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Story Songs

So, Ged got us started off with this whole Story-Song idea...

So, Ged got us start­ed off with this whole Sto­ry-Song idea, and I want to thank him for com­ing up with the idea! Ged is awe­some!

The basic premise as Ged twit­tered is sim­ple, favorite songs that tell a sto­ry. Ged list­ed his five, and man, great list!

Com­ing up with 5 songs that have fan­tas­tic lyrics that tell a sto­ry, espe­cial­ly when that sto­ry adds to the over­all essence of the song, was more dif­fi­cult than I thought. Par­ing down the list took me some time.

  1. Simon & Gar­funkel — He Was My Broth­erFrom the clas­sic, if under-appre­ci­at­ed, Wednes­day Morn­ing, 3 AM — this is my Simon and Gar­funkel pick. And I’m a HUGE Simon & Gar­funkel fan, so this was real­ly, real­ly tough.

    He was my broth­er
    Tears can’t bring him back to me
    He was my broth­er
    And he died so his broth­ers could be free

    The song is about a mur­dered “free­dom writer,” and it was writ­ten by Paul in 1963. “He Was My Broth­er” was lat­er ded­i­cat­ed to Andrew Good­man, a class­mate of the duo, and one of the slain civ­il rights activists from Free­dom Sum­mer in 1964. Melod­i­cal­ly, this is pure folk. Lyri­cal­ly, it evokes what I can only imag­ine must have been a very real part of the era. My par­ents were in col­lege in 1964 (or, my dad was — my mom start­ed in 1965 I think), but nei­ther were real­ly involved in any move­ments.

  2. Count­ing Crows — Anna BeginsFrom August and Every­thing After, one of my favorite albums of all time, is a great song about falling in love, despite deny­ing it, despite claim­ing you aren’t ready.

    This time when kind­ness falls like rain
    It wash­es her away and Anna begins to change her mind
    “These sec­onds when I’m shak­ing leave me shud­der­ing
    for days” she says.
    And I’m not ready for this sort of thing

    After final­ly real­iz­ing that it is love, the rela­tion­ship is over, and you aren’t ready for it to end. I don’t know, I love this song.

  3. Dash­board Con­fes­sion­al — Hands DownFrom the So Impos­si­ble EP and lat­er A Mark, A Mis­sion, A Brand, A Scar, before this song was the emo anthem for a bunch of annoy­ing teenagers who don’t know how to act at a con­cert and almost cause me to go postal on their ass­es, it was a song that had very, very real sem­blance in my own life, specif­i­cal­ly the sum­mer of 2002.

    My hopes are so high,
    that your kiss might kill me.
    So won’t you kill me,
    So I die hap­py.

    It is quite sim­ply the sto­ry of a great date, from begin­ning to end. It’s noth­ing that fan­tas­tic or life-chang­ing, unless you can relate to it on a per­son­al lev­el. And then the lyrics are per­fect. Per­son­al­ly, I think Chris Carra­ba is one of the most amaz­ing lyri­cists, even if that does get marred by his annoy­ing fan base.

  4. Guster — Air­port SongGuster is anoth­er band that I have a hard time just choos­ing one song. “Air­port Song”, from 1998’s Gold­fly, was the band’s first mod­est radio hit, and prob­a­bly the song most peo­ple first heard by the band. It’s about join­ing a cult, from the POV of the cult leader.

    Put to bed the son and sis­ter moon
    Ill be hid­ing in your dirty room
    Ill go there seek­ing only what I need
    La ti da we’ll stay there till we bleed

    The line, “you’ll be sell­ing books at the air­port” is always one of my favorites — because we’ve all seen those Hari Krish­na freaks or who­ev­er doing that stuff. Like most Guster songs, the melody betrays the lyrics, which are dark­er and more sin­is­ter than what the sound sug­gests.

  5. Bruce Spring­steen — The Riv­erWith­out a doubt, one of the great­est sto­ry songs of all time. Released in 1980, though writ­ten ear­li­er as “The Ties That Bind,” Spring­steen has said this was one of his break­through songs and one of the tracks that led to Nebras­ka, his evoca­tive nar­ra­tive album.

    Now those mem­o­ries come back to haunt me
    They haunt me like a curse
    Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
    Or is it some­thing worse

    The song is such a great sto­ry of life, espe­cial­ly when things hap­pen that are unplanned and unex­pect­ed. It’s just such a gor­geous and sor­row­ful song. Fan­tas­tic real­ly.

    Check out these oth­er “Sto­ry Song” blog­gers:

    David Miller (@daveobe)
    Liv­ing in the Now

    David Schultz (@dvsjr)
    The (mis)adventures of a mac­in­tosh admin­is­tra­tor

    Mike Schramm (@mikeschramm)

    Dave Cao­lo (@panache)
    Hard­core Geek

    Von Glitsch­ka (@vonster)
    Glitsch­ka Stu­dios

    Andy Rud­kin (@mizaru)

    Austin Heller (@austinheller)

    Mason Sklar (@zargap)

    Allen Emory
    A. Emory

    Alain Edouard (@alainedouard)

    Mark Goody (@marramgrass)

    Jamie Parkins
    The Sound of Silence




September 2008

3 people have left comments

Gedeon Maheux - Gravatar

Gedeon Maheux said:

Nice choic­es there Christi­na! The Spring­steen one is one of my favorites as well, glad to see it made it onto some­one’s list. Hope you had fun, thanks for join­ing in!

Posted on: September 3, 2008 at 10:31 pmQuote this Comment
Mark - Gravatar

Mark said:

Anna Begins is one of the most aching­ly beau­ti­ful songs I know, espe­cial­ly on the VH‑1 cut. Good call.

Posted on: September 4, 2008 at 6:22 amQuote this Comment
Favorite ‘Sto­ry Songs’ - Gravatar

Favorite ‘Sto­ry Songs’ said:

[…] Christi­na War­ren (@film_girl) […]

Posted on: February 23, 2012 at 6:03 pmQuote this Comment