Many people would say that this song, by Guns N' Roses, was inspired by the book The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, since the title is "Catcher in the Rye." Well, besides the obvious song title, the lyrics have a lot to say about the character of Holden Caulfield.
For example, Holden Caulfield often talks about how he is different from those around him, as presented with these lyrics of “Catcher in the Rye.”
“As if they’d ever change
That’s not whom I to say
But every time I’d see them
Makes me wish I had a gun
If I thought that I was crazy
Well I guess I’d have more fun
It’s what used to be’s not there for me
And ought to find someone that belongs insane like I do ”
This part in the music video of “Catcher in the Rye” shows a beautiful world viewed differently through the eyes of a child who sees destruction. The book and the song both emody a spirit of individualism. “As if they’d ever change” symbolises how people are different from Holden, and Holden will always be considered an outcast because others will never change. The lyrics,”And ought to find someone that belongs insane like I do” brings a comparison with Holden’s “insane” actions like leaving school, not talking to his parents, and a failed attempt in aquiring a prostitute.
The Catcher in the Rye, may have inspired this song because the song makes a reference to a gun, and Holden always says “That kills me.” When Holden says this phrase, “That kills me,” in the beginning of the book, the reader doesn’t catch on to his depression right away.
In the book, Holden is characterized as a loner; he does not have a true friend-his closest friend is Ackley, who he makes fun of on a regular basis. The lyrics “Sometimes the only thing you got at all when no one else is there” emphasizes Holden’s lonliness, and the fact that he may be better off alone.
If we were to change the lyrics, we would incorporate Holden’s popular phrases such as “That kills me,”and “Goddamn.” Other than that, we find these lyrics to be a good representation of the book.
This is a music video of Green Day’s, “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”
Some notable lyrics in this song that relate to the book are:
"There's a boy who fogs his world
and now he's getting lazy
There's no motivation and
frustration makes him crazy
He makes a plan to take a stand
but always ends up sitting.
Someone help him up or he is
gonna end up quitting."
These lyrics represent Holden flunking out of school, and showing no pride in his work like his history essay. He isn't taking charge of his life and he has no motivation to do better in school. When the lyrics read "He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting" shows how holden always wants to talk to Jane Gallagher, but never goes forth with his plans.THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a representation of Holden's depression and lack of motivation or self esteem.
This song by Eminem, “Without Me,” is an excellent representation of The Catcher in the Rye.
In this song, Eminem is trashing society and all the people around him [as always]. He also doesn’t listen to the advice he is getting, and just does what he wants to do. This is similar to Holden in that Holden doesn’t listen to Stradlater when Stradlater asks him to write the assignment on a room, and he doesn’t take Mr. Spencer’s advice. Holden constantly makes fun of people around him, such as Ackley and Stradlater…specifically their hygiene.
“I Am Holden Caulfield” by The Contingency Plan
This is the last time I’ll say it
Cause I might be too busy to write
And this time I mean it
Cause I’m leaving town tonight
Well I’m gone
I’m leaving town
Well I’m gone
I’m leaving you
So I sit alone again
Maybe winter will pass me by
Like a candle in the wind
Doesn’t mean that I won’t try
If summer comes around
I’ll break out of this shell
I’ll never come back down
Even though I may fail
Will you ever take a stand?
Tell anyone anything?
Cause if you don’t stand for something
You will always stand for nothing
A girl might build me up
But then I’d take a fall
Cause if it weren’t for bad luck
I’d have no luck at all
Pretend I’m what I’m not
Packing heat to make me tough
Will I ever get a shot
To do what I love
Will you ever take a chance?
It just might change your life
Just believe in yourself
Take my hand and roll the dice
Roll the dice
This song refers to Holdne’s bad luck, as so he thinks. Holden Caulfield does not take chances because he is depressed, and the writer of this song portrays Holden as one who is sorry for himself. Although Holden thinks he is different from everybody else, he is just a normal kid who lacks self esteem, as shown from his ridicule of others.
We chose these songs because we feel they represent different views of the character, Holden Caulfield. Each song has a similar idea but they each target a different part of Holden’s personality. We chose to separate these songs within our blog so that it is easier for the reader to comprehend the differences.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Adios. We mean “peace” from group purple1234.