report

92 Favorite Pop, Rock and Country Songs That Tell A Story

Songs don't just convey emotion.  Sometimes they convey great stories. Make a playlist of pop, rock, and country tunes that tell a story. We have a long list to start you off with!
Songs don't just convey emotion. Sometimes they convey great stories. Make a playlist of pop, rock, and country tunes that tell a story. We have a long list to start you off with! | Source

Not All Stories Are In Books: Popular Songs Convey Stories, Too

Some of the best songs I know don't just soothe or energize, inform or persuade. They entertain by telling stories. We all turn to music for different purposes. But who among us doesn't appreciates a good tale, especially when there's irony or humor involved?

If you appreciate songs that tell a story as much as I do, then make yourself a playlist. We've got some of the most memorable pop, rock and country storytelling songs here to start you off. How many do you already know?

1. "Travelin' Soldier" by Dixie Chicks

This 2002 country song will make your eyes go misty. A lonesome young soldier, barely 18 years old, stops by a cafe. He's all decked out in his Army uniform and waiting for his bus. He'll be shipping off to Vietnam.

A sweet smile from a high school waitress prompts the soldier to ask if he can write to her while away. He has no one else. They spend an hour or so talking by the pier before his fate arrives to claim him.

They exchange heartfelt letters as he moves from an Army camp to war. But then the song ends sadly with the girl, a piccolo player in the high school marching band, crying under the football stadium stands as the names of local Vietnam dead are read.

2. "Devil Went Down To Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band

In this well-known song from 1979, the Devil has his sights set on stealing souls, and Johnny, a country boy from Georgia, is in his cross-hairs tonight. The sneaky devil contrives a fiddle playing contest and tempts Johnny with a golden fiddle. Johnny's pride and greed won't allow him to turn down the Devil's deal.

The Devil is extremely talented, but our Johnny is better. At the end of the contest, Johnny boasts:

Devil, just come on back
If you ever want to try again.
I done told you once you son of a b*tch
I'm the best that's ever been.

In radio versions of the song, the expletive is replaced by "son of a gun." In 1993, there was a follow-up story-telling song called, "The Devil Comes Back to Georgia."

Reader Opinion Poll

Which music genre is most effective at telling stories through song?

See results

3. "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle

A third generation bootlegger, the redneck fella in this 1988 song isn't fooling around with the moonshine that his granddaddy made on Copperhead Road. He's also one-upping the home brewed whiskey that made his father and uncle locally infamous.

Returning from Vietnam, the young man decides to grow an marijuana. He warns, "You better stay away from Copperhead Road."

Copperhead Road was a real road in Johnson County, Tennessee, but officials had to rename the road, "Copperhead Hollow Road" because vandals kept stealing the street sign.

4. "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam

Jeremy was a quiet boy with a troubled mind, and no one cared enough to notice the signs. He was bullied by classmates, then one day someone pushed him too far. An angry lion had been unleashed. He bit the recess lady and finally spoke in class—menacing words no doubt.

This 1992 Grammy-nominated rock song was based on the tragic case of a high school student who shot himself in 1991 front of his English class. If you guess his name was Jeremy, you're right.

5. "7 Years" by Lucas Graham

In this 2015 international sensation, a man shares the life lessons he has learned throughout his 60+ years. From the tender age of seven, he has learned that life is all about relationships. They keep you from being lonely, and as teenagers you learn to test limits with your friends.

As a young adult he learns that "only those I really love will ever really know me." As a maturing adult, he treasures becoming a father and maintaining friendship connections. Then, finally as an older adult, his children provide him warmth and comfort.

6. "Fancy" by Reba McEntire

Fancy Rae Baker was born poor white Louisiana trash. However, she wouldn't stay that way, thanks to her mama's heart-wrenching decision. The family in this 1990 song was poverty-stricken and desperate. The father had abandoned them, her mother was gravely ill, and Fancy had an infant sibling who was hungry.

In an attempt to save her, Fancy's mama spent the family's last penny to buy the 18-year old a dancing dress. As she curled her daughter's hair and did her make-up, Mama advised Fancy, "Just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy, and they'll be nice to you." Then she sent her out on her own.

Over the years, Fancy used her womanly charms on "a king, a Congressman, and an occasional aristocrat" and found that she was able to claw her way into high society.

7. "Someone Like You" by Adele

In this 2011 pop hit, Adele is a woman who is still reeling from a breakup. Hearing that her former lover has now married, she decides to play it creepy by turning up out of the blue uninvited just to say "hi."

She wants to make sure the old lover remembers that their relationship is not over yet for her. She reminds him of some of the things he once said and urges him not to forget her. (How could he?) Chances are very strong her little appearance has raised the hairs on the back of his neck.

8. "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna

In this 1986 song, Madonna is a young woman who has ignored the warnings of her father. Dad doesn't like the guy she's been dating because the boyfriend doesn't treat her well. Now she finds herself pregnant and in need of advice from Dad.

Her friends tell her not to keep the baby, but she has illusions that she and Mr. Wrong will get married and be a happy little family. The troubled young woman begs for Dad's support and counsel rather than his judgment.

Tell Us What Your Favorite Storytelling Song Is In the Comments Section Below

Why do you like it? Do you know all the words?

9. "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman

A fast car is a means of escaping a negative home environment in this 1988 song. The narrator's mother left the family, and her father is an alcoholic who required that she quit school to take care of him. The narrator has a lover with a fast car, however, who can get them out of the bad situation.

She paints a picture of how she hopes it will be when they start a new life in a new town: new job, promotion, move out of the shelter and into a house of their own in the suburbs. She's not totally convinced that it will work, but she knows that if they don't make a change they'll wither and die if they don't fly away now.

10. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

For years, music fans have argued over the specific meaning of this 1975 musical masterpiece. At its core, the song tells the tale of a man's admission to his mother that he has just killed a man:

Mama ... just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead.
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.

As he faces certain death for what he has done, he expresses guilt and his growing fear of what is to come.

Now this is a dance.
Now this is a dance. | Source

11. "The Dance" by Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks shares the snapshot memory of a special dance the protagonist shared with his lover in this 1989 song. He describes the feeling of having it all when he held her under the stars. Even though their love affair ended, he wouldn't have missed their dance for the world. Must've been some dance, eh?

12."Three Wooden Crosses" by Randy Travis

Rare is the song that can win gospel awards, become a Country Music Association Song of the Year, and also cross over to the pop charts, too. However, that's exactly what this 2002 song did. It tells the story of a farmer, a teacher, a preacher and a prostitute who were on an ill-fated bus trip to Mexico, all for different reasons.

Their bus ran a stop sign and collided with an 18-wheeler. The farmer and teacher died, and as the preacher lay dying, he placed a bloodstained Bible into the hands of the hooker. Now all that exists at the accident site are three wooden crosses.

The song is told from the perspective of the woman's son, who is now a preacher himself. The listener is left to assume that the hooker read the blood-stained Bible, found redemption in its spiritual message, and went on to marry and have a family.

13. "You're So Vain" Carly Simon

Taylor Swift doesn't have anything on Carly Simon when it comes to trashing former lovers. This 1972 song describes an ex-lover as a narcissistic ladies man. He's a jet setter who isn't beyond hooking up with "some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend." Sadly, those who mean something to him, he has no problem betraying.

The song describes Mr. Wonderful sashaying his way into a party. Wearing an obnoxious apricot scarf, he admires himself in the mirror while all the women dream of becoming his partner. She knows better, however, and understands that he can never love another as he does himself.

14. "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash

Life wasn't easy for a boy named Sue. This 1969 classic is told from the perspective of Sue. The only thing his father ever gave him before abandoning him at age three was his girly name. And because of that, the boy faced incessant ridicule and grew up mean.

As a young adult, Sue bounced from town to town, frequenting the honky tonks in search of his father. He was determined to get even.

Finally, he found him and got the (surprising) explanation he was waiting for:

... 'Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong.

Sue, That's Not You, Is It?

Everyone has a story.  What's this guy's, I wonder?
Everyone has a story. What's this guy's, I wonder? | Source

15. "How To Save a Life" by The Fray

This emotionally impactful pop tune from 2005 describes a discussion between a troubled young person and a caring friend who seeks to help. The narrator provides a vivid description of a conversation between them. It seems to be a retrospective of how the narrator wishes their interaction had turned out:

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life.

16. "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf

This 1977 rock song lasts more than 8 minutes, but it's utterly entertaining. The song demonstrates how one moment of weakness can sentence two vulnerable people to be linked together forever.

A teenage couple is parked by the lake when their makeout session gets overheated and takes a very adult turn. Before consummating their lust, the young woman demands:

Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, and will you make me your wife?

Rather than answer her, the aroused young man prefers to sleep on it. But that's not good enough because she needs an answer NOW. They eventually give in to their passions, as he promises on his mother's grave to love her until the end of time.

The song then cuts to years later, as they are unhappily married:

So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive.
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now.
I'm praying for the end of time
It's all I can do (ooh, ooh)
I'm praying for the end of time
So I can end my time with you.

17. "Cats In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin

If you had a parent who was emotionally absent while you grew up, then this 1974 chart-topper will certainly resonate. The song is told from the perspective of a father who is too consumed with his career to be involved with the details of raising his son. Even so, the boy looks up to him and seeks to emulate him.

As the boy grows into adulthood, their roles reverse. When the young man comes home from college, his dad finally has the time to spend, but all Junior wants is the car keys. Then, the son moves away and has a family of his own. Like his old man, he becomes too busy with work and other priorities to devote time to loved ones. Dad got what was coming to him.

18. "Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers

This 1979 song describes Tommy, a young man known locally for his cowardice. His father died in prison, but before leaving the 10-year-old in the care of the boy's uncle, his Pa advised him:

Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can.
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand,
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man.

Tommy grew up and found a sweetheart, Becky. However, when the trouble making trio, the Gatlin boys, assaulted her, Tommy let loose on them. He showed that even cowards have their limits.

"Stan" by Eminem (featuring Dido) - Clean Version

19. "Stan" by Eminem (featuring Dido)

One of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, this powerful song from 2000 is about a mentally unstable fan who reveals his obsession with the rapper through fan mail. The man becomes increasingly obsessed, agitated, and then angry that his interest in the famous performer is not returned.

Lashing out, the fan makes a recording in which he puts his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk of his car then drives off a bridge. In the last part of the song, the rapper writes the fan back and tries to reason with him about his violent and irresponsible statements. It's not until the song's end that he realizes that the media has already reported the death of a man driving his car off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk, and that man was Stan.

20. "Mariner's Revenge" by the Decemberists

In this 2005 tale of vengeance, two mariners are stranded in the belly of a great whale, when one explains to the other that their lives are eerily connected. The narrator explains that when he was only three, his widowed mother fell for a young womanizer and gambler. He left her with debt and disease.

She lost her small estate because of her lover's debts. As she lay dying made her son promise:

Find him, find him
Tie him to a pole and break
His fingers to splinters
Drag him to a hole until he
Wakes up naked
Clawing at the ceiling
Of his grave.

The narrator then explains how he tracked down the mother's lover to honor her dying wishes. At the end of the song, it becomes horrifically obvious that the two men are no strangers.

Songs are more interesting when they tell a story, don't you think?
Songs are more interesting when they tell a story, don't you think? | Source

Even More Pop, Rock & Country Songs That Tell a Story

Song & Year Released
Artist
Story In Brief
21. What It's Like (1998)
Everlast
The losing stories of a homeless man, a pregnant teen and a drug dealer urge people not to judge unless they've walked in their shoes.
22. Whiskey Lullaby (2003)
Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
A man dies after years of alcoholism; he tried to drown his heartbreak. The woman who broke his heart drinks herself to death in response.
23. Rain on the Scarecrow (1985)
John Cougar Mellencamp
The family farm is auctioned off.
24. The Legend of Wooley Swamp (1980)
The Charlie Daniels Band
Greedy teenagers try to steal the money from an eccentric backwoods loner and become part of a spooky local legend.
25. American Pie (1971)
Don McLean
Referencing many post-WWII cultural events, this song is a commentary on how American culture is headed in the wrong direction morally.
26. Highwayman (1985)
The Highwaymen
The daring life stories of a highwayman, a sailor, a dam builder and an astronaut are interconnected as risk takers throughout history.
27. Speak Now (2010)
Taylor Swift
A young woman crashes the wedding ceremony of a former boyfriend and asks him to run away with her.
28. The House That Built Me (2009)
Miranda Lambert
A woman visits her childhood home where someone else now lives and the memories come flooding back.
29. Kentucky Rain (1970)
Elvis Presley
A man is chasing after the woman who has left him in the cold Kentucky rain.
30. Piano Man (1973)
Billy Joel
A piano man has a dead end job with a local bar but the crowd enjoys him.
31. Gunpowder and Lead (2007)
Miranda Lambert
A domestic violence victim decides to lethally strike back once her man gets out of jail.
32. Bullets In The Gun (2010)
Toby Keith
A man and a dancer he just met become outlaws and are chased to Mexico.
33. Black Velvet (1989)
Allanah Myles
The story of Elvis
34. Billie Jean (1983)
Michael Jackson
A woman named Billie Jean claims that the narrator fathered her child. She obsessively wants to be with him.
35. Jessie (1993)
Joshua Kadison
A man is hopelessly in love with a whimsical, undependable woman.
36. Goodbye Earl (1999)
Dixie Chicks
Female friends conspire to kill another old friend's abusive husband after he beats her badly.
37. My Name is Luca (1987)
Suzanne Vega
An abused child tries to cover up what is happening in her apartment by making excuses to a neighbor.
38. Two Black Cadillacs (2012)
Carrie Underwood
At a man's funeral, both his mistress and wife arrive in separate black Cadillacs after conspiring to kill him.
39. Back 2 Good (1996)
Matchbox 20
A guy comes to realize that his love relationship is nearing its end, and there's nothing he can do to get it back to good.
40. Harper Valley PTA (1968)
Jeannie C. Riley
When a widowed woman is criticized by the PTA for wearing her skirts too short, she points out their hypocrisy.
41. Half Breed (1973)
Cher
A woman who is half-Cherokee and half-Caucasian describes the rejection she felt growing up from both races.
42. Thriller (1983)
Michael Jackson
Evil night creatures come calling.
43. Wildfire (1975)
Michael Martin Murphy
A girl dies looking for her treasured pony named Wildfire. Her memory haunts a man who loved her.
44. Phantom 309 (1967)
Red Sovine
A heroic ghost trucker gives a hitch hiker a ride.
45. Concrete Angel (2008)
Martina McBride
An abused girl tries her best to take care of herself.
46. Seven Spanish Angels (1984)
Willie Nelson and Ray Charles
On the run from authorities, a Mexican outlaw and his wife find themselves cornered. He is killed and she decides to die rather than face live capture.
47. The Ghetto (1969)
Elvis Presley
An unwanted baby begins the sad cycle of poverty against a backdrop of a society unwilling to help.
48. The A Team (2011)
Ed Sheeran
A drug addicted young hooker overdoses.
49. Operator (1972)
Jim Croce
A heartbroken man asks the phone operator for help in placing a phone call to his ex-lover and former friend who are now a couple.
50. Irreplaceable (2006)
Beyonce
A woman moves her cheating lover out of their home.
51. Space Oddity (1969)
David Bowie
An astronaut is floating in space and feels alienation from the world he left behind.
52. That Summer (1992)
Garth Brooks
A lonely widow employs a teenage field hand and makes a man out of him.
53. The Deeper In (2003)
Drive-By Truckers
The son of a prisoner follows in his daddy's footsteps.
54. The Thunder Rolls (1990)
Garth Brooks
A wife stays up half the night worried about her husband who is out in the storm, but he's been cheating so she kills him.
55. Papa Was A Rollin' Stone (1972)
The Temptations
A son whose father just died wants to know the truth about his father, and it's painful.
56. I Heard Love Is Blind (2003)
Amy Winehouse
A woman who cheated on her lover tries to justify her pathetic choices.
57. Fun, Fun, Fun (1964)
The Beach Boys
A teenage girl lies to her dad and uses his car to go cruising.
58. Ol’ Red (2001)
Blake Shelton
A convict finds a clever way to escape from prison.
59. Austin (2001)
Blake Shelton
A man whose lover had left him records messages for her on his answering machine and finally reunites with her.
60. Trapped in the Closet (2005)
R. Kelly
A couple has a one-night stand and the man has to hide in the closet because the woman's husband comes home.
61. Brick By Boring Brick (2009)
Paramore
A disturbed young girl lives in a surreal world that turns very dark.
62. Copacabana (1978)
Barry Manilow
A showgirl's lover is killed by a mobster, and she loses her mind. Decades later, she still sits in the bar where she used to perform.
63. Broken Wing (1997)
Martina McBride
A woman escapes her abusive marriage the only way she knows how.
64. Independence Day (1993)
Martina McBride
An abused woman sends her young daughter to the Fourth of July parade in town while she burns down the family home with her husband in it.
65. Desperado (1973)
The Eagles
A hardened outlaw finds it difficult to allow someone to love him.
66. Lightning (2006)
Eric Church
A repentant man faces the electric chair for his crimes.
67. Unanswered Prayers (1990)
Garth Brooks
A man runs into his high school girlfriend and is thankful he didn't end up with her.
68. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You (1990)
Heart
A woman in love with her infertile husband desperately wants a child, so she has a one-night stand.
69. Photograph (2014)
Nickelback
Looking back through photographs brings back vivid memories of growing up.
70. Amnesia (2014)
5 Seconds of Summer
A couple has broken up, and although the girl has moved on, the guy ruminates about details of the past. He wishes he had amnesia.
71. Funhouse (2008)
P!nk
A woman burns down the house that represents her broken love relationship.
72. I Drive Your Truck (2012)
Lee Brice
A friend drives the old truck that belongs to his Army veteran buddy who is never coming back.
73. Baby Girl (2004)
Sugarland
A struggling singer writes home at first wanting money and then sending money to her parents because she's made it big.
74. I Feel Lucky (1992)
Mary Chapin Carpenter
A woman is convinced that she'll win the lottery and all kinds of good things will happen for her.
75. Lyin' Eyes (1975)
The Eagles
A young woman marries a much older man who cannot give her the love and comfort she needs. She lies to him and sneaks to the other side of town to get what she needs.
76. The Beaches of Cheyenne (1996)
Garth Brooks
The wife of a bull rider takes his death very badly after their last words were an argument.
77. The Eighth of November (2005)
Big & Rich
A Vietnam veteran's story of wartime survival and remembrance of his fallen brothers years later
78. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1992)
Reba McEntire
A man's younger sister kills his adulterous wife and the wife's lover. Her brother is punished for her crimes.
79. Eleanor Rigby (1966)
The Beatles
A lonely woman dies and is buried by a lonely minister, the only one who attends the service.
80. The Devil Comes Back to Georgia (1993)
Charlie Daniels and Mark O'Connor (featuring Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, Johnny Cash)
In a re-match with the devil, Johnny successfully defends his title as the best fiddle player there ever was.
81. Picture (2001)
Kid Rock (featuring Sheryl Crow)
A couple is broken up and already sleeping with other people after three days. Their photos of each other prompt them to reunite.
82. All Summer Long (2007)
Kid Rock
A man recalls a summer love affair he had when he was 17 years old.
83. Rehab (2006)
Amy Winehouse
An alcoholic woman refuses to go to rehab, offering a number of excuses.
84. Magic Man (1975)
Heart
A young girl is seduced by a much older man and her mother calls to beg her to come back home.
85. Lose Yourself (2002)
Eminem
A struggling rapper faces stage fright and other hardships on his way to stardom.
86. Coal Miner's Daughter (1969)
Loretta Lynn
A woman recounts her difficult but loving upbringing in poverty.
87. Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town (1969)
Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
A paralyzed veteran who loves his wife begs her not to go out looking for a date.
88. Blow Up Your TV (1972)
John Denver
A topless dancer and a soldier went off the grid and found true happiness.
89. Long Black Veil (1965)
Johnny Cash
A woman mourns the wrongful execution of her adulterous lover.
90. The Leader Of The Pack (1965)
The Shangri-Las
A teenage girl mourns the death of her ex-boyfriend who was from the wrong side of the tracks.
91. Just A Dream (2007)
Carrie Underwood
A teenage bride shows up to the church on her wedding day, but it's her military groom's funeral.
92. People Are Crazy (2009)
Billy Currington
Two men meet and talk for hours in a bar. The older one, a secret millionaire, later dies and leaves his fortune to the guy he met only once.
Got a favorite storytelling song that should be on this playlist? Leave us a suggestion in the Comments Section below!

What's In a Name? Locations Associated With Stories Told Through Songs

show route and directions
A markerFable Lake, Minnesota, USA -
Fable Lake, Fall Lake Township, MN 55731, USA
get directions

B markerFiction Creek, Montana, USA -
Fiction Creek, Montana, USA
get directions

C markerLegend, Hungary -
Legénd, Hungary
get directions

D markerMyth Lake, Minnesota, USA -
Myth Lake, Stony River Township, MN 55731, USA
get directions

E markerParable Cove, Texas, USA -
Parable Cove, Pflugerville, TX 78660, USA
get directions

F markerSong Lake, New York, USA -
Song Lake, Preble, NY 13159, USA
get directions

G markerStory, Arkansas, USA -
Story, AR 71970, USA
get directions

H markerTell, Wisconsin, USA -
Tell, WI 54610, USA
get directions

I markerTragedy Spring, California, USA -
Tragedy Spring, CA 95666, USA
get directions

J markerVerse Lake, Canada -
Verse Lake, Sudbury, Unorganized, North Part, ON P0M, Canada
get directions

© 2016 FlourishAnyway

More by this Author


Comments 20 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA Author

Kyriaki - Thank you for stopping by and for the kind kudos! I sure love songs that relay a story and am glad that you do as well. Have a wonderful weekend!


Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

Kyriaki Chatzi 2 weeks ago from Greece

I am massively surprised by your amazing writing skills, Flourish. This list proves that not only can you work miracles with that pen, but also that you thoroughly researched the topic. EXCELLENT work! Bravo!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA Author

Thank you, Gypsy Rose Lee! Glad you enjoy a good story as much as I do.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

An interesting and inspirational hub that brings ideas shining through. I think that country songs tell great stories and at times I find the occasional rock or pop song that does the same. Great choices all.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Linda - Thanks for the compliment, and I'm glad that you knew some of these. Hope you found some new ones that were of interest as well. Have a wonderful week.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

The stories that you've shared are very interesting, Flourish. I know and enjoy some of the songs in your list. This is yet another great playlist article.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Dora - I appreciate your reading and being so encouraging. If there's one thing I've learned from these articles, it's that the lyrics often aren't what you think they are! Have a wonderful weekend ahead.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

I like stories and stories in song lyrics are even better. Thank you for this list. You do a great job of presenting these stories in the "Story in Brief" section. Interesting!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Peg - Odd that you mention that, as I've had that song on my mind a lot lately. Going to feature it in another hub prominently. It's a sobering song and I really enjoy it. Thanks for reading and the suggestion.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Larry - I think your dad was right. Thank you for sharing a memory of him.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

These are definitely some of my all time favorites. Harry Chapin's tales all have deep messages and stories within. I saw him in concert in Florida. He was great. I recently learned that Landslide, by Stevie Nicks, was autobiographical. Great topic and a fabulous list.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 4 weeks ago from Oklahoma

My father always enjoyed country music the best. As he would always say, "It tells a story."

Another great list.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Bill - At least the classic type of country music. The new stuff is not quite the same but I still like it. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

The first thing I thought of was....that's what country music is, telling stories, so you could have filled out the whole list with country songs. :) Great list, my friend, and enjoyable read.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Jo - You've certainly educated me! That's the first I've heard of that humorous song. Definitely adding it! Thanks so much!


jo miller profile image

jo miller 4 weeks ago from Tennessee

Great list you've provided here. So many great songs.

One of my favorites is John Prine's 'Blow Up Your TV'--also called 'Spanish Pipedream'. I've taught that to my four young granddaughters, and we like to sing it together when they come to visit me here in the country. In deference to their parents, I left out the verse about the topless waitress.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Heidi - I appreciate your great suggestions and have incorporated them. I never imagined the list would be this long! There were a few that came to me right off the top of my head (favorites like "Fancy") but then I had to dig deep. They kept on clicking. Have a great week, and thanks again!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA Author

Carb Diva - Kenny Rogers has some good ones, and "Ruby" is one of them. I've added it. (I always thought it was strange that he tried to get into the chicken restaurant business because it had zero to do with his music career. Guess that's why it failed.) I've added the song. That's very cool that you were able to listen to the Mike Love interview. So many times listeners and readers attribute meanings that authors didn't fathom when they were penning a song or other work. Happens a lot with poetry too. Thank you for reading and for your enthusiastic support.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 4 weeks ago

Flourish - When I first read the title of this hub I thought, hmm, this will be a short list. But ohmygoodness, you opened up the floodgates. And then you got me thinking. (Dangerous, right?)

There is a painfully sad song by Kenny Rogers "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." Boy, if that doesn't tell a story, I don't know what does. He's paralyzed and loves his wife dearly, but can't give her the physical love that she needs and desires. And so he watches her primp and preen to leave for the evening to find "love" with someone else.

Also, last week I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with Mike Love of the original Beach Boys. He was in town to promote his book "Good Vibrations--My Life as a Beach Boy." The song "Warmth of the Sun" was released just days after the assassination of JFK. Many assumed that the song alluded to that tragedy, but Mike Love explained that he wrote it after being rejected by a woman he sincerely cared about and hoped to form a relationship with.

This is a great hub! You shared some songs I had never heard, and so will be listening to those. Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into these hubs. Each one is a treasure. How awesome if you could find a way to publish these amazing compilations/ideas.

Blessings to you.


heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 4 weeks ago from Chicago Area

Wow! What a list. So many good ones. I always think of that Heart song when it comes to story tunes. I think Heart's "Magic Man" also qualifies for the list.

I think Eminem has some great, gritty story songs. I think of "Lose Yourself" and "Not Afraid."

(I'm thinking of another related list you could consider: Biographical or autobiographical story songs. There's a whole bunch of those. Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter.")

Honestly, I think songs that have a story are much more memorable. You're so good at these list posts. Thanks for sharing another great list!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway875 Followers
    140 Articles

    FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.



    Click to Rate This Article