4 Popular Songs Based on Classical Music

chopin carly love

Do you ever listen to classical music and wonder how we got from Chopin to Carly Rae Jepsen? They're not as far off as you might think. Well, okay, maybe in that example, they really are that far off, but check out the 4 modern songs below that take inspiration from classical music.

chopin carly love

1. Nas and Beethoven might seem like a strange marriage, but somehow, it just works. “I Can” by NAS samples the theme from Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” For a NAS song that promotes the message of “I know I can / Be what I wanna be / If I work hard at it / I’ll be where I wanna be,” Beethoven (and the whole ethos of classical music) seems a perfect fit. Check out both versions below:



2. Graduation (friends forever) by Vitamin C (and nearly every other song of the 20th century) takes some level of inspiration from Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. Actually, Canon in D Major, or at least the chord progression, is said to have inspired a whole host of songs including “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis, “Hook” by Blues Traveler, and “Go West” by the Pet Shop Boys.



3. The title of Bright Eyes’ track “Road to Joy” pretty clearly points to its predecessor. Based on the melody of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” this Bright Eyes tune presents a somewhat darker picture of the state of modern affairs. Listen to both below:



4. Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” was inspired by the 1898 Neopolitan song “O sole mio,” which literally translates to “my sunshine.” The song’s lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. While stationed in Germany, Elvis Presley heard Tony Martin’s version and recorded his version upon discharge.


What pieces of classical music do you see cropping up in modern music?