Local Current Blog

To Kill A Mockingbird: Music inspired by Harper Lee’s masterpiece

Everyone’s talking about Harper Lee today, with the announcement that the beloved author has a second novel set to be released this summer. The new book will be a follow-up to her first and (to date) only book, the masterpiece To Kill A Mockingbird. The book, following a 50-year publishing break, is a Mockingbird sequel of sorts titled Go Set a Watchman.

Part of the legacy of Lee’s first novel is its profound influence in the music world. Here are just a few tracks, and band names, directly inspired by Lee’s Mockingbird.

Little Green Cars recorded a great track you’ve heard on The Current, titled “Harper Lee.”

Bruce Hornsby cut a jazzy track called “Sneaking Up on Boo Radley,” its title referring to a mysterious character from the novel.

The Noisettes created a lovely minimal R&B track named “Atticus,” named after legendary character Atticus Finch.

Hard rock group Paint It Black‘s take on the novel involves heavy guitars in “Atticus Finch”:

Grunge-rockers Atticus also have a band name directly influenced by Lee’s novel. Check out “Jane’s Row”:

Another group whose name was inspired by the book are emo rockers Finch.

The Brit-pop group the Boo Radleys named their band after a character, and have several songs referencing the book. Check out “Wake Up Boo!”:

Any bands—or tracks—our list is missing?

Andy Moe is a student at the University of Minnesota.