There’s no lie that BTS and Inspiration go hand in hand. The boy group has inspired so many fans to be their best selves and never give up through their music. Along with having some mind-blowing music, their lyrics have been exceptional too. While writing the lyrics, the boys of BTS have taken a lot of inspiration from literature, philosophy, and psychology. As revealed by a fan, BTS’ lyrics have given them insight into philosophy more than their textbooks. As analyzed by the fans themselves, there exist BTS songs inspired by books.
From renowned names in STEM and academics to classic authors, the boys have been reading classics for years now. They’ve even given fans some must-read recommendations, and fans have loved the books. Along with expanding their knowledge, the boys of BTS revealed that they’ve been taking references from their favorite books and a lot of classics while writing the lyrics. Knowing that the albums follow a concept and form a story if paid attention to, there’s more to the tracks.
So Here Are Some Books That’ve Inspired BTS To Write Some of The Songs That We Adore!
1. Spring Day From ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’
“My heart is running on time, alone on the Snowpiercer
I want to go to the other side of Earth, holding your hand, put an end to winter
How much should my longings fall like snow
Before the days of spring return, friend?”
Written by Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” short story is about a utopic town with a dark secret. Released in 1973, the story follows a child who must live in misery so the town can be happy. But soon, the truth came out, and town people had different reactions to the truth. While many accepted their fate and lived in the town, making the boy more miserable than ever, some walked away wanting to change things. But no one knows where they went after walking away from Omelas.
Coming from BTS’s album ‘You Never Walk Alone’, Spring Day hints at the book. In the music video, a neon sign with ‘Omelas’ written on it can be spotted at an abandoned stop. According to the conspiracy theories, Jungkook is supposed to be the child from the story as the other members walk away from him. As the Jungkook is often seen alone in several places like trains and abandoned amusement parks throughout the music video. And by the end, the other members come to take him away from the fate of misery.
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2. Serendipity From ‘The Little Prince’ & ‘Flower’
“The whole world is different from yesterday
Just, just, with your joy
When you called me I became your flower
As if we were waiting
We bloom until we ache”
Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, ‘The Little Prince’ is a French Novella published in 1943. The story follows a prince as he falls in love with a rose but is unable to show and express his love. The intro piece to ‘Her’, Serendipity is said to be based on the classic ‘The Little Prince’. It is also said to be based on ‘Flower’ written by Kim Chun Su. The story follows a ‘wish’ that one has to become someone else’s flower to validate their existence.
While the music video’s cinematography and starry scenes point to the soft theme of the classic novella, the lyrics of the song focus on a sudden spark of “love”. The lyrics also follow the conversation the prince had with the fox asking him to be his one and only as they’ll be unique and useful to each other. Playing the little prince, Jimin uses metaphors to express his love and tell the whole story.
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3. Magic Shop From ‘Into The Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart ‘
“Let’s make a door in your heart
Open the door and this place will await
It’s okay to believe,
the Magic Shop will comfort you”
Written by the infamous neurosurgeon James R. Doty, ‘Into The Magic Shop’ is a non-fiction memoir. The book features the lesson James has learned from the woman named Ruth with whom he met in the ‘magic shop’. In the memoir, James revealed that it was Ruth who taught him how to open his heart and even inspired him to become a neurosurgeon. Produced by Jungkook for the track ‘Magic Sho’ for the album ‘Love Yourself: Tear’.
The song asks the fans to not lose hope and believe in themselves with a comfortable place in their heart i.e. the magic shop. The Magic Shop serves as a place of refuge for the heartbroken, a place of healing for the disturbed, and a place of love for those who are lonely. Being one of the fans’ favorite songs in BTS discography, ‘Magic Shop’ has become a comfort song for a lot of k-pop stans.
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4. Butterfly From ‘Kafta On The Shore’
“I don’t know if this is reality or a dream
My Kafka on the shore
Don’t go to those woods over there”.
Written by the infamous author Haruki Murakami, ‘Kafka on the Shore’ is one of the classics out there. It is one of his favorite books, which is very close to RM’s heart. The story follows a runaway teenage boy named Kafka and an old man named Mr. Tanaka who can talk to cats as it oscillates between reality and dreams. RM gives a direct reference to ‘Kafka on The Shore’ in the lyrics. Hearing the lyrics, many fans were surprised, especially the ones who knew the context of the book.
In one of his interactions, RM revealed that he takes a lot of inspiration from Murakami while writing song lyrics. While ‘Butterfly’ expresses the fear of losing a loved one, it also focuses on overcoming several complex issues and becoming a new being. Many fan theories explain deep comparisons between ‘Kafka on the Shore and taking bits from different BTS songs by making boys the main characters. And how they helped each other in the discovery.
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Bonus: The Album ‘Map of the Soul’ From ‘Map of the Soul’
“Who am I? The question I had my whole life
The question which I probably won’t find an answer to my whole life
If I were answerable with a few more words
Then God wouldn’t have created all these various beauties
How you feel? How’re you feeling right now?”
Taking the psychological and philosophical point of view, Intro: Persona is based on the infamous concepts of analytical psychology created by Carl Jung. Written by Murrey Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul follows Jung’s creative, intuitive approach to fathoming the mysteries of the individual and collective human psyche. The album “Map Of The Soul: Persona” took 1st place on the UK’s Official Album Chart Top 100 soon after its release. The tracks of the albums follow the whole concept of the theory. Starting from Intro: Persona to the final track, “Dionysus”, we break out of persona traps and reach an awakening.
In the music video of Intro: Persona, RM is seen confronting different versions of himself. As a direct reference to Jun’s theory, words like “persona,” “shadow,” and “ego” are seen written on a classroom chalkboard behind RM. He also talks about how him letting his on-stage persona take over him prevents him from acknowledging his flaws and it becomes hard for him to get to know his true self. In the end, it theorizes that everyone has different archetypes that help in the make-up of our personality as a whole. And our persona is just one of them.
More BTS Songs Based on Books
- I Need U is based on ‘The Owl Service’ by Alan Garner’
- Spine Breaker is based on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
- Cypher Pt. 1 is based on the infamous fictional character ‘Hong Gil Dong’.
- Do You is based on ‘It’s Youth Because It Hurts’.
- Sea is based on 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
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