Throughout the narrative of the Watchmen comic series, many popular songs are referenced. Some songs are simply playing in the background of some of the comic panels, others have lyrics that are used as titles and ending quotes of some of the chapters. The following is a definitive listing of all of these song references. Use the player on the right to preview all of the tracks that are listed below.
Lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” appear in the title and the end quote of Chapter I of the comic series: “At midnight, all the agents and superhuman crew go out and round up everyone who knows more than they do.”
Chapter I, Page 10, Panel 1. The song blares from the boom box of a male Knot Top named Derf as Dan walks home from Hollis Mason’s apartment. The lyric shown is “…look down your back stairs buddy, somebody’s living there an’ they don't really feel the weather…”
Lyrics from Elvis Costello’s “The Comedians” appear in the title and the end quote of Chapter II of the comic series:“And I’m up while the dawn is breaking, even though my heart is aching. I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians.”
Chapter III, Page 19, Panel 1. The chorus of this song is sung by a soldier painting a warning sign on Dr. Manhattan’s door: “Walkin’ on…Walkin’ on the moooo-oooon.”
Chapter VII, Page 10, Panels 2-3. Referenced by Laurie in Dan’s basement after trying on his goggles. She says, “Sure. Devo. Are We Not Men?” She is either referring to the album title “Q: Are We Not Men” or the lyric from the track “Jocko Homo” where Mark Mothersbaugh shouts the same line.
Chapter VII, Page 13, Panels 8-9. The song’s lyrics are shown as coming from a Nostalgia perfume commercial on T.V. during Dan and Laurie’s first attempt at making love: “Oh, my darling, it’s incredible, that someone so unforgettable should think I am unforgettable, too.”
Chapter VII, Pages 25, Panel 7, Page 26 Panels 1-4, 7. Nite Owl plays the song from his speakers on the Owl Ship during the tenement fire rescue: “You’re my thrill. You do something to me. You send chills right through me when I look at you, ’cos you’re my thrill…”
Lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” appear in the title and the end quote of Chapter X of the comic series: “Outside in the distance a wild cat did growl, two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.”
Chapter XI at the bottom of Page 32. In the supplement at the end of the chapter there’s a ad for Nostalgia perfume that uses the song title as an ad slogan.
Lyrics from John Cale’s “Sanities” appear in the title and the end quote of Chapter XII of the comic series: “It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world, to die in.”