris is about The Goonies.

But the best part is when you look at the inside of the cover to make sure you actually heard the line “This is my wish, and I’m takin’ it back…” and discover that the picture behind the lyrics is Mikey and Brand’s house.

Does it have to be a famous song that everyone knows? Cuz I wrote a song called “Leaving Las Vegas” which is about the movie. It’s here: http://www.15-16puzzle.com/songs/leavinglasvegas.mp3

Yes, I am shamelessly pimping my music.

It’s a more obscure song, but the tune ‘What Will Death Be Like?’ by Momus references a couple of different movies as well as many other things. It would also be a brilliant song to toss on a compilation. Lyrics here.

I can’t believe that no one’s said Exit Music (for a Film) from Radiohead’s OK Computer, which was written about the modernized version of Romeo and Juliet.