Most folks know the ridiculously catchy instrumental theme song for the 1960s classic TV comedy “I Dream of Jeannie.” But how many can recite its lyrics — “Jeannie, fresh as a daisy! / Just love how she obeys me” — or even knew it had any?
The theme for “Bewitched,” another ’60s favorite, briefly had its day: Peggy Lee, among others, recorded a jazzy vocal version in 1965. The lyrics weren’t used in the series, however, and over many decades of reruns faded from public consciousness.
The original lyrics for both songs, and countless others, are preserved in Library collections as submissions to the U.S. Copyright Office, which is part of the Library. Such submissions for registration help preserve mostly forgotten stories about pop culture staples: They chronicle the creators’ original ideas and, sometimes, the subsequent histories of their works.
In my own forthcoming novel, The Deceptions, the Greek and Roman statues, and their representations, give my character agency and move the narrative forward. Here are five novels, all from different milieux, that use art— whether in a museum, a church, a city, a drawing room, or a catalog—to inspire a result in a meaningful and unexpected way.
Lucy Honeychurch is a young naïve woman locked in conventions and social mores who visits Italy with her cousin Charlotte. George Emerson is the person of interest for Lucy, though she doesn’t quite know it until much later. George is of a different social class than Lucy and was brought up by his father to reject social norms, religion, and to follow his heart. Lucy on a stroll alone finds herself at the Basilica Di Santa Croce without her guidebook. “Then the pernicious charm of Italy worked on her, and, instead of acquiring information, she began to be happy.” She runs into George Emerson and his father marveling at the Giotto frescoes. She says of Santa Croce, “though it is like a barn, has harvested many beautiful things inside its walls.” Lucy is transformed by the art and beauty of the inner sanctum of the Santa Croce and finds the Giotto “wonderful.”
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item...
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