/ Songs that tell a great story

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
JLS on 27 Sep 2011
So what songs to you think tell a great story?

I'll start...

Up the Junction by Squeeze
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3635AFfu0s

...I was reminded of this song yesterday via a Radio 4 feature.

It was one of those 7" singles that no sooner had it ended you'd want to play it again (and again and again).
Annoying Twit - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

"Tweeter and the Monkey Man" by The Travelling Willburys.
Pursued by a bear - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Houdini, by Kate Bush. A tad ambitious to try and tell his story in less than four minutes, but excellently done nevertheless.

T.
pamph - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Loads of Bob...
Tangled up in blue.
Hurricane
Isis.
Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

and lots more!
Hat Dude on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
highclimber - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: a boy named sue by johnny cash
wilkie14c - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
The coward of the county, Kenny rodgers
PaulHermes - on 27 Sep 2011
Has to be "Shine on you crazy diamond" Pink Floyd or pretty much anything by Frank Zappa and The Smiths!!
nufkin - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song - Jeffrey Lewis
Hat Dude on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to nufkin:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song - Jeffrey Lewis

What's that about then?
deepstar - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Matty Groves by Fairport Convention..."He struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall".
Axel Smeets - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Anything by Stompin' Tom Connors.
toad - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Hollowpoint by Chris Wood.

toad - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to toad: or Next - Alex Harvey channelling Brel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqx5j-FuqeI
Dave Kerr - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to toad) or Next - Alex Harvey channelling Brel
>


I was listening to that t' other night. What a performance. He was just to damn strange to live.
Chris the Tall - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Country Death Song by The Violent Femmes
Where the Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave and Kylie - actually every track on Murder Ballads
The Ballad of Climie Fisher - Half Man Half Biscuit
Daithi O Murchu - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

the man who couldnt cry - Jonny Cash

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgK-1mpSljI
Dave Kerr - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Lola by the Kinks
Vincent Black Lightning by Richard Thomson
Susan's House by the Eels
The Mary Ellen Carter by Stan Rogers
By the Time I get to Phoenix by Glen Campbell
Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis by Tom Waites

Most folk songs really!
Thelongcon - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:



One of the best
The Racounters - Carolina Drama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqp12b61pFo
Trangia - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Kevin Barry
toad - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Dave Kerr: a pedant writes A lot of songs made famous by Glen Cambell (like by the time I get to Phoenix) are Jimmy Webb songs

speaking of which:

Witchita Linesman
Macarthur Park
Rhinestone Cowboy
Highwayman

And in a similar vein

the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgI8bta-7aw
Dave Kerr - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) a pedant writes A lot of songs made famous by Glen Cambell (like by the time I get to Phoenix) are Jimmy Webb songs
>

Another pedant writes back: Yes I know but Campbells versions are the best known and many of them were released by Campbell first.
thomm - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Some great ones on Bruce's 'ghost of tom joad', especially:
Sinaloa Cowboys
The New Timer
Galveston Bay
Pursued by a bear - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: To save time, can I refer you to each of the posts I made on yesterday's thread concerning songs about gods?

Jolly good.

T.
andyathome - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Uncle Muncie by Otis Lee Crenshaw. Killer last verse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbTu_hBKekg

OR

Tom Ames' Prayer by Steve Earl
John_Hat - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Can't believe no-one's mentioned house of the rising sun...
Trangia - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> Can't believe no-one's mentioned house of the rising sun...
>

Great song, but what is the story behind it?
andyathome - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to PaulHermes:
> Has to be "Shine on you crazy diamond" Pink Floyd or pretty much anything by Frank Zappa and The Smiths!!

The clue to the OP request is in the words 'great story'! 'Anything by Frank Zappa'.....like Zombie Woof?
Bulls Crack - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

The Battle of Epping Forest - Genesis!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k6zwMw_Jjo
pog100 - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Jack of hearts - Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks
ads.ukclimbing.com
England2011 on 27 Sep 2011 - host86-185-206-73.range86-185.btcentralplus.com
In reply to JLS: Anything done by Eminem
mikehike on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Snd54c04Y

Morrissey - Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself
Tim Chappell - on 27 Sep 2011
Isis, by Bob Dylan.

Also Bob Dylan's Isis.

Oh, and did I mention the Bob Dylan song, Isis?


"Well she told me that one day we would meet up again
And things would be different the next time we wed
If I only coulda hung on and just been her friend
I still cain't remember all the best things she said."

Autobloodybiographical or what? When I was 19... there was this girl...

no, you don't want to hear this, so I'll stop.

<sigh>
alicia - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to pamph:
> (In reply to JLS) Loads of Bob...
> Tangled up in blue.
> Hurricane
>

I was just clicking on this to say Hurricane!
andyathome - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Trangia:
'Story' = Narrative structure (beginning/middle/ending - not necessarily presented in that order!) + narrative persona (often fictional) + characters engaged within the narrative?

'Shine on you crazy diamond' referenced in this thread is surely 15 minutes or whatever of saying 'you're a really nice bloke and we really miss you': possibly a nice poem but not a 'story'. 'House of the rising sun' might stretch to a short story; man sits in bar and reminisces on what brought him here (and that is NOT to decry the varied performances of that song by the great Eric Burdon) but it doesn't really have a true narrative sweep.

Check out 'Taneytown' by Steve Earl for a lyric narrative that could be expanded to a novel on a par with 'To kill a mockingbird'.

Sorry. Got a bit serious there.....
Tom Last - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Pretty much every folk song.
Tim Chappell - on 27 Sep 2011
andyathome - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Tim Chappell:
Bob Dylan can't write your autobloodybiography. Only his own.

He rote a universal pome you related to. Not a 'great story'.

And that's not to belittle your experience. If only I could have had the courage to hang on to that woman five years ago...!
Mark Morris - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> Pretty much every folk song.

Especially any written by Shane McGowen. Though this by Half Man Half Biscuit is fantasticly good too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr8D1XScCgM
Wonko The Sane - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to andyathome:
> (In reply to Trangia)
> >
> Check out 'Taneytown' by Steve Earl for a lyric narrative that could be expanded to a novel on a par with 'To kill a mockingbird'.
>
> Sorry. Got a bit serious there.....

ANYTHING by Steve Earle is a good story. My faves being Copperhead Road and Johnny Come Lately.
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

In the Ghetto - Elvis
Wonko The Sane - on 27 Sep 2011
Dom Whillans on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
shipbuilding by elvis costello (but sung by robert wyatt)
levi stubbs' tears by billy bragg
national shite day by half man half biscuit
Dom Whillans on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Dom Whillans:
oh... and the jazz discharge party hats by frank zappa
Wonko The Sane - on 27 Sep 2011
Glyno - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:


Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen.
Ade Lane - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde by Georgie Fame. One of my fave songs.
Ade Lane - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to Ade Lane: Oh. And 'Transvestite' by Peter and the Test Tube Babies.....pure class.
JJL - on 27 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Jarvis:
"She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge..."
"Oh, we were born within an hour of each other..."

Lots by Bob:
"Your breath is sweet, your eyes like two jewels in the sky..."



John W - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Almost anything by Phil Ochs.....

James Dean of Indiana

That was the President

The Highwayman

etc etc.

Vastly underrated and in danger of becoming forgotten.
Al Evans on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to John W: Georgie by Rod Stewart, most things by Dylan, Are we talking only about true stories? If not Ziggy Stardust by Bowie.
Cypher - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Just about anything by Johnny Cash
idiotproof (Buxton MC) - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to Cypher:

There were Roses - here by Cara Dillon but not the original I beleive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGMPUYfVw20
John W - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Oooh, that's reminded me, "John Condon" by Cara's sister - a song about the (supposed) youngest British / Irish soldier to die in WW1.
graeme jackson - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

lady Eleanor - Lindisfarne
Forsaken - Dream Theater
a Nightmare to remember - dream theater
Jacob's Dream - Allison Krauss (written by Julie Lee)
Doug on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to graeme jackson: and the band played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle (although I prefer June Tabor's version)

Does the Book of Invasions by Horslips count ?
aln - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Gruff Rhys - Skylon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q1RVILuc74 About an off duty bomb disposal expert on a flight which turns out to have a bomb on board. he's been sitting next to an irritating TV presenter who won't shut up and can't decide wether to disarm the bomb or let it go off just to take her out.
Flinticus - on 28 Sep 2011
God Damn the Sun - Swans
John Wayne Gacy, Jnr - Sufjan Stevens
22 going on 23 - Butthole Surfers
Hannah S on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
spanish train- chris de burgh

Hat Dude on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

The Beatles
She's Leaving Home & Eleanor Rigby
ads.ukclimbing.com
Pursued by a bear - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to Doug:

> Does the Book of Invasions by Horslips count ?

Does in my book. Splendid record, one which I played only the other day.

T.

John W - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

"41 shots" by Mr Springsteen
myth - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Cows With Guns.
wushu - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Coldplay - Viva la Vida.
Levains_Alive - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: here's my ten pence,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA8hzUDXvtk
most complete story of growing up i know
Levains_Alive - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to Levains_Alive: and getting older.......
Andy Cloquet - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to andyathome: well, carrying on your serious stroke; how about these for stories that fit your model?
7 Drunken Nights - The Dubliners
Irish Rover - The Pogues with The Dubliners
Andy (now removing tongue from cheek)
Fawksey 2 - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to Hannah S:
> (In reply to JLS)
> spanish train- chris de burgh

jeez thats an awful album.
Fawksey 2 - on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: I just thought Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
Rob Exile Ward on 28 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Quite a lot by Rod Stewart - Maggie May (obviously), You wear it well, Every Picture Tells a Story...Sometimes I think I've lived my life trying to live his lyrics.
Danzig on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Iron Maiden - Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

WASP - Crimson Idol (whole album)

Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime (again, an album)
Tom V - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Paul Brady "The Lakes of Pontchartrain" and "Arthur McBride"
aln - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to JLS) Quite a lot by Rod Stewart - Maggie May (obviously), Sometimes I think I've lived my life trying to live his lyrics.

Were you successful with the Maggie May story?

Yrmenlaf on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

A lot of hymns and Christmas Carols tell a story (relics from the days when putting a story into song was the best way to remember it)

Y.
MJ - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

39 by Queen.

Even better when you know what the lyrics refer to: -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A733619
Yrmenlaf on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats

Y.
marsbar - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
Hazard Richard Marx

Luka Suzanne Vega

Fitzy - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd
3leggeddog on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

The ladies of the harem of the court of king caractacus by Rolf Harris
Mooncat - on 29 Sep 2011
Mooncat - on 29 Sep 2011
Mooncat - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

Don't take your guns to town by Johnny Cash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raXKeQ5qFwo
toad - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: World turned upside down - Billy Bragg, OysterBand (but Leon Rosselon's song)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stmiyeLsErw
Mikkel - on 29 Sep 2011
Mooncat - on 29 Sep 2011
Fredt on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to John W:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> Almost anything by Phil Ochs.....
>
> James Dean of Indiana
>
> That was the President
>
> The Highwayman
>
> etc etc.
>
> Vastly underrated and in danger of becoming forgotten.


...outside a small circle of friends!

Fredt on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

'Waltzing Matilda' by The Pogues. Stunning.

'Next' by Alex Harvey has been mentioned.

What about 'A Hard Rains Gonna Fall', 'Ballad of Hollis Brown', 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' and 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream', all Dylan.

Finally, I give you 'Miss Otis Regrets', by Cole Porter, and also performed by Kirsty MacColl with the Pogues.



subalpine - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: benedictus-strawbs?
glennofsheff - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: Raconteurs - Carolina Drama
AlasdairM on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS: "Best of Times" by Sage Francis immediately springs to mind. It's like performance poetry mixed with rap - a lot better than my description makes it sound!!
ads.ukclimbing.com
CarbonCopy on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
don't want to be repetitive, but Dylan is king in this area. But I'll throw in Rocky Racoon by the Beatles too
ice.solo - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:

bob of course. all along the watchtower. end of story. f u ck the hendrix version - and i love hendrix.

led zep get a few in ther with no quarter, ramble on, misty mountain hop etc. all hippy viking stuff.

rod and the faces as someone mentioned. great stuff. every picture tells a story, maggie may and italian girls - ballads of the hooligan.
i have no idea how rod became so unpopular - the faces were the shit.

jazzy jeff and the fresh prince - google their stuff. amazing.
ice.solo - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to ice.solo:

slightly embarassing but still good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAIG_DPIPao
ice.solo - on 29 Sep 2011
In reply to ice.solo:

and tim buckley
aln - on 30 Sep 2011
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> bob of course. all along the watchtower. end of story. f u ck the hendrix version

Have you heard the version by XTC?
JLS on 30 Sep 2011
In reply to aln:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnRaVa7J5Rg

As young Nigel said after he killed his overbearing parents, "I think, I'll stick with the Dylan and Hendrix versions thanks..."
aln - on 30 Sep 2011
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to aln)
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnRaVa7J5Rg
>
> As young Nigel said after he killed his overbearing parents, "I think, I'll stick with the Dylan and Hendrix versions thanks..."

I love it, big XTC fan. You obviously can't tell from a cover but Andy Partridge is one of the most under-rated songwriters of all time.

ice.solo - on 30 Sep 2011
In reply to aln:
> (In reply to ice.solo)
> [...]
>
> Have you heard the version by XTC?

all good and well but nah, not for me.

i like the gloomy dangerous feel to it - all these atempts to brighten it up and complicate it miss the point in my opinion.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.