Inspiration for a song can come from anywhere, at any time.
Some of the greatest songs of all time have varied inspiration behind them. Take Queen’s We Will Rock You – it is a great audience participation song and with good reason. It was written purely with the involvement of those watching in mind, and from there came what is now a tune known the world over. Some tracks, such as No Doubt’s Don’t Speak and Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way, are written about real-life breakups.
Sometimes, a song is inspired by a person, directly or indirectly. Of course, everyone knows Elton John’s Candle in the Wind was written about Marilyn Monroe, he mentions her in the lyrics, but sometimes an artist does not even hide the reference. Sometimes, for different reasons, they just name the song after the famous person they intend to sing about. There is no ambiguity, no guessing, just a song, a person and a theme.
Here are four that you may (or may not) want to check out.
Alexa Bliss – Bowling for Soup
Goofy, pop-punk purveyors Bowling for Soup paid homage to Alexis Kaufman, better known as wrestler Alexa Bliss, in a mutually appreciated collaboration last year. Bliss told Kerrang.com that Bowling for Soup had been her favorite band growing up, and she even agreed to star in the video. The star of WWE even helped the video draw half a million views in its first three days on YouTube, which has since risen to more than 3 million. The song itself is as you would expect from the Texas band, upbeat, catchy and embodying everything that makes pop-punk great.
Dan Bilzerian – T-Pain feat Lil Yachty
Not all songs featuring celebrities in the title have a deeper meaning, and not all are entirely listenable either. Dan Bilzerian, by T-Pain and Lil Yachty, is one of those tunes. A rather jaunty and upbeat rap track, it caricatures Bilzerian in a catchy, but ultimately ‘one listen’ style. Bilzerian is a social media star, famous for having a lot of money and an opulent lifestyle, which fits with the rap game. The source of Bilzerian’s wealth is much disputed. Bilzerian features in a listicle by Poker.org that suggests some of his money came from playing cards, although that is something that has not been confirmed. Sadly, despite his wealth, the track bearing his name is less Ice-T, and more Vanilla Ice.
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 feat Christina Aguilera
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones have influenced a generation of guitar bands, but they also lend their name to Maroon 5’s 2011 electro-pop release. It is a dedicated disco-anthem, with a music video featuring some footage of Jagger in his early days. Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine gyrates his way through the tune, very much mimicking the moves of Jagger, but even without the visuals, the song is a solid one. It reached number one in the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, as well as multiple other countries around the world.
The Ballad of Ira Hayes – Johnny Cash
Haunting, emotional and featuring arguably the greatest vocalist of all time, The Ballad of Ira Hayes appeared on Cash’s album Bitter Tears, but it was not his song. It was written by folk singer Peter La Farge, and recorded by Bob Dylan, Peter Seeger and Patrick Sky, to name but a few. It tells the real story of Ira Hayes, an Indian war veteran and one of the six Marines who raised the US flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II.
If you enjoyed this article, but fancy listening to some tunes that do not indulge the cult of celebrity, why not check out Three New Folksy Americana Tunes to Get Your Week Going?
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