Tennessee Williams: Cultural References

Table of Contents

Gore Vidal refers to Williams as the “Glorious Bird” when he met him in Rome after World War II. He noted the image of “the bird is everywhere in his work”

The rock band Manic Street Preachers referenced Williams in a song called “Tennessee,” included in their controversial debut album Generation Terrorists, edited in 1992.

The American indie rock band The National reference Williams in their song City Middle, in their album “Alligator”, in the following excerpt: “You said, I think I’m like Tennessee Williams / I wait for the click / I wait, but it doesn’t kick in”

Contemporary rock band The Strokes presumably reference Williams in the opening song to their 2003 album Room on Fire: “Oh, Tennessee, what did you write? / I come together in the middle of the night.”

Country music singer Don Williams referred to Williams in his 1980 hit, “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” penned by Bob McDill: “I can still hear the soft Southern winds in the live oak trees / And those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me / Hank and Tennessee / I guess we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be”

The eighth episode of the HBO drama series The Sopranos is entitled “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti“. The title refers to the character Christopher Moltisanti‘s struggles with his aspirations as a screenwriter. At one point during the episode, Cristopher’s girlfriend Adriana La Cerva refers to him as “my Tennessee William[sic]”

In an episode of Canadian sitcom Corner Gas, “Bean There”, Wanda suggests that she’s a better team player than Hank who “chokes like Tennessee Williams on a bottle cap”.

Elton John references Williams on his 1995 album ‘Made In England’ with a lyric in the song ‘Lies’: “I could be great like Tennessee Williams / If I could only hear something that sounds like the truth”


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