Songs that Relate to Fahrenheit 451

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

A number of songs were written directly about ''Fahrenheit 451'' by Ray Bradbury. In this lesson, we will take a closer look at some of the music that was inspired by this novel.

Literary Inspirations

If someone is a 'Scrooge,' what does that mean? Scrooge was a grouchy, greedy character that hated Christmas from Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. The allusion to this character has permeated our culture and become part of our language. An allusion is a reference to literature, history, or another event of significance. In the same way that we reference 'Scrooge,', many song writers have referenced and been inspired by literature. Let's take a closer look at some songs that were inspired by Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Fahrenheit 451 inspires music.

Fahrenheit 451 by Utopia

In 1982, the American band Utopia, led by Todd Rundgren on guitar, recorded a song called Fahrenheit 451 that is based on the Ray Bradbury novel for the album Swing to the Right. With the album's theme dedicated to crooked government, a nod to this novel seems appropriate. The song walks through the main points of the story, which include censorship because people think it's the right thing to do, and the need for like-minded people need to get together to stop it before it's too late. The lyrics include the lines, ''And I'm looking for somebody with a dream like mine / We could share a few pages 'round the fire so bright…''

Conformity 451 by Norine Braun

Canadian artist Norine Braun recorded Conformity 451 in 2007 after being inspired by the novel. In the song, there is a hint of satire as people tend to create rebellious looks that are similar to what other people are doing. How rebellious is that? The lyrics allude to the the novel's protagonist, Montag, and a young woman, Clarisse, who offers him some hope. But on returning home from work at the fire station, Montag finds his wife, Mildred, has overdosed on sleeping pills. Braun writes, ''When the guy comes home from burning pages of the sages / All his rage is quieted with a pill. / He finds his wife who's lying still. Their zombie life is dying still…'' The song makes additional references to the television playing non-stop and Montag's discontent until he meets Granger who helps him focus: ''When our hero meets his guide / A revolution is started inside..'' But it is too late to help the others because the city is destroyed, ''War is futile / In the city, all the people gone forever.''

Dark Hallucinations by Steel Prophet

In 1999, the heavy metal band Steel Prophet didn't just write a song inspired by Fahrenheit 451, they wrote an entire album.

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