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SuperMouse's avatar

What's your favorite story song?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) July 5th, 2011

There are so many awesome songs that tell stories, here is my favorite. What’s yours?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

flutherother's avatar

I like Raglan Road sung by Luke Kelly of the Dubliners and words by Patrick Kavanagh the poet.

“I saw the danger and I passed
Along the enchanted way.”

MilkyWay's avatar

Oh, there are so many but my fav would probably be Wake me up when September ends by Greenday.

King_Pariah's avatar

The Assumption Song.

ucme's avatar

I’ve always liked this, chokes me up….a little.

Seelix's avatar

Hung My Head by Johnny Cash
Sam Hall by Johnny Cash
A Boy Named Sue by Shel Silverstein (performed by Johnny Cash)
One Piece at a Time by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was great at story songs.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Here to Eternity by Rod Stewart
The Killing of Georgie by Rod Stewart
Wild Montana Skies by John Denver
Fast Car by Tracey Chapman
Coat of Many Colours by Dolly Parton

I’m sure there are many that I am forgetting so I may be back!

zenvelo's avatar

I like Rod Stewart’s story songs too, like the Killing of Georgie

TexasDude's avatar

@Seelix Sam Hall is my favorite Johnny Cash song ever and I’ve been meaning to acquire it. Thanks for the reminder.

Judi's avatar

(First thing that came to mind.)
Alice,
Where are you going?

Upstairs to take a bath

Alice, with legs like toothpicks

and a neck like a Giraffe raf raf raf raf raf

Alice, stepped in the bathtub
pulled out the plug and then

Oh my goodness Oh my soul! There goes Alice down the hole!

Alice, Where are you going?
Glub, Glub Glub.

(I may have been hanging out with my grand kids a bunch lately. :-)

TexasDude's avatar

Oh God, how could I forget The Decemberists?! They write some of the best story songs.

Like The Rake’s Song.

Charlotte I buried after feeding her foxglove
Dawn was easy, she was drowned in the bath
Isaiah fought but was easily bested
Burned his body for incurring my wrath
Alright, alright, alright

Or The Mariner’s Revenge Song.

And then, that fateful night
We had you in our sight
After twenty months at sea
Your starboard flank abeam
I was getting my muskets cleaned
When came this rumbling from beneath

The ocean shook, the sky went black, and the captain quailed
And before us grew the angry jaws of a giant whale

SpatzieLover's avatar

All the School House Rock songs came into my head when I read this question…I’m just a BillEight is Great

Haleth's avatar

@Cruiser Good call! I love that song. It’s catchy as hell and has a sort of James Bond feel to it.

For me, probably “Love Will Tear us Apart” by Joy Division.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot and American Pie by Don Mclean are at the top of my lists.

DrBill's avatar

doesn’t every song tell a story?

TexasDude's avatar

@DrBill most do, to an extent, but some are more explicit than others in their methods. Most of the songs listed in this question have explicit elements of storytelling: characters, setting, rising actions, climaxes, denounment, and so on.

DrBill's avatar

for a favorite I would pick this one

SuperMouse's avatar

@DrBill, my husband and I discussed that after I posted this question, @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard pretty much described what I think of as story songs. I also tend to think of a story song as I was taught to think of stories back in elementary school, “every story has a beginning middle and an end.

A couple of others I love, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels The Battle of New Orleans by Johnnie Horton, Billy Don’t Be a Hero by Bo Donaldson and Janie’s Got a Gun by Aerosmith.

DrBill's avatar

@SuperMouse

I agree, I only asked because I could not think of a song that did not tell a story

TexasDude's avatar

@DrBill I would argue that this song doesn’t really tell a story. I can think of a few more.

DrBill's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

that has to be the most stupid song I have ever heard

TexasDude's avatar

@DrBill it was pretty popular as a novelty/joke song in the 70’s apparently.

SamIAm's avatar

No Bob Dylan songs (Hurricane! No?)?? Wow! Renee by the Lost Boyz, and Cortez the Killer (almost every version). There are more but those are the ones that come to mind now!

SuperMouse's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard that was regularly in Dr. Demento’s top ten throughout my childhood! Boy does that bring back memories!

TexasDude's avatar

@SuperMouse haha that’s awesome!

filmfann's avatar

Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up In Blue.

However, I long considered Bobby Gentry’s Ode To Billie Joe.

SuperMouse's avatar

@filmfann every time I hear it I find Ode to Billy Joe haunting.

filmfann's avatar

Ugh! How did I forget the greatest story song that ever was?

You can get anything you want…

lillycoyote's avatar

My favorite is Willis Alan Ramsey’s Ballad of Spider John but I really like
Nancy Griffith’s Love at the Five and Dime also, that’s a real story song, and then another sad cowboy song, Lyle Lovett’s (with Emmylou Harris) Walk Through The Bottomland and Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita though Rosalita‘s kind of “short story” song

….
Rosie come out tonight, rosie come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters chimneys for the poor
Closets are for hangers winners use the door

Rosalita jump a little…

….

Papa lowered the boom he locked you in your room
I’m comin’ to lend a hand

It’s a short story about her lover trying to liberate Rosalita from her parent’s house and run off with her, yes?

And BTW, the Willis Alan Ramsey song has nothing to do with my username. I was a fan of the song long before lillycoyote ever existed, before that lilly was even a gleam in my eye:-).

Brian1946's avatar

El Paso, by Marty Robins.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone, by the Kingston Trio.

TexasDude's avatar

@linguaphile big lurve for Big Iron. Marty Robbins is awesome.

linguaphile's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard. I first heard/saw it when Michael Martin Murphey did a cover for a CMT video sometime in the 90’s. I love the song—the repetitions are catchy, the story’s easy to visualize. I use this in class as a ‘modern’ example when discussing Brit Lit ballads.
Marty’s a perfect guy to have on a camping trip!

TexasDude's avatar

@linguaphile he’s also experiencing a sort of renaissance thanks to the video game Fallout: New Vegas which features Big Iron prominently, as well as a host of other classic songs of that nature.

linguaphile's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Ha… I would never know. The last video game I tried to master was PacMan. That’s great news, though, about the Robbinsnaissance! Looks like a LOT of people on this thread mention Robbins. :)

lonelydragon's avatar

“Shayla” by Blondie.

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