This is how I feel about song references in literature. I think it is, generally speaking, a lazy way to go. The writer is relying on the skill of another artist, and not necessarily, his or her own mastery of craft.
That said, when I teach new writers, I do reference Ray LaMontagne. Specifically, "Jolene." I reference this song when teaching the difference between concrete and abstract language. Abstractions are words like "love, soul, death, happiness, and fear." They are words you cannot taste, touch, see, or smell. Concrete words include "book, coffee cup, paper clip, lilac, and Australian Shepherd."
New writers tend to think that abstractions are important, but I maintain that concrete, specific language and references are better. I start my classes with a series of rapid-fire exercises. "When I say love, what do you think of?" I say this and point to each person in the room. The answers inevitably vary: mom, my kids, boyfriend, sex, kittens, Jesus and others.
This, I continue, is why writers need control of their language. Because do you really want to write a word like love and have associations that range from kittens to Jesus?
For instance, Ray LaMontagne's "Jolene." It is the single best expression of desperation that never uses the word "desperate."
The takeaway: Don't rely on song lyrics in prose, and concrete expression is more effective than abstract.