The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' named most-referenced song in literature

Fab Four's classic track is name-checked in 55 works of fiction, says study

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The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' has been named the song most often referred to in works of literature.

A list compiled by website Small Demons, which collates mentions of topics as varied as music and films to cities and cocktails, claims that the Fab Four's iconic track is name-checked in at least 55 works of fiction by authors ranging from Stephen King (Wolves Of The Calla) to John Updike (The Afterlife).

The Beatles have four other tracks in the list of the Top 20 most literary-friendly songs, with 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' at Number Seven, 'Eleanor Rigby' at Number Eight, and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club' at 15 and 16 respectively.

The second most oft-cited song by authors is Elvis Presley's 'Heartbreak Hotel', with Led Zeppelin's classic track 'Stairway To Heaven' at Number Three, Charity track 'We Are The World' at Number Four and Abba's Dancing Queen rounding out the Top Five.

Other tracks included in the list, meanwhile, include Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone' and Michael Jackson's 'Beat It', although as Small Demons are constantly adding new books to their database, the results are not definitive.

The Top 20 is as follows:

1. The Beatles – 'Hey Jude'
2. Elvis Presley – 'Heartbreak Hotel'
3. Led Zeppelin – 'Stairway To Heaven'
4. USA For Africa – 'We Are The World'
5. ABBA – 'Dancing Queen'
6. Carl Perkins – 'Blue Suede Shoes'
7. The Beatles – 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'
8. The Beatles – 'Eleanor Rigby'
9. Nirvana – 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
10. Queen – 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
11. Los Del Rio – 'The Macarena'
12. Michael Jackson – 'Beat it'
13. Creedence Clearwater Revival – 'Proud Mary'
14. OneRepublic – 'Apologize'
15. The Beatles – 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'
16. The Beatles – 'Strawberry Fields Forever'
17. 'Lili Marleen' (first recorded by Lale Andersen)
18. Michael Jackson – 'Beat It'
19. Bob Dylan – 'Like A Rolling Stone'
20. Rolling Stones – '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'



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