A look at J.D. Salinger's Incidental Music Legacy

As you're undoubtedly well aware of by now, renowned author and recluse J.D. Salinger died last week. Since Catcher in the Rye was published it has quickly become a favorite for high school English teachers and because of that, it's also become a favorite for musicians to drop quick references to. Now we're not saying these lyrics are intelligent, hell, some of them aren't even particularly informed but these are five of our favorite songs that reference Salinger's works.

5. Billy Joel - "We Didn't Start the Fire"

Arguably the catchiest song to mention Catcher in the Rye ever, Billy Joel's song about history and what-not drops the title and not much else. Either way, we suppose it was nice of him to put the novel in the same list as hula-hoops and space monkeys.

4. Beastie Boys - "Shadrach"

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The line "I've got more stories than J.D. got Salinger/I hold the title and you are the challenger" might sound like a hefty challenge, until you consider the fact Salinger only published a handful of stories.

3. Belle & Sebastian - "Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie"

We don't actually have any idea what this song is about but we do know it contains the line "Give yourself up to the allure of the Catcher in the Rye," so we decided it's good enough to fit on this list.

2. Jedi Mind Tricks - "Trinity"

Jedi Mind Tricks offer the line "You'll get tossed and feel lost like Holden Caulfield" as a metaphor for religion or holograms or something.

1. Green Day - "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"

Looking at the title it's pretty obvious where the Salinger reference is, but more importantly, the lyrics seem to be inspired by Catcher in the Rye as Billy Joe Armstrong tries to flex his brain and sum up the character in about two and half minutes.


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