Jul 10 2014

Every Song Used in Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series

Published by at 9:00 am under Books

dark tower

I’ve only read a handful of Stephen King books over the years, but I started with the entirety of The Dark Tower series, one of the most sprawling, absurd, amazing fantasy/sci-fi/horror….things I’ve ever come across.

A common device in the book is the use of song, pulled from our world, even in King’s various fantasy world’s that populate the pages. Some are repeated many times throughout the book (The Beatles’ Hey Jude, for one), but there are way, way more than that.

One intrepid reader decided to go through and catalog every song King mentions in the books, and the list is massive and can be seen below. So if you ever wanted to make a Dark Tower playlist, this is your chance. Read on.

——————————–

“One of my missions in reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga again was to catalog the songs that are mentioned to create a sort of “soundtrack.” As Constant Readers know, King is both a huge music fan and a radio station owner. Thus, music plays a fun (and significant) role in Roland’s epic tale.

For the purposes on this soundtrack, I (a.) tried to be as exhaustive as possible, listing things that may be mentioned only in lyric form and not necessarily by title; (b.) focused only on the saga proper (i.e. not counting any of the peripheral stories like The Stand or Salem’s Lot — yet); (c.) included only “pop” songs (i.e. not any of the scriptural or folk music like “Onward Christian Soldiers”); (d.) did not consult Robin Furth’s Dark Tower concordances; and (e.) did not include songs that were listed on the dedication pages or in the forewords/afterwords.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (Plume paperback edition)

[I’m using the original novel here, not the revised edition.]

“Hey Jude” – The Beatles (p. 22)

“Ease on Down the Road” – Diana Ross & Michael Jackson (p. 120)

“Instant Karma” – John Lennon (p. 191)

The Drawing of the Three (Plume paperback edition)

“Just A Gigolo/Ain’t Got Nobody” – David Lee Roth (p. 93)

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel (p. 112)

[Unknown Billie Holiday Song] – Billie Holiday (p. 123)

“Boy Named Sue” & “Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash (p. 124)

“People” – Barbara Streisand (p. 170)

“Pink Shoe Laces” – Dodie Stevens (p. 196)

“Take the ‘A’ Train” – Duke Ellington (p. 215)

“Oxford Town” – Bob Dylan (p. 236-8)

“Twilight Time” – The Platters (p. 295)

The Wastelands (Plume paperback edition)

“Paint it Black” – The Rolling Stones (p. 77)

“Dr. Love” – KISS (p. 104)

“Love to Love You, Baby” – Donna Summer (p. 104-5)

“Legs” – ZZ Top (p. 196)

“Double Shot of My Baby’s Love” – Swingin’ Medallions (p. 196)

“Hippy-Hippy Shake” – Chan Romero (p. 196)

“Sharp Dressed Man” & “Velcro Fly” – ZZ Top (p. 254)

“Knock Three Times” – Tony Orlando and Dawn (p. 317)

“My Girl’s a Corker” – Alan Lomax (p. 336) [Couldn’t decide if this fell under “folk song” or not.]

“Stardust” – Hoagy Carmichael (p. 399)

“Tube-snake Boogie” – ZZ Top (p. 409)

Wizard and Glass (Plume paperback edition)

Since most of Wizard and Glass is flashback, and thus takes place in the traditional Western milieu, many of the songs mentioned fall under my designation of “folk songs.” These songs will not be listed because they are not “pop” songs and because it is impossible to nail down a definitive artist.

During Blaine the Mono’s final rant (p. 55-6), he makes reference to several things that are worth noting: Eat a Peach, the album by the Allman Brothers; “Patricia,” which could refer to Blaine’s late companion monorail or to the song by Perry Como; and Whiplash Smile, the album by Billy Idol.

“Careless Love” – Various [This technically falls under “folk song” but it’s important to the plot and thus deserves mentioning.] (p. 121)

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” – Various (Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, et. al.) (p. 213)

“Red Dirt Boogie, Bro” – Jesse “Ed” Davis (p. 466)

“We’re Off to See the Wizard” – Judy Garland and Ray Bolger (p. 633)

“Green Door” – Jim Lowe (p. 640)

“Big Iron” – Marty Robbins (p. 664)

Wolves of the Calla (Simon & Schuster hardcover)

“The Green Corn A-Dayo” [This is a song of King’s invention, but in searching for it, I discovered that it is also referenced in Black House, a DT-related novel by King and Peter Staub.]

“Back in the New York Groove” – Ace Frehley (KISS) (p. 48-9)

“With a Little Help From My Friends” – The Beatles (p. 108)

[Unknown Dave Van Ronk Song] – Dave Van Ronk (p. 168) [Mentioned by Susannah, but all my searches have turned up nothing. On a side note, Van Ronk sings a version of “Careless Love” on his first album.]

“19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones (p. 179)

“Maid of Constant Sorrow” – Judy Collins (p. 228)

“Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” – Pete Seeger (p. 254)

“Walk on the Wild Side” – Lou Reed (p. 276)

“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – Elton John (p. 277)

“Mother (A Word that Means the World to Me)” – Eddy Arnold (p.428)

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Bob Dylan (p. 435)

“I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) – Hall & Oats (p. 463)

“Holding Out for a Hero” – Bonnie Tyler (p. 503)

“Summer in the City” – The Lovin’ Spoonful (p. 514)

“In the Summertime” – Mungo Jerry (p. 515)

“The Pied Piper” – Crispin St. Peters (p. 593)

ADDITIONAL TEXTUAL REFERENCES?

“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” – Bruce Springsteen (p. 242)

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” – The Who (p. 447)

Song of Susannah (Simon & Schuster hardcover)

“Night and Day” – Frank Sinatra (p. 91)

“Stardust” – Nat King Cole (p. 93)

“Stormy Weather” – Billie Holiday (p. 95)

“Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” – Bob Dylan (p. 139)

“Visions of Johanna” – Bob Dylan (p. 153)

“The Wreck of Old ’97″ – G. B. Grayson & Henry Whitter (p. 289)

“Hang On, Sloopy” – The McCoys (p. 302)

“This Time” – Troy Shondell (p. 303)

“I Shall be Released” & “Blowin’ in the Wind” – Bob Dylan (p. 353)

“I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” – Phil Ochs (p. 353) [Possibly an anachronism. Susannah states that she sang the song in 1964, but the song by Ochs wasn’t released until 1965.]

“Alfie” – Burt Bacharach (p. 404)

During Susannah/Mia’s dream sequence (p. 352-3), several folk songs are mentioned that are worth noting: “John Henry,” “Hesitation Blues” and “Man/Maid of Constant Sorrow.” See also:Wolves of the Calla, page 228.

“Everything’s Eventual” (From Everything’s Eventual, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster paperback)

“My Way” – Frank Sinatra (p. 311)

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” – The Police (p. 320)

The Dark Tower (Simon & Schuster hardcover)

Since this is the final chapter, many songs from throughout the saga are mentioned again. These will not be included and will only be cited on their first reference.

“Moonlight Becomes You” – Bing Crosby (p. 7)

“I Left My Heart in San Francisco” – Tony Bennett (p. 7)

“Good Golly, Miss Molly” – Little Richard (p. 77)

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – The Tokens (p. 81)

“Harrigan” – George M. Cohan (p. 90)

“Nowhere to Run” – Martha and the Vandellas (p. 227)

“Heartbreak Hotel” – Elvis (p. 230)

“Drive My Car” – The Beatles (p. 317)

“That’s Amore” – Dean Martin (p. 351)

“Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen (p. 404)

“Hey Nineteen” – Steely Dan (p. 434)

“Gangsta Dream Nineteen” – Owt-Ray-Juss (p. 444) [Despite identifying the artist and the song, I believe this may be a tune of King’s own invention.]

“Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne (p. 444)

“Rockin’ in the Free World” – Neil Young (p. 600)

“California Sun” – The Rivieras (p. 707)

“Sugar Shack” – Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs (p. 716)

“(Love is Like a) Heat Wave” – Martha and the Vandellas (p. 716)

“She Loves You” – The Beatles (p. 716)

“Come Go With Me” – The Del-Vikings (p. 728)

ADDITIONAL TEXTUAL REFERENCES?

“Kokomo” – The Beach Boys (p. 708)
Read more at http://nerdapproved.com/misc-weirdness/a-complete-list-of-the-songs-in-stephen-kings-dark-tower-series/#fkLkKF3CWI7ohRHt.99





More Unreal Posts


4 responses so far

  • http://nickverboon.wordpress.com/ Nick Verboon

    You STARTED with the Dark Tower series? Damn. I can only imagine what a mess that would look like to somebody unfamiliar with King’s work. But that is a long list of quality music. Nice.

    • EarthDragon2189

      I just finished the DT series myself and I haven’t read any of King’s other books either. I think there are some themes or references I don’t appreciate as much as seasoned King veterans do, but I wouldn’t call the series a mess.

      • http://nickverboon.wordpress.com/ Nick Verboon

        Cool. I think the last two books are a bit of a wreck regardless, but I had a friend who was borrowing the books from me and she quit halfway through Wizard and Glass and just didn’t want to continue.

        • EarthDragon2189

          I can see that. Honestly, the series isn’t for everyone, and if it wasn’t for DT’s reputation, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first book myself. W&G does tend to drag.

Categories

Archives