The Muse Behind the Music: Meet the People Who Inspired Some of the Best Songs in History

Sometimes we are so moved by our favorite songs that we feel as though the lyrics were written especially for us. Unfortunately, in reality, you are one of a million that feels that way. But that is what makes a good song; when audiences across the world deeply identify with its message. This notion raises the question; how were some of the most successful musicians able to write songs so relatable and meaningful? What happened in their own lives that pulled on their heartstrings and inspired them to write those poetic lyrics that so deeply speak to the masses.

As you may have guessed, most of these songs do actually have real life backstories, and many times the inspiration behind the lyrics are people that have somehow influenced the artist’s lives. These people might be old girlfriends, personal heroes, or random chance encounters. Here are the inspirations behind some of the most beautiful songs today. You might just recognize some of these names…

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15 Beautiful Women Who Inspired Classic Love Songs

suzanne george

Romantic muses in the age of rock and roll

(via Purple Clover)

by John Birmingham

“Crazy Love,” Van Morrison

THE MUSE: Janet “Planet” Rigsbee

THE BACKSTORY: Their first meeting, she said, was “alchemical whammo.” Rigsbee inspired not just “Crazy Love” (“I can hear her heartbeat for a thousand miles”) but also “Tupelo Honey” (that’s her on the album cover). The couple split in 1973.

UPDATE: Morrison’s ex is a songwriter living in California. Their daughter Shana, born just after the release of “Moondance,” has recorded five albums of her own and often shares the stage with her father.


“And I Love Her,” The Beatles

THE MUSE: Jane Asher

THE BACKSTORY: McCartney, who wrote “And I Love Her” in 1964, called it “the first ballad I impressed myself with.” By 1967 he and the English actress were engaged, but a year later they went separate ways.

UPDATE: Long married to illustrator Gerald Scarfe, Asher has become an entrepreneur. Last year she redesigned her London shop, Jane Asher Party Cakes…

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