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Nirvana2k4

Greatest Song with a Story . . .

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Bob Dylan - All Along the Watchtower

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA

Bruce Springsteen - The River

Bad Company - Shooting Star

Bob Seger - Against The Wind

Don McClean - American Pie

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing

Foreigner - Juke Box Hero

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'Rat Trap' by The Boomtown Rats is IMO one of the greatest songs with a story ever. It is part of my teenage years, and one of the few songs I will sing out loud in the car with passengers.

Regards

Hey Diggs, is I Don't Like Mondays by Boomtown Rats not also a story? I heard it was about someone shooting someone. Anyway, i love that song. oooh and Tribute-Tenacious D is a song that me and my friends all sing in a big circle everytime we all get together, it's the best. :rockon:

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I've been trying to work these lyrics out for years but what a story:

What do you do? Bonzo Do Dog Band.

What do you do?

I don't know, but I know

I do it every day

Why do you do it?

I don't know, but I know

I do it anyway

I do what I do, indeed I do

I do what I do, every day

Indeed I do

I do what I do, indeed I do

I do what I do, every day

I do what I do, I am what I am

We are what we are, we do what we can

What do you do?

I don't know, but I know

I do it everyday

Why do you do it?

I don't know, but I know

I do it anyway

I do what I do, indeed I do

I do what I do, everyday

Indeed I do

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When I saw the topic I thought immediately of Harry Chapin. He was the great songs storyteller. Of course his hits include Taxi and Cats In The Cradle, but you would have to listen to his albums to really appreciate his storytelling.

Other songs I would recommend listening to are 30,000 Pounds of Bananas and I Wanna Learn A Love Song.

My favorite by him is a song called What Made America Famous.

What Made America Famous

by Harry Chapin

It was the town that made America famous.

The churches full and the kids all gone to hell.

Six traffic lights and seven cops and all the streets kept clean.

The supermarket and the drug store and the bars all doing well.

They were the folks that made America famous.

The local fire department stocked with shorthaired volunteers.

And on Saturday night while America boozes

The fire department showed dirty movies,

The lawyer and the grocer seeing their dreams

Come to life on the movie screens

While the plumber hopes that he won't be seen

As he tries to hide his fears and he wipes away his tears.

But something's burning somewhere. Does anybody care?

We were the kids that made America famous.

The kind of kids that long since drove our parents to dispair.

We were lazy long hairs dropping our, lost confused, and copping out.

Convinced our futures were in doubt and trying not to care.

We lived in the house that made America famous.

It was a rundown slum, the shame of all the decent folks in town.

We hippies and some welfare cases,

Crowded families of coal black faces,

Cramped inside some cracked old boards,

The best that we all could afford

But still to nice for the rich landlord

To tear it down and we could hear the sound

Of something burning somewhere. Is anybody there?

We all lived the life that made America famous.

Our cops would make a point to shadow us around our town.

And we love children put a swastika on the bright red firehouse door.

America, the beautiful, it makes a body proud.

And then came the night that made America famous.

Was it carelessness or someone's sick idea of a joke.

In the tinder box trap that we hippies lived in someone struck a spark.

At first I thought I was dreaming,

Then I saw the first flames gleaming

And heard the sound of children screaming

Coming through the smoke. That's when the horror broke.

Something's burning somewhere. Does anybody care?

It was the fire that made America famous.

The sirens wailed and the firemen stumbled sleepy from their homes.

And the plumber yelled: "Come on let's go!"

But they saw what was burning and said: "Take it slow,

Let'em sweat a little, they'll never know

And besides, we just cleaned the chrome." Said the plumber: "I'm going alone."

He rolled on up in the fire truck

And raised the ladder to the ledge

Where me and my girl and a couple of kids

Were clinging like bats to the edge.

We staggered to salvation,

Collapsed on the street.

And I never thought that a fat man's face

Would ever look so sweet.

It was the scene that made America famous.

If not the love that made America great.

You see we spent the rest of that night in the home of a man I'd never known before.

It's funny when you get that close it's kind of hard to hate.

I went to sleep with the hope that made America famous.

I had the kind of a dream that maybe they're still trying to teach in school.

Of the America that made America famous...and

Of the people who just might understand

That how together yes we can

Create a country better than

The one we have made of this land,

We have a choice to make each man

who dares to dream, reaching out his hand

A prophet or just a crazy God damn

Dreamer of a fool - yes a crazy fool

There's something burning somewhere.

Does anybody care?

Is anybody there?

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What are some good songs that have a sort of plot to them?

One of my favorites is Iron Man. I tried to find a deeper meaning to it, but now realize it is just a story. It's good because it's clever and ironic. A man goes into the future and sees the end of the world, a man made of iron killing everyone. He goes back to the present to warn everyone, but on his way back, he travels through a magnetic field and becomes iron himself. Nobody believes the end is really coming, which makes him angry. He takes out his vengeance on the human race, bringing about the end of the world that he saw.

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One of my favorite story themed songs, true story for that matter, is ?The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald? by Gordon Lightfoot. The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior 20 years ago. Gordon Lightfoot's song is a tribute to this shipwreck and the men who lost their lives. On November 10, 1975 the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. All 29 crewmembers died. At the time, it was the worst shipping disaster on the Great Lakes.

Sticking with Lightfoot, there is the song ?Black Day In July?, which was written after the 1967 Detroit riots. It began simply enough, police raided an illegal bar in the inner city, known as a ?Blind Pig? a place to get a drink after the bars closed. The rioting quickly spread to encompass over fourteen square miles of Detroit?s neighborhoods. Unlike earlier outbreaks, the ?67 riots were indiscriminate, mobs torched and plundered black businesses as freely as white ones and burned down a number of black homes. Both blacks and whites participated in looting, burning and rioting. Forty-three people lay dead by the time the 1967 Detroit riot ended five days later on July 28.

Go Gordon!!

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how about alice's restaurant

ohio

cats in the cradle

devil went down to georgia...lol love that one!

or that's the night the lights went out in georgia, not my favorite song, but it tells a story...

ode to billy joe

i could go on and on, but there's a few for ya

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Boy Named Sue (Johnny Cash)

Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles)

Hot Rod Lincoln (Bill Kirchen)

Piano Man (Billy Joel)

Hurricane (Bob Dylan)

Tangled Up In Blue (Bob Dylan)

Turn The Page (Bob Seger)

Life In The Fast Lane (The Eagles)

Lola (The Kinks)

Well Respected Man (The Kinks)

Gallow's Pole (Led Zeppelin)

Going to California (Led Zeppelin)

Take the Money and Run (Steve Miller Band)

The Gift (Velvet Underground)

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B000009FWH.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.gif

Track Listings

1. Spanish Train

2. Lonely Sky

3. This Song For You

4. Patricia The Stripper

5. A Spaceman Came Travelling

6. I'm Coming Home

7. The Painter

8. Old Friend

9. The Tower

10. Just Another Poor Boy

Chris De Burgh's album 'Spanish Train' is an excellent example of songs telling a story.

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"The River" by Bruce Springsteen tells a story.

Some Billy Joel ones besides Piano Man:

The Downeaster Alexa

Leningrad

Scenes from An Italian Restaurant

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Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen

I had a friend was a big baseball player

Back in high school

He could throw that speedball by you

Make you look like a fool, boy

Saw him the other night at this roadside bar

I was walking in and he was walking out

We went back inside, sat down, had a few drinks but all he kept talking about was--

Glory days, well they'll pass you by

Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye

Glory days, glory days

There's a girl lives up the block

Back in school she could turn all the boys' heads

Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by and have a few drinks

After she put her kids to bed

Her and her husband Bobby, well, they split up

I guess it's two years gone by now

We just sit around talking about the old times

She says when she feels like crying she starts laughing thinking about--

Glory days, well they'll pass you by

Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye

Glory days, glory days

Think I'm going down to the well tonight

And I'm going to drink till I get my fill

And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it

But I probably will

Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture

A little of the glory of

But time slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of--

Glory days, well they'll pass you by

Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye

Glory days, glory days

Blake Shelton ~ Ol' Red

Well I caught my wife with another man

And it cost me ninety nine

On a prison farm in Georgia

Close to the Florida line

Well I'd been here for two long years

I finally made the warden my friend

And so he sentenced me to a life of ease

Taking care of Ol Red

Now Ol' Red he's the damnedest dog that I've ever seen

Got a nose that can smell a two day trail

He's a four legged tracking machine

You can consider yourself mighty lucky

To get past the gators and the quicksand beds

But all these years that I've been here

Ain't nobody got past Red

And the warden sang

Come on somebody

Why don't you run

Ol' Red's itchin' to have a little fun

Get my lantern

Get my gun

Red'll have you treed before the mornin' comes

Well I paid off the guard and I slipped out a letter

To my cousin up in Tennessee

Oh and he brought down a blue tick hound

She was pretty as she could be

Well they penned her up in the swampland

'Bout a mile just south of the gate

And I'd take Ol' Red for his evening run

I'd just drop him off and wait

And the warden sang

Come on somebody

Why don't you run

Ol' Red's itchin' to have a little fun

Get my lantern

Get my gun

Red'll have you treed before the mornin' comes

Now Ol' Red got real used to seeing

His lady every night

And so I kept him away for three or four days

And waited till the time got right

Well I made my run with the evenin' sun

And I smiled when I heard 'em let Red out

'Cause I was headed north to Tennessee

And Ol' Red was headed south

And the warden sang

Come on somebody

Why don't you run

Ol' Red's itchin' to have a little fun

Get my lantern

Get my gun

Red'll have you treed before the mornin' comes

Now there's red haired blue ticks all in the South

Love got me in here and love got me out

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Some of my faves:

"Sloop John B" ~ The Beach Boys

"Jack & Diane" ~ John Mellancamp

"Plane Wreck at Los Gatos" ~ Woody Guthrie

"Love Letter" ~ Bonnie Raitt

"Both Sides Now" ~ Joni Mitchell

"The Boxer" ~ Paul Simon

"All That You Have Is Your Soul" ~ Tracey Chapman

"American Pie" ~ Don McLean

"Tribute" ~ Tenacious D

"The Gambler" ~ Don Schlitz

"Mr Custer" ~ Larry Verne

"The Witch Of West-Mer-Lands" ~ Archie Fisher/Garnett Rodgers

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Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - a song written about a larger-than-life character Croce met while doing military service in New Jersey.

Sailing To Philadelphia (Mark Knopfler)- A song written about the surveying duo of Jeremiah Dixon (an Englishman) and Charles Mason (an American) who together established the boundary between the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland known as the Mason and Dixon line.

Fotheringay(Fairport Convention) - a song about the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots in Fotheringay castle.

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Story Songs: (some of htese may have been listed before):

Alice's Resturant -Guthrie

Scenes from and Italtion Resturant -BIlly Joel

Rocky Raccoon -Beatles

Pinball Wizard -The Who

Roland the Headless Tompson GUnner -Warren Zevon

Cicso Kid -War

Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald

The Night Chicago Died -Paper Lace

Spiders and Snakes -Jim Stafford

Lola -Kinks

Cats in the Cradle -Harry Chapin

Taxi -Chapin

Aqualung -Jethro Tull

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"Pancho and Lefty" Written by Townes Van Zandt and performed by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Living on the road my friend

Was gonna keep you free and clean

Now you wear your skin like iron

Your breath's as hard as kerosene

You weren't your mama's only boy

But her favorite one it seems

She began to cry when you said goodbye

And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boys

His horse was fast as polished steel

Wore his gun outside his pants

For all the honest world to feel

Pancho met his match you know

On the deserts down in Mexico

Nobody heard his dying words

That's the way it goes

All the federales say

They could have had him any day

They only let him hang around

Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can't sing the blues

All night long like he used to

The dust that Pancho bit down south

Ended up in Lefty's mouth

The day they laid poor Pancho low

Lefty split for Ohio

Where he got the bread to go

There ain't nobody knows

All the federales say

They could have had him any day

They only let him slip away

Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how Pancho fell

Lefty's livin' in a cheap hotel

The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold

So the story ends we're told

Pancho needs your prayers it's true,

But save a few for Lefty too

He just did what he had to do

Now he's growing old

A few gray federales say

They could have had him any day

They only let him go so wrong

Out of kindness I suppose

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